Post Pandemic Estate Planning Companies Are Making Their Headway into the Mainstream

(News AKMI) - The COVID-19 epidemic that shook the world in 2020 (and continues to do so well into 2021) brought a myriad of changes to society. It affected global politics, business and economics. Travel may never be the same again and public health expectations have irrevocably changed.

The Pandemic also forced unprecedented personal changes upon the world’s individuals. Lockdowns curtailed friendships, arguments over masks and vaccines drove wedges between families, and the strain of the pandemic has caused many psychiatrists to warn of a growing global mental health crisis.

The Spectre of Mortality

Both Philosophers and Journalists have commented that perhaps the most significant effect of the pandemic was that it caused many to contemplate their own mortality for the first time in their lives. Let’s be honest, despite its absolute inevitability, death remains a taboo subject and we would simply prefer to never think about it let alone to actively make plans for it! The statistics clearly back this up, less than half of Americans do NOT have a written last will and testament, and of the under 30’s, it is less than 20% . Furthermore, an estimated 48% of Americans do not have any form of life insurance in place. The sad truth is that these very understandable and forgivable oversights often lead to complications and expenses that grieving families then need to deal with.

But, the advent of COVID-19 led to 300k “excess deaths” in the US alone. The increased mortality rate along with the seemingly indiscriminate nature of the pathogen, caused more Americans than ever before to begin taking Estate Planning seriously.

All About Estate Planning

Estate planning is the plan of action for managing an individual’s asset base in the event of their death or incapacitation*. Estate planning includes the bequeathing of assets and belongings to any heirs and the settlement of any outstanding taxes or debts. It can also be expanded to include extra little details such as any special instructions and requests for funeral rites. In a nutshell, when planning their estate, an individual takes the appropriate steps to dictate what should happen to them and their worldly assets following their death.

In the US, Estate Planning is usually done with the assistance of an Estate Attorney in order to avoid any possible oversights, complications or contestations from relatives. Strictly speaking it is possible for an individual to manage their own Estate Planning although this is uncommon and is fraught with risk.

However, many Americans find the costs of Estate Attorneys to be very high. Estate Attorneys charge for advice, for drafting documents and even following their clients death they will usually continue to charge the estate for drafting letters and readings.

The Rise of Online Estate Planning

For this reason, online Estate Planning is rapidly growing in popularity as it can but the costs by up to 80%. Online Estate Planning is a service which offers all of the expertise of an Attorney, in an affordable, online format. Users simply access an Online Estate Planning site, choose which service they want and the provider then takes it from there. Online Planning Estate planning packages come take from minutes to hours to complete depending on the exact service desired and the complexity of the users wishes.

Online Estate Planning agencies can be used to help create a last will and testament, Power of Attorneys (in case you lose your ability to manage your own affairs), as well as Trust Funds.  It is also worth bearing in mind that Estate Planning is not only concerned with death, and Estate Planning also allows individuals to prepare for debilitating illness or loss of mental capacity – with the global rise of Alcheizers, this is more important than ever.

For most people, Online Estate Planning services will prove to be perfectly adequate for their needs. However, for those with particularly large estates or especially acrimonious familial relationships (!), it may well be worth spending the extra money on an Attorney.

How To Find The Best Online Estate Planners?

There are plenty of online estate planning companies out there and finding the best ones can be a challenge. As ever, the top search on Google is not always the best option and it is well worth doing some proper research into the best estate planning companies.

One of the leading Online Estate Planners is Nolo, who provide America’s #1 rated Will Making Software. They currently help nearly 200 families plan for the future every single day.  They offer a very impressive range of services and users can access 35 estate documents from their site including “Last Letters” (ie a goodbye letter to be sent to a friend or relative after your death) and instructions to Care Givers in the case you are rendered unable to look after yourself.

Rocket Lawyer are more akin to an online Lawyer Service and specialise in the more complex, legal points of Estate Planning.  They operate in a number of different countries and are not limited to the US – for this reason they may be a good option for individuals whose assets and relations are scattered across the globe.

In case you are after a more streamlined Estate Planner, then Trust & Will offer 3 basic service packages specialising in Trusts, Wills and Guardianship. Their blog also have a lot of useful articles and live case studies about Estate Planning issues such as estranged relatives contesting Wills.

Before deciding on which Estate Planner to use, it is useful to fully educate yourself about the various end of life and end of capacity scenarios that can befall any of us, and then work out what you like to happen in each of these situations. From there, you can consult an Estate Planning Attorney for a quote or to save serious money check out online estate planning reviews.


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