3 Reasons to Use a Will Preparation Service
Do you have a will? Only 56 percent of Americans do, even though every person could benefit by having one.1 It’s important to recognize how important wills are for estate planning and preparing loved ones for the future. These legal documents let you share your property and belongings in the event of your death and help answer key questions about your assets.
How will your possessions be split between your children and spouse? Who will inherit the family farm or house? Who will your life insurance policies and annuities be passed to? Wills can also help speed up the distribution of your assets in court − the process known as probate, after your death. Without a will, you have less control over which of your loved ones receive your assets, and probate can take much longer.
How to Create a Will
So how do you create a will? There are three main ways: doing it yourself, hiring an attorney or using a will preparation service. Doing it yourself may seem simple, but there is a lot to consider because wills aren’t standalone documents. There are last wills, which distribute your assets after death. There are living wills, which detail your wishes regarding medical treatment in case you are unable to provide consent. There is power of attorney, which gives another person power to represent you legally. It’s a lot to handle!
Will preparation services can simplify this complicated legal process for you. Will preparation servicesare available online to help prepare wills. You simply sign up, log in, answer a series of questions, and then your will is ready to print. After printing, you will need to get your will notarized. This ensures that it is just as legal as it would be if you used an attorney.
Consider these additional ways a will preparation service can help:
1. Save money
- Creating a will on your own can be challenging and hiring an attorney on your own can get pricey. Costs for using an attorney for a will can range from $150-$600, plus hourly charges for any extra time needed.2 With a will preparation service, your costs are clear and often lower.
2. Take the hassle out of doing it yourself
- Will preparation services make it as simple as question-and-answer. The service handles the state-specific requirements and legal items, while you focus on what is important to you.
3. Get everything done all at once
- Will preparation services often include all of the documents needed, including last wills, living wills and power of attorney. Will preparation services assist you in each step and keep you from facing all that had work on your own.
Other Important Will Preparation Considerations
Prepare yourself for tough decisions
- Regardless of how you are creating your will, mentally prepare to answer tough questions. Wills aren’t a pleasant thing to think about, but the protection they offer your loved ones is often worth it.
Once it’s created, the work isn’t done
- Even after your will is created, there is still work to be done updating your will. Review your will every few years or as often as you experience major life changes. If you become a grandparent, you’ll want to make sure to include your new grandchild. If you purchase new assets, like a new home, your will should reflect that.
With 24/7 access and the ability to update information at any time, using an online will preparation servicecan be one of the simplest and most cost-effective ways to help ensure you or your employees have planned for the future.
Consult with a professional tax and/or legal advisor before taking any action that may have tax or legal consequences.
1Gallup (May 18, 2016). Web page: Majority in U.S. Do Not Have a Will. Retrieved April 17, 2018, from http://news.gallup.com/poll/191651/majority-not.aspx
2LegalZoom. Web page: The Average Cost of Making a Will. Retrieved April 17, 2018, from http://info.legalzoom.com/average-cost-making-20354.html