Author Topic: Online wills  (Read 1781 times)

bittheory

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Online wills
« on: December 27, 2015, 08:54:01 PM »
Hello fellow mustachians. My wife and I have made it a goal to figure out our financial and living wills before the end of the year. That might not happen, but why not try, right? I do have this entire week off, so it's a mini-goal before Friday.

Google can only give me so much relevant information about making a proper will exclusively online, which was my goal. Has anyone used an online and/or software will maker? What did you use? How was the experience?

I was hoping to do this for free, but it looks like it might be worth it to pay for the right service. Any suggestions or where to look or general advice or guidance about creating a simple, yet legally sound will is much appreciated.

Indexer

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Re: Online wills
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2015, 09:24:29 PM »
If your net worth is 10k and you have very similar requests an online will is probably fine.

If your net worth is north of 500k, and/or you want to make sure young beneficiaries are taken care of, or you have specific things you want in your living will... it might be worth a few grand to get it right.

Normally I'm all for the low cost/free option, but this isn't something you can fix after the fact and a simple easy to overlook mistake could cost tens of thousands of dollars. There are things that belong in a will, and there are situations that need trusts established.

For some things a well written trust, proper beneficiaries, and power of attorneys are better than a will. Actually let me take that a step further. If you have everything titled right, and you have a very well written trust then a financial will becomes almost pointless. Most financial assets and real estate are normally better off passing through beneficiary/POD designations or a trust rather than a will. This is especially true for tax deferred retirement accounts(you want beneficiaries) and real estate owned in a state other than the state you live in(you probably want a trust). If you have a good trust and proper titling on accounts then by the time they read your will all that will be left is who gets your TV and furniture.

Living will is still pretty important.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2015, 09:26:14 PM by Indexer »

bittheory

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Re: Online wills
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2015, 08:35:30 AM »
If your net worth is 10k and you have very similar requests an online will is probably fine.

If your net worth is north of 500k, and/or you want to make sure young beneficiaries are taken care of, or you have specific things you want in your living will... it might be worth a few grand to get it right.

Normally I'm all for the low cost/free option, but this isn't something you can fix after the fact and a simple easy to overlook mistake could cost tens of thousands of dollars. There are things that belong in a will, and there are situations that need trusts established.

For some things a well written trust, proper beneficiaries, and power of attorneys are better than a will. Actually let me take that a step further. If you have everything titled right, and you have a very well written trust then a financial will becomes almost pointless. Most financial assets and real estate are normally better off passing through beneficiary/POD designations or a trust rather than a will. This is especially true for tax deferred retirement accounts(you want beneficiaries) and real estate owned in a state other than the state you live in(you probably want a trust). If you have a good trust and proper titling on accounts then by the time they read your will all that will be left is who gets your TV and furniture.

Living will is still pretty important.

Our net worth is approx $450K. We own two real estate properties: a rental home and our primary residence. Most of our net worth is in equity of the homes. The rest is tax-deferred retirement accounts, a taxable brokerage account, online savings, vehicles, etc. Sounds like a trust would be a better choice for us, as well as a living will for medical reasons.

Any advice on where to seek out that well-written trust?

MgoSam

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Re: Online wills
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2015, 08:39:01 AM »
Following this as well. My will should be fairly simple as outside of my personal residence, my net worth is in index funds and bank accounts, and I don't have any bequests, my money currently will go to my family, but I do want to get a living will just in case. I'm not too worried about getting a living will, but I would hate to let anything destroy family relationships. I have also told my parents that I think it would be best for them to get one as well.

Indexer

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Re: Online wills
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2015, 07:34:16 PM »
If your net worth is 10k and you have very similar requests an online will is probably fine.

If your net worth is north of 500k, and/or you want to make sure young beneficiaries are taken care of, or you have specific things you want in your living will... it might be worth a few grand to get it right.

Normally I'm all for the low cost/free option, but this isn't something you can fix after the fact and a simple easy to overlook mistake could cost tens of thousands of dollars. There are things that belong in a will, and there are situations that need trusts established.

For some things a well written trust, proper beneficiaries, and power of attorneys are better than a will. Actually let me take that a step further. If you have everything titled right, and you have a very well written trust then a financial will becomes almost pointless. Most financial assets and real estate are normally better off passing through beneficiary/POD designations or a trust rather than a will. This is especially true for tax deferred retirement accounts(you want beneficiaries) and real estate owned in a state other than the state you live in(you probably want a trust). If you have a good trust and proper titling on accounts then by the time they read your will all that will be left is who gets your TV and furniture.

Living will is still pretty important.

Our net worth is approx $450K. We own two real estate properties: a rental home and our primary residence. Most of our net worth is in equity of the homes. The rest is tax-deferred retirement accounts, a taxable brokerage account, online savings, vehicles, etc. Sounds like a trust would be a better choice for us, as well as a living will for medical reasons.

Any advice on where to seek out that well-written trust?

If you have a CPA I would ask them if they have anyone they could refer you to. Local CPAs, CFPs, and attorneys normally have seen each other's work enough to know who does good work and who doesn't. Outside of that attorneys that specialize in living wills are normally a good place to start.