Ethan R. Okura
Hawai‘i Herald Columnist

Most of us have heard of the option of preparing your will online. In the old days, you could go to a bookstore and buy a form book containing fill-in-the-blank legal forms such as a Durable Financial Power of Attorney, Last Will and Testament, Health Care Power of Attorney, and maybe even a deed or a trust. These days, you can find websites that offer basic do-it-yourself estate planning.

Is this a valid option? Should you set up a DIY estate plan online?

Personally, I think it’s good to have options. There’s a limited group of people for whom a DIY estate plan might work. But how do you know if DIY is right for you? The biggest draw for most people who decide to do a DIY plan is its cost-savings. It’s true that DIY online estate plan document preparation is rather inexpensive as far as up-front costs go. But doing an estate plan yourself could end up costing your heirs a lot more than the difference in price you would pay by hiring a competent, careful, creative and thoughtful attorney.

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