In the recent trend of legal services going viral, Google has now released a program which will account for your text messages and e-mails after your death. The program, aptly named Inactive Account Manager, will allow individuals to prearrange what will happen to their account data and information upon their death. Beneficiaries can be designated to receive certain information, while other private information can be deleted. Such information could include contact information, emails, documents and online messages. Setting up this program makes working out such details easier for those you leave behind after your death, which is a chief consideration when it comes to estate planning in Missouri.
Simply put, estate planning is the process by which individuals arrange for the disbursement of their estate in anticipation of their death. Estate planning is often recommended since it helps to avoid some uncertainties that may come upon an individual’s death and can avoid the need for a probate court to judge the division of the estate after the person’s death. Estate planning can help maximize the value of an individual’s former estate by minimizing the taxes and other expenses that often come hand in hand with the transfer of property.
While many are familiar with the well-publicized LegalZoom and other online providers of legal services, there are inherent risks with relying on such tools in lieu of meeting with an experienced attorney in person. One such risk is that there is usually no attorney-client or work product privilege with the use of online providers, as listed in the sites’ disclaimers. This could be detrimental to your case down the line.
Another risk in relying solely on an online legal service provider is that the particular circumstances and nuances of your case will not be considered. There are often many outlying considerations in family law and estate planning cases, which an experienced family law attorney would elicit from speaking with you as a client.
Akin to doing your taxes online for free, where you may miss out a particular tax credit or a higher refund by not working with an experienced accountant, using the internet in attempts to meet your legal needs could cost you thousands of dollars in the end. Although there is certainly a higher up front cost, the results are often worth it in the end, along with the state of mind that comes with working with an experienced family law attorney.