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7 Things to remember when you choose to do your will online

LilyKing

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You probably know how important it is to ensure that your loved ones are taken care of after your death and that your possessions are distributed as per your wishes, by writing a will. But maybe you still haven’t gotten around to it.

Making an online will is an easy way to get your will written and your loved ones’ futures secure. It is the ideal way to go about writing a will if you have a straightforward estate, with assets that are worth less than estate tax limits. You can even use a will writing template to speed the process up even further and ensure you get that all-important legal terminology right.

Why Write an Online Will?

One of the main advantages of writing an online will is the affordability. The process costs far less than asking a solicitor to draw your will for you.

Another advantage of making an online will is the quick turnaround. Within half an hour, you are able to have a will completed.

Additionally, you may simply be more comfortable having the opportunity to prepare your own will online, yourself rather than involving a third party in the private details of your life.

When you write your online will, you need to make a lot of important decisions. In fact, thinking through  what you want to write in a will is always far harder than drafting the actual document. It is important that you make careful and considered decisions with regards to your assets, children, and property. To make the process easier, this article outlines the things it is vital to think about before you begin the process of making an online will.

1. Appointing guardianship for your children

Most people are prompted to do an online will when they become parents for the first time. In doing so, you are securing the future of your children in the event that you are not around to raise them yourself. When writing the online will, you can nominate a person, also known as a guardian, to take care of your children until they become adults, should they be left without parents at a young age.

When nominating a guardian, the factors you should consider include:

  • Whether the nominee has a good relationship (strong bond) with your child
  • Similarities in your values, lifestyle, and beliefs
  • Whether the guardian has or is planning to have children
  • Whether the nominee is able to take on the role emotionally, physically, and financially

It is necessary to discuss your decisions with the potential guardian before including them in your online will. Also, you need to be careful when appointing co-guardians; you can never predict what will happen in the future.

2. Choosing the Beneficiaries of the Will

Spouses, children, and extended family members are the most common beneficiaries. When you die, it is most likely that you will want your spouse to inherit your assets but it is entirely your decision who they should pass to.

It is, however, important to plan for unexpected scenarios. You and your spouse could die at the same time, or you could be remarried. In such a case, you may wish that your assets from the previous marriage go to your children. It is important to put down these items on your online will so that your wishes are known when you are not around.

Remember to clearly state the property you own, and the property that you share with a partner or any third party.

3. Assets

Think about all your assets and list them, perhaps in categories. It is important to note down the approximate value of property, and to state whether there are any loans or mortgages attached to it.

Where you have a significant asset such as land or a house, identify whether you independently own this asset or whether it is co-owned with other parties. In real estate, if a property is ‘jointly owned,’ the surviving co-owner will automatically acquire the property at the point of your death.

Also, it is recommended that you know the whereabouts of all the certificates and title deeds to your assets. If they are missing, it will be time consuming and expensive to replace them when you pass away.

4. Appointing an Executor

An executor refers to an organisation or an individual who you appoint to carry out your final wishes as outlined in your online will. When you die, the executor is responsible for managing your property and assets.

The executor role should be well thought through; a nominated family member may feel honored, but will need the time and skills to fulfill the role.

It is recommended that you select someone who is a beneficiary to the distributed assets or estate. Having an executor can be a complex process if the person appointed does not having any vested interest in your assets.

In some cases, you might not find anyone who seems fit for the role. In such a case, it is possible to nominate a person who can take care of the role from outside of your family. You can appoint a solicitor for example to act as your executor.

5. Choosing What Share Beneficiaries Receive

Beneficiaries may receive a specific share or specific, differing gifts in your will, or they may receive residuary estates. A residuary estate is any portion of the testator’s estate that is not specifically gifted to someone in the will. Each beneficiary’s share should be expressed as a percentage of your assets or residuary estate.

A person not of age, i.e. a child that is under the age of 18 can still be a beneficiary. However, in case you plan to list a minor as your beneficiary, it remains the role of the executor to administer the assets of the minor in regard to the online will terms.

6. Financial Planner Details and Funeral Instructions

It is important to seek out the up-to-date details of your financial trustees, your financial planner and your accountant. Keep their contact details in a safe place. These details will be needed by your executor to confirm the financial details of the online will.

When preparing your online will, consider your preferred funeral arrangements. This may involve including whether you consider being an organ donor or how your funeral is to be conducted (whether cremated or buried). Make sure you tell your executor or trustees that these wishes are in your will as your will may not be read before your funeral otherwise.

7. Addressing Complex Situations

There may be complexities to your life including disputes within your family, businesses, or complicated financial circumstances. The good news is that your online will can be customised to accommodate all of these. The best way to deal with such uncertainties is by consulting and discussing the circumstances with a solicitor to ensure your wishes are correctly documented.

Common complex circumstances include:

  • Previous divorce or family complexities
  • Possessing a self-managed superannuation fund
  • Supporting a beneficiary with special needs
  • Being a company manager

Conclusion

Choosing an online will has many advantages over paying a solicitor to do it for you, including cost, ease and speed. However it is just as important that you think through all the various important decisions that go into writing an online will in the same way you would with a solicitor-drafted will. Whether you consider a do-it-yourself kit or hire professional assistance, an online will can make circumstances simple for those you love when you die. It is important to keep in touch with your executor and other trustees to ensure that your wishes are known and will be implemented.

