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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:
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.