Does estate planning sound like something stuffy old rich people do? Well, they certainly do–but estate planning should be something everyone’s on top of. Nobody needs to have a sprawling mansion, millions in the bank or greedy heirs to manage to benefit from this document. Estate planning simply makes things easier on loved ones when a person is diagnosed with a terminal illness, incapacitated or recently passed. Here are 4 easy 21st century solutions to getting that estate well planned.
1. Go to a Pro
For many people, going to estate planning attorneys in San Diego or anywhere else is still a favorite option. A lot of people want to discuss their needs, desires and fears in person, and that’s still a viable option. There are many affordable attorneys specializing in estate planning, and this is nearly a must for those with tricky real estate.
2. The Online Route
There are many software programs available for estate planning, but they’re not all created equal. If a document is free, it’s probably very basic–and sometimes that’s okay. However, paying a small fee for a document or a membership with a legal document site can make a big difference. Oftentimes, paid software comes with live support including help from lawyers or paralegals.
3. The Freebie
There’s technically no rule of what an estate plan needs to look like. The only requirement is that it’s notarized and signed by all applicable parties. Technically, an estate plan can be penned on a napkin if that’s what works. While this isn’t very orthodox, it’s still legal. No matter how a person plans their estate, the most important thing is to make wishes as clear as possible. If a potential heir wants to, they can fight even the most iron-clad of documents–which is why having a professional attend to things is a smart move.
4. Don’t Forget Social Media
Increasingly common is including social media in estate planning. What happens if a person passes and their Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or other social media accounts are still up? It’s a good idea to legally put down passwords, email log info and other online accounts while assigning one person to manage them. It’s not something many people think about, but it’s getting increasingly important.
No matter what route or details a person wants to take and include with estate planning, there’s no better time than today to start. Otherwise, there might be a lot of confusion and family drama over an ill-written estate plan–or no plan at all.