As many New Yorkers may have experienced in life, sometimes it takes a bad situation to make people really think about things and put their lives in perspective. A woman from Seattle, Washington experienced this firsthand after her husband tragically died in a biking accident. Her husband died leaving no legal documents, not even a will. As a result, the mother of two decided to launch a website in order to help others better understand estate planning so that others would not be left in a similar situation.
On top of her grief, the woman suddenly had to deal with a huge legal nightmare. She became overwhelmed with finances, legal issues and probate court while trying to raise two children alone and deal with the loss of her husband. This newfound stress led her to create a website that helps others get their affairs in order.
The website contains checklists and templates designed to help others quickly compile the documents they need. The woman stresses that estate planning is not always the cumbersome and lengthy process that it once was. Now, documents can be downloaded online and a will and other legal documents can be completed in just a few hours.
Everyone - especially baby boomers and the elderly - should start the estate planning process sooner rather than later. It can be very difficult for a family member to handle one's estate after death. There are many assets to go through - finances, accounts, real asset and collections, for example - and most people cannot thoroughly do so without some type of checklist. Not creating an estate plan leaves a mess for surviving family members.
Source: National Public Radio, "From Grief Comes A Mission To Make Estate Planning Less Daunting," March 12, 2013