A simple will can be easy, quick and inexpensive. It makes your wishes known and allows the probate process to run seamlessly. Conversely, not having a will in place puts an unnecessary strain on loved ones.
Creating your will is a great opportunity to leave a gift to the organizations you love.
Most people either never get around to it, or they think they don’t have enough assets to leave to anyone. While you may not have a large estate, a will lets you decide who stands to inherit your property and finances, and it finalizes your last charitable gifts. Creating your will is a great opportunity to leave a gift to the organizations you love.
Among other things, it also can make your wishes clear about who should take care of your children. Decisions like this should not be left in the hands of the state.
There are many options today for how to make a will. The easiest and least costly way is to use one of the growing numbers of online legal services. For many, this do-it-yourself option may be better than not having any will at all. The online provider may offer the option, for a fee, to consult with an independent attorney. Here are several services that have been growing in popularity:
- FreeWill offers a no-charge product made possible by the support of nonprofit organizations. The hope is that people using the service will consider leaving a gift to charity.
- LegalZoom, for example, offers users the option to consult with an independent attorney while using its software. A basic will, without legal advice, costs $69. A bundle that includes advice is $149.
- Rocket Lawyer is a self-help service that runs on a subscription model. Users pay $40 a month for planning software and unlimited access to attorneys.
Another good strategy is first to identify what information you’ll need to generate a will. The Mass General Estate Planning Guide has checklists and helpful tips to start the process. Then you can bring this information to an estate planning attorney to complete the job.
Using a lawyer may cost more, but you truly get what you pay for.
Seeking Peace of Mind
Using a lawyer may cost more, but you truly get what you pay for. Saving a few thousand dollars by not using an attorney may prove more costly if assets are not distributed properly, the will is considered invalid, and/or you need to pay an attorney to fix the original will.
There are many online resources available. But if you would like the peace of mind that these important documents are executed according to your wishes, then hiring an estate planning attorney is your best option. The experienced planned giving team at Mass General can help you start the process.