Hi. I am Muhammad Mubeen. I am SEO Expat and Wordpress Websites Developer &  Blogger. 27 years old. I help entrepreneurs become go-to in their industry. And, I like helping the next one in line. You can follow my journey on my blog, All Note AbleB2B Guru PlanCross ArticleDj Soft WorldFinance PressHufforbesLife Health Press BusinessStrong ArticleThe Top StoriesUS Update ZoneBusiness TodayScience NewsEssay Writing AcademicElite Guide Health If you need any post so you can email me on my this Email: [email protected]  

Business

Why solicitors charge so much for their services – and what your alternatives are

LilyKing

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Lower and more affordable legal fees have been a hot topic of discussion recently, with many people complaining about the unaffordability of solicitors.

Going to court without a legal representative (known as pro se legal representation) is far from easy or recommended but is becoming the only option for many, and courts are spending increasing amounts of time attempting to help people in these circumstances.

So the question arises, why are solicitors are so expensive? And what are the reasonable and affordable alternatives if you find yourself in the position of needing legal representation, but not being able to afford it?

The reasons why solicitors are expensive:

  • Limited competition. Due to licensing requirements, the number of lawyers is somewhat limited, though this did change as law schools expanded significantly a few years back. There was then a problem with the oversupply of lawyers however and many law graduates found themselves lacking jobs during the recession, so numbers of practising lawyers decreased and competition for places at law schools again increased. Inversely, the fees qualified lawyers could afford to charge as their numbers were restricted, rose, pricing many ordinary would-be clients out of the market altogether.
  • High law school costs. Typically, tuition, board, and living costs for law students are very high. The fees for Law School alone can set you back £9,250 a year and it takes many years of training to become a lawyer and get accepted to the Bar. And things don’t end at passing the Bar exam; a lawyer must invest in keeping updated.
  • The legal work’s value. Usually, legal representatives are essential members of corporations, businesses, governments and nonprofit organisations, and individuals rely on the work that lawyers do during some of the most important times of their lives too. They are highly qualified professionals whose work, for the most part, cannot be done by anyone less qualified.  Since there is so much at stake, people are often more than willing to pay for good representation.
  • Most of the work done by lawyers consumes lots of time: It is imperative for solicitors to take time on clients’ cases in order to do a good job for them. Too much is usually at stake for it to be a rush-job. Lawyers must learn their clients’ goals and situations and the working out individualised plans which will assist their clients in obtaining those goals.. Dependent on the goals and circumstances of the client, achieving results could require huge amounts of time.   Litigations swallow huge time chunks with court appearances, discovery requests as well as depositions.
  • Law firms can be inefficient. Because of the limited nature of the competition, there is often little incentive for lawyers to develop more efficient, cost-saving systems. Legal services delivery could be updated with more investment in state of the art computing systems.

What are the solutions?

For sure, it would very much help if solicitors reduced their fees, but unsurprisingly, most are not keen to see this happen. Therefore here are some options that could make a possible dent in legal services’ costs for those who cannot afford them.

  • Will Writing Templates. When it comes to writing a will these days, there are more options available than ever before. Online will writing services and will writing templates have meant that a service which was once only provided by seeing a solicitor in person at high cost, is now available at low cost or even free online.
  • Pro Bono. Some law firms and law students are prepared to take on a small number of cases ‘pro bono publico’, which is the Latin phrase for professional work undertaken voluntarily, free of charge and in the public good. If you can find a law firm, or group of law students at university who are prepared to use their specific skills to help you win your case, then you have a chance of seeing your case given all the professional attention and legal understanding required to win a case, with no personal cost, which is obviously a fantastic result. However, most pro bono cases are taken on because they are specific types of case. Typically, they are cases where winning would provide an exceptionally important contribution to society, either by helping vulnerable people – families on low incomes for example, or those at risk of being exploited by a much richer or more powerful groups – or by helping charities or international communities whose legal needs would otherwise be left unmet.
  • No Win, No Fee Agreements. Also known as Conditional Fee Agreements, these usually only apply to cases where compensation is being sought but they can offer a great solution to those who wish to pursue legal action but cannot afford legal costs. Under a No Win, No Fee agreement, you only pay your lawyer if your case is won, and only then a limited proportion of the damages awarded to you. In the instance that you lose your case, you are typically not liable to pay anything under these kind of agreements.
  • Limited representation. Some solicitors may be prepared to help clients with paper preparations without going to court to represent them. This could lead to a significant reduction in costs, as court costs are often the most expensive part of legal fee bills, but give you the legal knowledge and understanding you might struggle to get on your own. It is a good compromise if you don’t feel confident doing all the legal work yourself, but cannot afford legal representation in court.
  • Online legal services. Nowadays many firms offer legal services purely online. This has lead to lower cost services which can be the answer to those who need professional legal assistance but are on a low budget.
  • Sliding scales. Other law firms are now experimenting with various charging structures dependent on the income of the clients. Some do these via mentoring and offering office spaces to new lawyers that provide services to clients who have lower incomes. This, in turn, provides a two-way benefit for the new solicitors and the clients. The clients get less costly legal representations while the solicitors get training experience.

