Estate planning is an essential part of life that everyone should consider. However, there are now multiple ways to create legally valid estate planning documents. Two popular options are online wills and living trusts.
In this article, we will explore the differences between these two options. We’ll help you determine which is the right choice for you.
Estate planning is a critical aspect of life that everyone should consider. It ensures that your final wishes are respected and loved ones are cared for.
There are lots of things to consider in making wills. Such as Joint will, lasting legacy, the cost of it. Maybe there can be additional costs or if it can be done in a fixed price. That is why your will should be authored by a reputable law firm. They can make it a straightforward process.
For other things about will, like bank accounts and special gifts inclusion talk to Chamberlains.
Specifics of online wills
Here are some specific advantages of using online wills:
Online wills are legally valid in Australia, provided that they are created and executed correctly. However, it is essential to ensure that your online will complies with all legal requirements to avoid any issues in the future.
Online wills provide clear instructions on how to complete the process, which makes it easy to follow. This helps to avoid any errors or misunderstandings during the process.
The process of creating an online will is straightforward and does not require any legal expertise. However, it is crucial to ensure that you understand the legal implications of the document you are creating.
Online wills allow you to specify specific gifts, such as bank accounts and funeral services, and provide instructions on how you would like your final wishes to be carried out.
Limitations of online wills
While online wills offer many advantages, there are also some limitations that you should be aware of. Here are some limitations of online wills:
Lack of legal advice
When creating an online will, you do not receive any legal advice. This means that you may not be aware of all the legal implications of the decisions you are making. If you have a complex estate, it is essential to seek legal advice to ensure that your final wishes are carried out correctly.
Not suitable for complex estates
Online wills may not be suitable for complex estates. If you have a large estate or multiple assets, it may be best to seek legal advice to ensure that your final wishes are carried out correctly.
No testamentary capacity assessment
Online wills do not assess testamentary capacity, which means that there is no way to determine if the person creating the will has the mental capacity to make important decisions.
How living trusts work
Unlike online wills, living trusts are created while the grantor is still alive. The grantor transfers ownership of their assets to a trust, with themselves as the trustee and beneficiary during their lifetime. Upon their death, a designated successor trustee takes over management of the trust and distribution of assets according to the grantor’s wishes.
Advantages of living trusts
Avoidance of probate
Like online wills, living trusts allow for the distribution of assets to beneficiaries after death. However, living trusts avoid the need for probate, which can be a lengthy and costly process. The assets held in the trust are not subject to probate, and the successor trustee can distribute them without court involvement.
Living trusts offer more flexibility than online wills in terms of managing assets during the grantor’s lifetime. The grantor can easily add or remove assets from the trust as needed, and make changes to the terms of the trust.
Living trusts are private documents and are not subject to public record. This means that the details of the trust and its assets are not available to the general public.
Specifics of living trusts
Living trusts are a legally sound way to transfer assets to beneficiaries after death. They are governed by state laws and can provide a solid legal framework for the distribution of assets.
Creating a living trust requires the assistance of an experienced estate planning attorney. These attorneys can ensure that the trust is created and administered in a legally sound manner, and can provide advice on the best way to structure the trust.
Creating a living trust is generally more expensive than creating an online will. The costs associated with a living trust include legal fees, fees for transferring assets into the trust, and ongoing administrative costs.
Limitations of living trusts
More expensive than online wills
As mentioned, living trusts can be more expensive to create and maintain than online wills. The additional costs associated with living trusts may not be necessary for individuals with smaller estates or less complex estate planning needs.
More complex than online wills
Living trusts can be more complex to create and manage than online wills. The grantor must transfer ownership of assets into the trust, and ensure that any newly acquired assets are also included in the trust. Additionally, the grantor must name a successor trustee and ensure that they are prepared to manage the trust after their death.
Potential lack of control for the grantor
While living trusts offer more flexibility than online wills, the grantor may lose some control over their assets during their lifetime. Assets held in the trust are technically owned by the trust, and the grantor may need to seek approval from the trustee before making certain decisions.
Choosing Between Online Wills and Living Trusts
When deciding between online wills and living trusts, several factors should be considered:
Estate size and complexity
Individuals with larger or more complex estates may benefit from a living trust, as it can provide a more solid legal framework for the distribution of assets. However, those with smaller estates may find that an online will is sufficient for their needs.
Individuals with concerns about their mental capacity or ability to make decisions may benefit from a living trust, as it can provide more protection against challenges to the validity of the document.
Control and flexibility
Individuals who prioritize control and flexibility over the distribution of their assets may prefer a living trust, as it allows for more management of assets during their lifetime.
When to choose an online will
An online will can be a great choice for those who have a relatively straightforward estate and do not need a lot of customizations. Online wills are also suitable for people who do not have the financial means to pay for a more expensive estate planning option like a living trust.
When to choose a living trust.
A living trust is ideal for those who have a more complex estate and need more control over their assets during their lifetime and after death. A living trust is also a good option for those who want to ensure their estate avoids probate and want more privacy for their estate.
If you have minor children, specific gifts or funeral instructions, a living trust might be the best option for you. However, it’s important to consult an experienced estate planning attorney to determine the best option for your unique situation.
When it comes to choosing between an online will and a living trust, there are many factors to consider. Online wills are a cost-effective and easy process, while living trusts can provide more detailed instructions and asset protection. Both options are legally valid if executed correctly.
Ultimately, the decision comes down to your individual circumstances and preferences. It is important to consult with an attorney to ensure that your legal documents are legally sound and valid. A legal professional can provide guidance on which option is right for you.
If you’re worrying about your funeral service, or other to do list, you can consider them too. When filling the online form with clear instructions, you can add anything. It is usually a simple process.
If anything is not clear, you can contact the service provider for further information. You can decide it with traditional lawyers. Just have the right testamentary capacity. Wills are legal documents that can cover lots of things. Especially, if it is planned by expert lawyers.