should i make an online will?
Making a will can be an uncomfortable subject, and it’s one that people tend to avoid thinking about. After all, it’s a reminder that someday we will die– and considering our own mortality just feels like a little much, some days.
However, it’s incredibly important that you make a will; doing so will determine what happens to your property and assets after you pass away. If you don’t have a will, what happens to your assets will be determined by the state you live in.
While your assets will most likely be distributed to your relatives, you won’t have any say in the matter. And if you don’t have any living relatives, your assets will go to the state– not to your friends, other non-related loved ones, or charity.
What exactly is a will?
As a quick refresher, a will is simply a legal document in which you determine what will happen to your property and assets when you pass away.
Thinking that a will is something that only older people should make is a mistake– everyone should make one, especially if you have children or have accumulated assets of any kind. Anyone who is 18 or older can make a will.
What do I need to make a will?
Prior to the process of making a will, it’s helpful to compile some information. You should put together a list of all of your assets. These can include financial assets like money in bank accounts, stocks, bonds, royalties, and any other financial asset you can think of.
You should also include any property, like homes, land, and real estate, that you own (but not property you own jointly with someone else– it will automatically go to them upon your death).
Anything else of value, like cars and jewelry, should also be included.
Where do you make a will?
Typically, people work with a lawyer to write a will. However, there are an increasing number of websites that offer the opportunity to make a will from the comfort of their own home, so many people are opting to create their will online.
Should I make a will online?
You can make a will online– there are a few sites that allow you to enter your information to create a will. The sites that offer them are usually legitimate, and creating a will online typically costs less than hiring an attorney to do so. It’s often true that you get what you pay for, and since there are different laws for wills in every state, you might find that the site you chose to create your will is not legally binding in your state.
However, online wills are best suited for people whose assets aren’t very complicated. If your will is complicated for any number of reasons– say you have properties and assets in multiple states, or own a business– online will makers probably won’t be complex enough to cover your situation.
What’s the best way to make a legally binding will?
The best way to create a legally binding will is to do so through an estate planning attorney, who will help you to create a document that ensures your wishes will be carried out after your death. This means that you can help provide for and protect your family exactly the way that you choose to, with a document that is legally binding in your state.
You should get started with creating a will as soon as possible, and update it every five to ten years to make sure the information still captures your current situation. Having a will in place can make things easier, and keep the peace, for your family and loved ones in the event of your death. If things are clearly laid out, there will be much less arguing about who gets what.