Wills & Trusts, Inc. a Charleston-area developer of online legal and estate planning documents, on Monday launched a website (www.willsandtrustsinc.com), that enables legally-binding estate planning documents such as wills, trusts and powers of attorney to be created quickly and cost-effectively.
The site guides users through an easy, step-by-step process to complete a certified will or trust with prices starting from $79. All plans include healthcare power of attorney, a living will, financial power of attorney, and memorial instructions.
The company, which began operations six months ago and now offers certified documents binding in all 50 US states, is offering a 50% discount during the month of September to those working on the front lines of the Covid-19 pandemic including teachers, school staff and administrators, healthcare professionals, firefighters and police officers.
The Covid-19 crisis has increased awareness of the value and importance of financial planning, yet studies show the use of basic estate planning tools are becoming less prevalent overall. Caring.com estimates that the number of American adults with a will or another type of estate planning document decreased by nearly 25% since 2017. Its study showed that 78% of millennials (ages 18-36) and 64% of Generation X (ages 37 to 52) do not have a will. Another survey showed that more than half of the 1,100 respondents do not have any estate planning documentation.
“There are many misconceptions out there about estate plans and one of the biggest is that you have to be wealthy to have one,” said Mike Fleck, founder of Wills and Trusts Inc. “Nothing could be farther from the truth. In fact, when a person dies without a will, it can force families into lengthy and costly probate proceedings. If there are not a lot of assets to be distributed this is especially damaging and justifies the importance of having final wishes set out in advance. Putting in place estate planning is protection for your family and security for the future – something so important more now than ever.”
Factors such as costs, complexity, confusing jargon and lack of knowledge are causing people to put off or avoid estate planning altogether. Wills & Trust, Inc. is trying to change these statistics and provide a way to achieve financial security and peace of mind in these uncertain times. In addition to distributing any assets or wealth upon the passing of an individual, estate plans can also be used for:
- Distributing family keepsakes, other personal items
- Preparing for long-term health care needs
- Designating guardians for minor children and dependent grandchildren
- Making arrangements for funeral services and final wishes
- Taking into consideration current inheritance tax rules and other changes
“Our current environment underscores the importance of planning, especially around finances,” Fleck continued. “Teachers and first-responders to the Covid crisis are especially at risk, which is why we are offering a special 50% discount to those working on the front lines of the pandemic. We encourage everyone working in education and healthcare along with firefighters and police officers to take us up on this offer.”
The THANKYOU50 offer is available to anyone working in a school, hospital and police/fire department and provides a 50% discount off of all plans on the site. Users will need to register during the month of September.
With guidance on the right type of end-of-life planning document each person should consider and practical descriptions of important legal guidelines, willsandtrustsinc.com, removes the legal jargon and confusing terms that prevent many people from moving forward with estate planning. It provides a common-sense guide to how to think about creating the legal documents needed to secure assets, protect love ones and ensure all health care wishes are clearly stated.
One thing none of us like to think about is what happens after we die. As uncomfortable as this is – it is better to plan for it than leave it to fate. The Will and Trusts website analyzes the cost of dying without a will or trust (intestacy) vs. having one’s wishes legally documented. Other topics covered on the site include:
- The difference between a will and a trust
- Who to choose for a trustee, an executor, healthcare power of attorney and financial power of attorney – and why
- Why you need a living will
- What to think about if you have children
To learn more, the site offers a free estate planning guide.