Life is unexpected. When there is an order to who comes into the world, there is not any for who leaves. We spend our days working, investing, and creating with little to no thought towards managing and distributing our wealth. While allowing ourselves to ponder over our inevitable demise is on no one’s agenda, it is crucial to plan ahead and take care of your wealth posthumously.
In the past, people tasked with carrying out wills wouldn’t do so as instructed. Family members would bribe lawyers to have the wills of their deceased enacted in their favor. But with advances in technology, the process of your having your wishes carried out has become a lot easier, convenient – and above all – safe.
Estate planning refers to the handling of your wealth, making preparations in advance to provide your loved ones with instructions on dealing with your assets. It is a bunch of legal documents that serve as rubrics in case of an untimely or expected demise or in the case of incapacitation.
Much of the stress of creating an estate plan has been removed with the advent of the internet and smart technology. Regardless of age, everybody should have a digital estate planning checklist at the ready. Fortunately, the internet makes estate planning easier – find out how below.
5 Ways the Internet Makes Estate Planning Simpler
- Choosing between life insurance policies is now easy
We have all had that annoying phone call where a telemarketer tried to sell us an insurance policy. But independently choosing a policy can be intimidating. The internet comes into play here and can save the day for you. There are several sources online that can help you with your unanswered questions. Get your research game on, and you can quickly learn that a term life insurance policy is not permanent, lasting for around thirty years and a whole life policy is its opposite – albeit more expensive.
This is just one example of what a search engine can do for you. It’s the age of self-learning, and to get the upper hand in things, you will have to learn independently. So, for your estate planning, the insurance policy that suits you best is only a search result away.
But be careful. You can look up reviews, too, for the policy you are interested in. Online reviews help with decision-making.
- Everything is in one place – no need to track it all down
It can be quite problematic for dying people or the deceased’s next of kin to track down important documentation when they need it the most. This is more difficult when there isn’t a plan in place. Even the most adept at organizing might not have been very organized, trying to gather all necessary documentation. The relatives of the deceased will need these documents to transfer whatever the deceased requested to whomever. Websites like aftersteps.com, or afternote.com, help you store all the information you need in one place.
This will make it easier for your heirs to manage your assets. Should you want your social media accounts memorialized, that can also be done.
- Guidance is now a few keystrokes away
The internet can do more than merely provide you with a digital archive. Think of it as your ultimate companion. Are you sure you haven’t overlooked anything? Other websites, besides those we mentioned, help you leave notes for non-financials.
Say you have pets. With the eventuality of time, if you become weighed down with disabilities, how would you like your loved ones to take care of them? Everplans.com comes in handy for this. Also, with mywonderfullife.com, you can plan your own funeral.
- It saves you a lot of money down the road
Lawyers are expensive. Also, you cannot expect them to hold their end of the bargain when you are not around. A last will and testament alone can cost you up to $1000. However, handling it yourself – that is, online – will save you money. Certain programs and software charge you only $30 to have a digital will created.
We would not recommend a completely DIY approach, however. You will still need to consult an attorney if your digital will has any loopholes that can be contested. Also, if you own a business, a digital will is not the solution to all your estate planning.
- It comes without the hassle
You are trying to distribute, or give away, your life’s earnings, savings, and everything you have accomplished to your loved ones. This is not easily done. There are several variables you will need to consider, like who is your next of kin and whether your intended beneficiary has children or other needs after your demise.
Keeping a physical record of these things can become problematic to use later on. But when you have everything available to you and those involved online, information can be accessed easily. For example, if your attorney wants to take a look at your final will but needs access to some records they don’t physically have on them, they can go online and do so.
It is the age of the digital. If you are an older boomer, do not worry about the uncertainties you think you may face when interacting with the internet. Rest assured, your assets are safe, and there is no better way you can do this. As for younger people with a farsighted approach, you’ve never been more comfortable with the internet. Estate planning is an important affair – this does not mean that you can go by the book. If the internet can simplify estate planning, why not go for it? After all, do we not all aim to simplify our lives?