Wills are legal documents, but some people treat them like little more than informal agreements. It is surprisingly common for people to choose to download boilerplate documents from the internet and simply plug in a few words or phrases about their family and their assets.

In the eyes of those creating an estate plan, downloaded documents may be fast and cost-effective, but they aren’t necessarily as comprehensive as a custom will is.

There are several shortcomings involved with online will templates that you should know about before you begin estate planning in order to ensure that your last will is valid and useful for you and the people you want to protect.

No will is really one-size-fits-all

Even if you intend to leave everything in your estate to one person, using a boilerplate document from the internet might lead to other people with potential claims against your estate successfully challenging the document.

More importantly, the language and structure of the last will you use could be so bland as to offer very little direction or insight for the executor of your estate. A custom-created last will can reflect your specific wishes and family relationships more accurately than a form where you just add names and assets in blank spaces.

Digital documents may not have the authority of custom-created paperwork

Creating a last will in your home on your own may seem like a great solution to a difficult process. However, when you execute a last will on your own computer, you may not even physically print and sign the document.

There may not be witnesses present, and you might not get you will notarized. Even if you do, there won’t be an attorney who can testify about your mental capacity at the time of signing or who retains a copy in order to provide it to your loved ones.

Creating a customized and specific last will with proper legal guidance and notarization will help ensure that there is a professional who understands your intentions and who can make certain that your loved ones have a copy of the will when the time comes.