It is not something most people want to think about, but everyone needs a will. Preparing a will ensures that your wishes are carried out after your death. In most states, if you do not have a will and you die, your property is given to your children. If you do not have children, the state will decide what happens to your property. If you have young children, the state would decide what happens to them, if you don't have a legal will. You could pay a lawyer a good fee to do this, but there are several online programs that will work just as well. Still, it is important to check out different ones to see which one will work best for your situation. The top three online programs are Quicken, Law Depot and Legal Zoom. Ask the following questions when pursuing the best options for online will preparation.
If I don't have much money or property, do I still need a will?
Yes, because even a small amount of property must be transferred to someone when you die. If there is no will, there is no way to determine who should get the property.
Would property not default to a spouse anyway?
In some states perhaps, but not in all states. In some states, the children must also receive a share of your property, which would complicate matters greatly.
What protection does a will offer?
A will is a legal document that says who you want your property transferred to when you pass away. If this is not in place, there may be other people trying to make a claim in your estate. This could be distant relatives or even a bill collector. It protects the property from a lot of frivolous claims that could keep it tied up in court a long time.
Why could a person not just write a will out on a piece of paper?
A person could do this, and it may or may not work. There are many laws that must be considered, and to make it legal, a legal document is often more binding than a handwritten note. Legal documents take into consideration all the state and federal laws and make it absolutely clear what you wish to have done with your estate.
What is the advantage of doing a will online?
For one thing, it is generally cheaper than hiring a lawyer. While a lawyer could give you extra advice and that would cost even more. The online programs have the same legal documents that lawyers have, so what you are filling out is not any different than what you would get from a lawyer.
What makes Quicken a good choice for drafting a will?
Quicken will maker has all the documents, just like it has for tax preparation. You can do a complete estate planning with this software. A person could also do a living will or power of attorney. It has step by step instructions as well and is one of the easiest programs to use. You may print out documents and get them signed for a complete project. Quicken also has the most comprehensive collection of documents.
What makes Legal Zoom a good option for making a will?
The program uses interview style questions to help you through the step by step instructions. The cost is not terribly high, but you have to pay extra for power of attorney, It also provides worksheets to help you keep track of what you have entered to that point. One bonus is the tech support. You may get help by phone, which no other program offers.
Why is Law Depot a good resource for creating a will?
Law Depot may be the best value for the money. You can get a one-week free trial to do all your documents. You may then subscribe or pay for the documents you have prepared. You may save documents as a word or a PDF file. It is also compatible with Mac, and not all of these programs are.