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The best living trust software will be structured enough to guide you through the process while also allowing you to create a highly personalized document. There are several things you should consider when trying to choose software for making a living trust. Among the considerations are your legal background, if any; how well the software lets you customize your living trust; the customer support offered; and whether the software will help you create a living trust that complies with all of the legal requirements in your area.
First consider your level of expertise before you choose your software. Legal professionals generally use living trust software to save time. People with no legal background tend to use the software so they can save money on attorney fees.
If you are using the software to save money, make sure that a living trust is what you need. Living trusts are used to designate a trustee to disburse or manage property after a person dies. The key difference between a will and a living trust is how the property is handled after death. Also, a living trust usually does not need to go through a court proceeding, as a will does.
After you decide that a living trust is right for you, make sure that the software you select will allow you to design the document you need. If you are in doubt, talk to a customer service representative from the software company. Also ask about any return policies if the software is defective or does not work in the way you intended.
Make sure that the software you choose meets all legal requirements, which can vary depending on where you live. You also can check online to compare some sample documents produced by various living trust software programs. You should do this to check for uniformity in how the documents are designed and the language that is used. The software you choose should provide the correct legal terminology so that it will hold up in court, if necessary.
It also is a good idea to choose software that offers some form of email or online technical support. Some software even includes tutorials and tips on how to use the software. Make sure to choose living trust software that is easy to understand if you do not have a legal background.
First off, I don't much care for lawyers. I was one until I grew up and got a real job. Still, there are times when it is a very good idea to consult a lawyer.
Putting together a living trust is one of those times.
Why? If you have enough money to consider setting up one so that your assets will pass on to heirs without the complications of probate and avoid some estate taxes, you can afford a lawyer to put together a trust that will meet your needs. Also, good attorneys will give you a free consultation to you can determine what your needs are, what the advantages are of various estate plans, etc.
Of course, it's your money, but do you want to leave something as important as estate planning up to a piece of "one size fits all" software?
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