Estate planning sign on a wooden pier


The Elder and Disability Law Firm, APC Nov. 2, 2021

According to a 2021 Wills and Estate Planning Study by, about 34.2% of American adults don’t have a will because they don’t know how to get one. When creating your estate planning documents, you have the option of hiring an attorney or using a do-it-yourself method by downloading online forms. If you are considering drafting your estate plan, you may be wondering whether to use online forms or retain an experienced attorney.

Creating a well-detailed estate plan requires proper guidance. The Elder & Disability Law Firm, APC has the resources and experience to assist and guide individuals and families in estate planning-related matters. Our knowledgeable California estate planning attorneys can review your unique situation and enlighten you about the benefits of hiring an attorney over online forms. Using their extensive experience, Attorney Esther C. Wang and her legal staff can guide you through the entire estate planning process from start to finish and help you make informed decisions. The firm is proud to serve clients across Southern California, including Riverside, Palm Springs, Redlands, and Rancho Cucamonga.


Estate planning involves making suitable plans in advance regarding how you want your property and assets to be managed, distributed, or disposed of upon your death or after sudden incapacitation. Notwithstanding your health or age, estate planning is important because:

  • It allows you to provide detailed instructions about how you want to transfer assets to heirs and beneficiaries.

  • It helps to protect your assets, property, investments, and interest.

  • It allows you to make adequate provisions for your surviving family members, children, spouses, dependents, and other close relatives.

  • It allows you to choose a trusted person as your personal representative.

  • It gives you complete control over who inherits your assets and property.

  • It allows you to leave assets for minor children until they reach a certain age.

  • It allows you to choose a guardian for your children and a caretaker for your pets.

  • It helps to protect assets and investments from creditors.

  • It helps inheritors avoid or reduce inheritance, gifts, and estate taxes.

  • It helps prevent potential disputes and conflicts between loved ones over asset distribution.

  • It allows you to bypass the expensive and lengthy probate process.

  • It prevents you from dying intestate (without a will).


Here are some differences between hiring an estate planning attorney and using online forms to create your estate plan:

State-Specific: Online forms are not state-specific. In contrast, an attorney will be knowledgeable about state-specific requirements.

Making Modifications: Trying to make a modification on an online form can be very complex. A simple error or omission can change or invalidate the entire estate plan. Conversely, an attorney can help make the necessary modifications to your existing estate plan and ensure that the new changes are reflected.

Getting the Right Advice: Unfortunately, there is no guidance when you use an online form. In contrast, an attorney can help you understand your possible options and choose a plan that fits your situation. Estate planning attorneys can also provide tax guidance and detailed counsel in other complicated personal and financial matters.

When Disputes Arise: When a dispute over a decedent’s estate plan arises, the court will favor information that comes from a party that does not benefit from the provisions of the will, such as the attorney. However, if you use an online form, you may not be able to take advantage of this privilege.

Keeping Your Documentation Safe: Anyone can find and throw an online form away. Conversely, an attorney will keep a copy of your estate planning documents.


Drafting an estate plan involves several complicated procedures. As a result, it is never advisable to navigate the estate planning process on your own without proper guidance. Therefore, when considering creating your estate plan, consulting with an experienced California estate planning attorney is crucial to review your available options and decide the ideal plan that best fits your unique needs.

Attorney Esther C. Wang and Jason Oei have devoted their careers to providing knowledgeable guidance to clients in the legal matters of estate planning, including wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and advanced health care directives. As your legal counsel, they can:

  • Evaluate your unique circumstances and enlighten you about your possible options.

  • Determine the right estate planning options that best suit your unique needs.

  • Help draw up a comprehensive will or set up a detailed trust.

  • Establish personalized power of attorney documents that protect your finances, property, and legal affairs.

  • Evaluate your assets and craft a strategic, long-term plan to protect your estate.

  • Create an advanced health care directive that indicates your exact medical wishes.

Contact The Elder & Disability Law Firm, APC today to schedule a one-on-one consultation with experienced estate planning attorneys. Attorney Esther C. Wang can offer you the experienced legal guidance and reliable advocacy you need to navigate key decisions in your estate planning. The firm proudly serves clients across Southern California, including Riverside, Palm Springs, Redlands, and Rancho Cucamonga.