Online estate planning is increasingly becoming popular in the US. It could change the trend of having a high number of citizens without a will. The process of estate planning helps people to protect their finances, estates, and dependents in the event of their incapacitation or death. This includes drafting a will, determining estate taxes, and picking the executor of the estate. It also means setting a longer-lasting power of attorney (POA) and much more.
According to a recent study, about 55% to 64% Americans have never created even a will. And, about 10% of those who have created one have allowed it to run out of date. This has been linked to mushrooming attorney fees. They make it hard for most families to afford traditional estate planning. Online estate planning has made this process more affordable and convenient for many Americans.
However, there are some things that you should do and not do to ensure you get the best online options.
Dos and Don’ts of Online Estate Planning
Do enough research. It is important to research on what you need to do and the requirements. There are many sources available online. This will allow you to understand the basics of estate planning and the documents you need. In most cases, people require a last will or testament. But, there are other options that you might consider as well. This includes a living will that specifies the medical care you would want to have in case you are in a situation where you cannot communicate your wishes. Besides, there is also a living trust. This places your assets in a trust for you to use in your lifetime. It then transfers them to the beneficiaries of your choice at your death.
Do consult an attorney. It is advisable to seek planning advice from a professional even if you have a relatively simple estate to ensure that you have everything covered. This makes the process of online estate planning smooth. Moreover, there are some potential online options offered by some attorneys.
Do have an estate plan. This makes the process of online estate planning more manageable. Besides, it ensures that you can look for what is right for you.
Don’t use it if you have a complex life situation. Online estate planning is ideal for people with a simple life. Therefore, it is good to avoid them if you have a complicated life situation. For instance, if you have minor children and you own a relatively big estate, you will be subject to estate taxes that may require you to hire an attorney.
Don’t use it if you own a big estate. The online process is not the best for you if you own assets and insurance that exceeds the current tax exemption ($5.45 million per individual for 2016). Therefore, it will be essential to hire a professional who will take you through your options and the way to leave money to your family with minimal estate taxes.
Don’t fail to seek legal advice. It is essential to seek legal advice even if you have a small estate. This is because finding legal information will help you understand what you need to do and if online estate planning will work for your situation.
Call Arizona Estate Attorney Dave Weed at (480)467-4325 to discuss your case today.
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