Estate planning is extremely important for all individuals, no matter their age or the amount of wealth they own, since it enables them to appoint a person, or persons, of their choice to take care of the family in case of incapacitation or demise. By this strategy, an individual leaves behind a written record of his or her wishes and indicates clearly how they are to be fulfilled in case of any untoward incident.
What is estate planning?
The word estate basically implies whatever a person may own. It could be a house, some other property, life insurance, car, or any personal possessions. Once people decide on making an estate planning agreement, they can be rest assured that the burden on their legal heirs, with respect to taxes,transfer of ownership and other assets, will be greatly reduced when they are alive or even after their death. It is pertinent to note here that, in case the beneficiary is below 18 years of age, a guardian needs to be assigned till that person reaches the age of maturity.
In the absence of an estate plan, it is left to the governing authority to determine how the assets that have been left behind are to be allocated. This could result in friends or non-family members staking a claim in the assets ahead of the legitimate members of the family. Further this may lead to endless delays due to litigation and disputes, thereby depriving the right people to get access to the estate at the proper time.
How does it work?
Thankfully, most people these days are aware that a plan needs to be put in place in case of any eventuality, but have no idea on how to go about it. For example, a person staying alone with no children will have a simpler estate plan than a married person with a home and a couple of kids. While the process of estate planning in the two cases will defer, it is important for both to follow it right till the very end in order to bring it to its logical conclusion.
In recent years, a spate of online estate planning providers has emerged that purport services, at an affordable cost, to generate documents on the computer that have the hallmark of those prepared by a professional attorney. While there is no doubt that these services are of great help, the tools provided should be used with some caution. Estate planning is a complex field, but these online planners promote their business by offering document services at a fraction of the cost than if produced by a real-time lawyer.
There are four easy steps to make an online estate plan:
- Fill the form and register
- Answer the questions and pay the retainer fees
- Your attorney will prepare the estate plan
- Review the same with you through online consultation
- Send you the basic estate plan documents in 1-3 hours.
Given the recent attention in the media, a person may ask: ‘Should I make my own Will’? The answer is yes as it is absolutely feasible. Taking the right choice of an online estate planning option will help in resolving all the complex worries that your family may ultimately need to uplift their financial status in case of any accident or untimely death.
The last will or testament can be a complex legal document to prepare, and with legal experts charging over $1000 to prepare one, it comes as no surprise that only about 30% of the people have a will. This is where online will makers have narrowed down the gap by making estate planning easy and affordable by charging anywhere between $25 to $100 to make a will that will ensure your final wishes are carried out to a tee.
The best online estate planner can get you access to over 35 estate planning documents for under $100. These will include apart from the will, a living trust, directions for health care and a general power of attorney in the name of your spouse or anybody else you may choose to make the will for. Many online makers also provide property inheritance documents included in the same charge.
Once all the required documents for your estate planning have been made, it is important to review them each year and incorporate any major change that may have occurred in the family. This could be either a birth, death, marriage, divorce or change in the number of children which could alter the way you want to distribute your wealth. It may feel overwhelming in the beginning, but in the end what’s necessary is that your loved ones will get a peace of mind, with an estate plan in place, when you are not in their midst anymore.