What can be done to make estate planning less complicated?

What can be done to make estate planning less complicated?


Jennifer Mcgee


Updated on  

March 17, 2023

4 mins


In a survey conducted by Forbes magazine, 1000 people were interviewed about how prepared they are if something were to happen to them. About 50% of these people replied that they were highly unprepared. 

One of the most common reasons people claim that they avoid planning for the future, especially estate planning, is that it's too complicated, and they don't have the time or the resources to do it. 

Estate planning can be a time-consuming task, especially if you have no idea where to begin or have no support or guidance. But there are several ways to make estate planning easier, especially a step-wise approach as such: 

‍1. Research:

Doing basic research on the internet can give you an overview of what estate planning entails. Your research doesn't have to be extensive, just enough for you to have an idea about what you have to do.

You can read research about making a Last Will and Testament and Estate planning 101 through online blogs, watch YouTube videos, or simply ask friends who might have some experience in it. 

You should also look at the advantages and the disadvantages of making a living Will and Trust and try to see what suits your lifestyle better. Research is about exploring all the possible ideas available and then choosing the perfect one for you and your family. 

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2. Planning:

After you have gathered basic information about your estate and finances, the next step is to do the planning. You do not have to go into heavy details because most people, like us, do not have a complicated estate. 

Your Estate Plan can be divided into these two parts, the What and the Whom:

The What 

It will include making a list of all your assets and estate and looking at your past and investments, financial affairs, and status. This can also include jewelry, cars, and any other item that you consider valuable. This list will help you know the details of your financial history and how to distribute them among your loved ones.

The Whom 

After making a basic list of your assets and estate, the next step is to think about the people. This will include who you want to name as your beneficiaries and how you wish to divide your estate if you have multiple children. 

You should also think of people who will be the guardians of your children, in case of an untimely death of both; you and your spouse. If you have pets, you can think of loved ones who would take care of your pets, after you. 

Talking with your Family

The most important step of all is to talk to your family. Estate planning aims to secure a safe future for your family. You are doing estate planning to live a stress-free life with your loved ones. 

When you are making decisions for their future, make sure to include their opinions in it. Talk to your partner or spouse about how you want to set up your will or estate. You can learn more about how to talk about estate planning with your partner. 

Also, keep them informed about where you will be safekeeping all the official documents. Having the original copies of the last will and testament makes it easier for your loved ones, to get what you wished for them.

In case of emergencies, make sure to keep a list of your emails and passwords in a place that is accessible to your partner.

This can be easily achieved with the help of a digital vault.

Creating an estate plan:

Now that you have a basic structure in your mind, you can start going through the official process of estate planning. 

1. Getting an attorney 

You can go to an attorney, but it is a tedious task. Attorneys get paid by the hour and can be expensive and time-consuming. If you don't have a complicated estate, you do not necessarily require an estate planning attorney.

2. Using online platforms

You can use websites to make an online will and testament. This is a modern DIY way to go through the estate planning process.

Creating a Will online is simpler and more efficient, especially if you do not have a complicated estate. It is also budget-friendly and completely legal. You can create a Will and trust online, customized to your personal needs and demands.

While going through the process, you will have experts to help and guide you and answer any questions you might have. If you have any complications, you will be connected to attorneys as well. 

All you need to do is:

1. Sign in

2. Answer a few simple questions

3. Your Estate planning documents are ready to download.

Estate planning may look like a complex process, but it can be broken down into easier steps. The best way to go through it is to start the process. After all, we all want our family and loved ones to have a secure, stress-free life even when we are no longer with them. So, create an online will now and secure your family's future!

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can I write down my wishes and consider them a legal will?

Several states do not allow a self-written will unless you've followed the requirements. It would always be better to create a legal will by following all your state rules.

Can my last will and testament be oral?

Only a few states consider an oral will legal only if it follows the rules. You would have to fulfill some criteria the state sets to be eligible to make an oral will. However, you shouldn't risk this to chance and create a solid, legal will on paper.

Do I need to have a certain amount of money to make a will?

No, there's no minimum limit of money you need to have to make your last will. It would dispose of any assets you leave to the beneficiaries.

Can I decide who would look after my minor children in my will?

Yes, you should name a person as the guardian of your children in your will. It would help avoid any hassles, and they could look after your kids after you pass away.

Do I need a lawyer to make my last will and testament?

There's generally no need to get a lawyer to make your will. You could use an online platform and easily make it within minutes. Only some special cases, like complex family relations, may require you to consult an attorney.
Jennifer Mcgee
Parent to five young children. Estate Planning, Probate, and Family Law Attorney. Volunteer with Victim’s Advocates in the local sheriff's department...
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Jennifer Mcgree
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