Conclusion

The costs of legal fees are still prohibitively high for many people, however there are options available for those who wish to make use of the professional skills of lawyers but cannot afford vast sums of money in costs. Hopefully in the future, more services tailored to those on low budgets will become more available, making the law more accessible for all.

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Business

Best way to raise £100,000 to invest in your start up business

LilyKing

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Raising £100,000 may seem like a daunting task, and you may be wondering where to start, and can it even be done?

 

Well, we’re glad you asked. Yes, you can. To be able to raise 100,000 pounds, all you need is to know is where to look and who to ask. This article will help you with both of those.

 

When you have come up with a start-up business idea and have no capital, you should never give up on your idea. There are plenty of actions you can immediately take to enable you to come up with the capital you require for your idea to come to life.

There are plenty of entrepreneurs in the world who are extremely smart and industrious but failed when it came to getting the start up finance they needed to fund their business plans. These ideas, unfortunately, may die without ever coming to fruition.

You do not have to be like them. By following these tips, you stand a much better chance of being able to raise the money you need to start your business;

Get a bank loan

Most banks are actually quite willing to fund a start-up business by issuing what they call start-up loans.

You must, however, have a solid business plan, and the plan should be structured very well and it must convey things such as profits projections, modus operandi – the way in which you will do the business – and the amount of time by which you are anticipating you will get a full return on your investment.

 

Crowdfunding

This is the process of raising funds online. You do not even need to be tech savvy to be able to use this method. Here is how you crowdfund;

Pre-launch: Prepare a pre-launch campaign with information about your business, and come up with ways in which you will engage people. This should include the social media platforms you shall use for the campaign.

Find a target audience: The key is to identify the right people and recruit them as ambassadors for you. Word of mouth will help you initially to spread the word about your campaign in a budget-friendly and reliable way. If you are able to grasp an audience even before the launch of the campaign, you will have a greater advantage.  You can use platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc., to advertise and get the word out there.

Use Facebook ads: With over 2 billion Facebook users, this is the best platform to market your campaign. Let your ads target a specific audience and ensure to get the maximum number of sign-ups. The beauty of Facebook is that it allows you to target your audience using demographics, gender, age, location, etc., which makes it a great platform for advertising.

Create a newsletter: Statistics show that newsletters are still the no.1 most effective method of getting people to take action. Come up with a newsletter to alert the public or let them know what you are about to do. This will enlighten them on your upcoming campaign and can also be the source of initial sign-ups.  Use any method possible to let the public know.  Nothing is outdated.

Nurture your subscribers:  Once you have your initial subscribers, nurture them into ambassadors. Send them several emails before launching the campaign, and ensure your story is presented and your position valued by each one of them. Go a step further and connect with each of them on a personal level so they understand your story more intimately.

Seek an angel investor

Angel investors are people with plenty of money who are basically willing to invest in new business ideas. This is what you see in the popular TV show Dragon’s Den.

What you need to do is prepare a business plan, and visit the investor with a clear analysis of what you need, how you are going to achieve your goals and the length of time you need to make enough money in order to pay them back.

If your idea is good enough, you may just end up with an investor, but, bear in mind that they will sometimes want to have a share of your company in return for their investment, or they may even decide to buy it outright from you.

Get a loan from a Microfinance Institution:

This is yet another option you have in your hands. The beauty of a microfinance institution is that it offers a much lower interest rate compared to the banks. You may, however, need to become a member of the institution first, and even save some amount of money with them before they will trust you with a loan.

 

If you have some cash at hand, this is a good option.

Seek venture capitalists

Venture capital is a type of funding that is available to new and growing businesses. It comes from venture capitalism firms who specialise in funding new and high-risk business ideas. In this process, the firm will offer start-up loans to new firms in exchange for equity.

It is not always easy to find a venture capitalist who is willing to invest in your business idea, because they ideally look for the next big thing, and as such, many entrepreneurs find themselves bending backward in order to showcase their ideas as bigger than it probably is.

This is also a short-term investment, and the capitalist will want a return on their investment as quickly as possible.

Pursue a grant

You can opt to source funding via a grant from the government. Most governments have money set aside to fund new business ideas. Grants are sums of money for investment that do not need to be repaid. If you are lucky enough to win a grant, it is one of the best ways to raise capital for your new idea.

But the process is normally very long, and the competition is extremely high. The number of people trying to win a grant from the government is many, and the pot of money available usually too little to accommodate everyone, and therefore your chances may be extremely limited.

Conclusion

The above are some of the ideas you can employ in order to source for funds to start your new business, and these methods can even help you to come up with more than £100,000 to fund your new business idea.

If one doesn’t work, do not give up, just try the next one, and the next one, and the next one, until you are able to find what you need to start your company. The key to this process is never giving up, because you may not know exactly what you have in your hands until you try.

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