Did you know that the best-selling item at Walmart is bananas? It’s true, and has been for several years. So the next time you need a great price on your favorite yellow fruit, go ahead and make a trip to Walmart.
But steer clear of the world’s largest retailer when you need a will or other estate planning documents.
While not available in the U.S. (yet), Walmart just started selling wills for $99 in several Canadian locations. You can also get powers of attorney at the boutique law shop called Axess Law, set up in Walmart. And in my opinion, that’s not just bananas, it’s nuts too.
Creating an estate plan is something you do to leave a legacy of care and love for the people who matter to you the most. Working with an attorney who understands your goals and wishes for your family, and can articulate those in a well-crafted estate plan, is a much better alternative than relying on a one-stop shopping experience, be it at Walmart or through online legal websites with standard forms that can’t begin to know what you truly want and deserve for your loved ones.
Having the caring guidance of a personal family attorney will ensure your estate plan takes advantage of the ever-changing state and federal laws as well as reduces the potential for family feuds.
If you’re the parent of minor children, your attorney should help you create a comprehensive Kids Protection Plan® that ensures the well-being and care of your children; without one, a judge will make guardianship and other critical decision for you (and your kids could even be taken from your home temporarily).
Even if you don’t have minor or dependent children, you have stuff that will have to be handled after you are gone and a $99 will is likely only going to make matters worse for the people left to clean up the mess.
Laws vary by state, which is another good reason to have a personal relationship with a lawyer you trust. The probate process can be lengthy and arduous; your attorney can guide you around it and help your family stay out of Court, saving time, money and stress.
Finally, many life circumstances – remarriage, divorce, new children – impact your estate plan, so be sure you review it annually and keep it updated when things change. Having trusted lawyer who knows you and your family makes it much easier to keep your plan on track, so it will always be just what your family needs, when they need it.
If you would like more information about creating or updating your estate plan, call our office today to schedule a time for us to sit down and talk. We normally charge $750 for a Family Wealth Planning Session, but because this planning is so important, I’ve made space for the next two people who mention this article to have a complete planning session at no charge. Call today and mention this article.