Smarter Will Blog
Want to understand the world of estate planning better? We’re here to help. Here is some of the latest news in the industry that we think you should pay attention to.
Should I Make a Will? Six Q&As to Help You Decide September 1st, 2010
The New York Times Blog featured a great post last week. Entitled, “Getting a Will: Six Common Questions,” it supports the over-riding question that we've been addressing for month: Should I make a will? In case you're still filled with more questions than answers, the post may address some of your own concerns, including:
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How to Write a Will: 4 Simple Rules August 25th, 2010
So you know you should write a will, but you're just not sure how to write a will, right? Wonder no longer. Here are some simple instructions, whether you use Smarter Will™ or not.
How to Write a Will, Rule #1: Get Help
Resist the urge to download the forms and do it all yourself. You may be able to successfully structure a business on your own, but your will is different. Why? When you write a will, you may never know if you completed it correctly. It’s your family who will have to sort it all out, after you’re gone. (With a business structure, you’re sure to know after a tax season or two.) So make the decision to A) visit a law firm or B) use an attorney-reviewed service online (of course, we’d be remiss if we didn’t recommend Smarter Will for Illinois residents). If you prefer the online route, be sure that the documents will be reviewed by an actual licensed attorney. A “legal review” or “copy review” is not the same thing.
After “I Do”: Critical Legal Documents For Your New Spouse August 4th, 2010
The champagne's been corked and the doves delivered back to their cages. It's time to complete some basic legal forms between you and your brand new spouse.
We're talking about basic estate planning documents: basic last will, living will, powers of attorney, and HIPAA authorization forms. What's the point, you ask? Why do you need these forms if your spouse is now legally obligated to make these decisions and inherit your “fortune” anyway? We're glad you asked!
Choppy Waters For Do-It-Yourself Wills June 16th, 2010
When we first entertained the idea of providing online wills and medical directives, we took a close look at do-it-yourself wills at LegalZoom™ because they seemed to be the industry leader. What we quickly discovered is that LegalZoom wouldn't be an apples-to-apples competitor of ours, whether the general public realized it or not. That's because LegalZoom isn't a law firm; it's a document delivery service. Not sure what the difference is? Neither are a handful of consumers in Missouri who decided to start a class action law suit against the company a few months ago.
Top Five Excuses For Not Having a Last Will May 26th, 2010
We know that getting a last will seems about as fun as getting a root canal (people remind us of that all the time). And we know it seems about as appealing/relevant to us Gen Xers as reruns of The Lawrence Welk Show. But age does not matter; wealth does not matter; whether you have children or not does not matter: we all need to grow up and get a will.