I Decided to Make a Will and it was Pretty Easy

I Decided to Make a Will and it was Pretty Easy

So I made a will and it was pretty easyA Will and Estate Plan

Or in fancier words: I made an Estate Plan. And I’m happy to report it wasn’t that hard to do.

Listen, I don’t like hard things. I like simplifying everything in my life. Therefore, I decided I would create a Will and Estate Plan all by myself because that sounded like the simple thing to do. How hard could it be? I’m sure people do it every day. Reason being, I have some cash in the bank and investments in retirement plans and since I’m a control freak I would like to dictate where my money goes if I go prematurely. 

At first, I thought I just wanted to make a Will. But after some quick Googling, I realized there is a lot more that goes into preparing for your untimely passing than just a Will. This is what mature adults call an “Estate Plan”. No, you don’t have to own property to make an Estate Plan. The Estate Plan includes things like instructions about your healthcare, choosing who will handle your money, care for your pets, and more.

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What’s in an Estate Plan? It’s basically a collection of adult documents.

>> Will: dictates where your assets go & assign guardians for kids and pets
>> Financial Power of Attorney: chooses someone to handle your finances
>> Healthcare Directive: instructions for your health care if you are not able to decide for yourself
>> Letter of Intent for Final Arrangements: any notes you have about body disposal, memorial, or funeral
>> Instructions for your digital assets like social media and online passwords
>> Beneficiary forms for your bank account & retirement plans 
>> Living Trust: later in life you may consider a Living Trust which enables loved ones to avoid probate court but is a bit more involved and costly (I’m going to pass on this for now!)

All this sounds very lawyer-y. Buuuuut I don’t have a lawyer. So I decided to make my Estate Plan the millennial way! ON THE INTERNET.

After some more Googling I found online and mobile options for making an Estate Plan:

1. Downloadable Software: Quicken’s Willmaker software that you download to your computer
2. Subscription Model: such as RocketLawyer with access to on-call attorneys
3. Online Software: Legalzoom.com or Lawdepot.com 
4. Free Options: FreeWill.com or MeetFabric.com or DoYourOwnWill.com
5. Mobile Apps: there are even app options like Tomorrow if you hate computers

Most of these follow a Q&A type format where you answer questions and it generates the documents for you. The bummer is that most of these services charge you to make revisions to your will later. I mean, you’re GOING to want to make changes at some point in your life. What if you buy property? Have kids? Get married? Many life events will change how you decide your Will and guardianships.

So I made a Will!

I decided to use Quicken’s Willmaker due to the many features, ease of use, and unlimited revisions. I bought the “Willmaker Plus 2020” edition to make sure the software was as up-to-date as possible. I bought a Mac download on Nolo.com for $53.99 after a 40% off Labor Day coupon. (They seem to have coupons running often!)

Quicken willmaker plus 2020 how to make a will the easy way

I didn’t choose Legalzoom due to the large upfront cost and I didn’t choose the free options as I felt they weren’t extremely easy to understand and didn’t have many features. I am confident that $53.99 is a good price for an Estate Plan beginner. (Don’t be fooled by the Willmaker name- this has many documents of an Estate Plan included in the cost).

I’m happy to report that Quicken’s Willmaker it was very easy to use. If you have ever used Quicken’s TurboTax, then you will have no problem using this software. You begin the process by answering a quiz, which suggests which documents you should make. Willmaker chose 3 for me: a Will, Durable Power of Attorney for Finances, and a Health Care Directive. It took me about 1.5 hours to complete the 3 documents. The hard part was not creating the materials, but rather, decided what I wanted to put in them. I hadn’t seriously thought about many of these issues until now. The good news is I can always change it later. 

Now I gotta get some witnesses and sign these to make them legal! Willmaker carefully explains what to do with the documents after you generate them. They each have different signature instructions and some require signature with a Notary Public. (I can’t elaborate here because I haven’t gotten to signatures yet!)

Now my question for you…

Do YOU have a Will or Estate Plan? I’m guessing it’s a 50/50 chance. I’m assuming that folks with kids have gone through this process, and those without kids have not.

Prove me wrong, I dare you. Go!

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