Simple Ways to Stop Procrastinating And Get Your Will Written

Written By Mary Beth Eastman
Last updated July 17, 2018

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July 17, 2018

Simple. Thrifty. Living.

No one likes to think about death. Death’s inevitability, however, makes it essential for you to stop procrastinating and get your will written. If you think you lack the willpower or money to have a will written, then you should consider the following options.

There are several websites that will walk you through the process of writing your will. Using a website simplifies the procedure and helps you save money. As long as you don’t have a complicated financial situation that includes multiple properties, investments and large amounts of cash, then you can complete your will online without talking to a lawyer.

Before you can make a will online, you will need:

  • Basic information about yourself, including your name, address, marital status and the names of your children.
  • The name of the person you want to execute your will.
  • A description of your assets.
  • The names of your beneficiary or beneficiaries.
  • Alternative beneficiaries in case your primary ones die.

Hiring a lawyer may cost a little more than using an online service, but you benefit from the oversight of a professional who has written legal documents for hundreds or thousands of other people in your position.

Should you consider estate planning? If you have a large or complicated estate, then you absolutely need a lawyer. Otherwise, your assets may not get distributed in the way that you want. Failing to use a lawyer could also mean that your estate pays more taxes than necessary.

Keep in mind, that the estate tax (also known as the “death tax”) doesn’t usually apply to assets left to spouses. Also, the tax only applies to estates worth more than $11 million. If you have that much money, then there’s no excuse to avoid a lawyer.

If you die without a will, then your estate will be distributed according to the laws of the state you live in. In most cases, your assets will go to your spouse, children, parents or other relatives. Few states offer protections for unmarried couples. You may also wonder whether your kids will inherit your debts, or what happens to your mortgage when you die; researching these questions will put your mind at ease.

Thinking about death may not make you feel good. Knowing how your assets will get distributed after your death, however, can feel like a big relief. Whether you choose to use the internet or hire a lawyer, it’s an important step to make whether you’re 30 or 90 years old.

About the Author

Mary Beth Eastman

Mary Beth Eastman serves as the content manager for Simple. Thrifty. Living, where she is dedicated to helping readers use money and credit wisely. Mary Beth believes that access to the right financial information paired with a growth mindset are essential tools for getting out of debt and building wealth. Mary Beth has a degree in Journalism from Bowling Green State University and has focused her 20-year journalism career on putting readers front and center, carefully considering their concerns and presenting information that will help them in their everyday lives. She has won numerous statewide journalism awards. Her writing on personal finance as been featured on numerous websites in addition to Simple. Thrifty. Living, including Huffington Post and Lexington Law blog. Mary Beth resides in Pittsburgh, Pa., with her family and two rescue dogs.

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