It’s barely disputable that we are among the most privileged humans to have lived. Technology has propelled us like never before and we have never been as lucky to enjoy a world’s library of knowledge at our fingertips. The opportunities for self-education and for self-empowerment are endless, and it is undeniable that our lives have improved in so many ways because of it. In other ways, however, we might question whether we really are better off – or has the inundation of information and choice worked against some of our best interests. I am sure I’m not the first to have noted that.

In law, it’s fairly evident how technology has changed the landscape. In many ways, access to information has had many positive effects. Information to inform us on our rights is invaluable and understanding the law in the context of everyday life and business is important for each and every person. In this respect, self-education has soared and mostly for the better of all. Sometimes, however, it might be prudent to draw a line.

The reality is that the laws of our country have been developed over many years and many nuances have developed. Cases have defined distinctions between the smallest of actions or words, and the result is a wide range of outcomes. Handling your own legal affairs without the help of a professional can be tricky, but more than anything risky.

The ability to write your own will, for example, has become one of these sensitive areas. As lawyers we are challenged because we know how important it is for each adult, and more importantly parents, to have a will and an estate plan. With many people preferring to take their legal affairs in their own hands we question – is any will better than no will? The answer to that is challenging. First, because most of the time mistakes that are made in a will are not generally discovered until after death. This makes unravelling the problem exponentially more challenging and almost always much more costly. Wills that are incorrectly witnessed or executed could be a complete waste of time and money, while knowing the many topics to address is often completely neglected. Complex family structures and tools to plan for the blended family, forget about it.  So much is left on the table.

When it comes to legacy planning, such as writing your will, there are many areas to address. First, it’s important to know that the activity is also a financial activity. It involves understanding your assets and how they are treated. It’s also an emotional planning activity. I very often advise my clients of this fundamentally important factor. Each decision will have a financial impact but there is also an important emotional impact. Emotional impacts create legacies, and they also create conflicts. Conflicts make for sour legacies and costly ones at that. Usually not our idea of the best use of the law.

While I touch on this for legacy and estate planning, the same can be true for so many other areas of law. As tempting as it is to truly hail in the age of technology as the solver of so many access to law problems, when it comes to really important things, such as your life, your family, or your business,  I’d have to say the risk might just be too high for my liking.

Besides, what’s the point when you might be leaving a problem behind and not a solution?

Sometimes delegating to professionals is much more of a bang for your buck than you might first consider.