Creating a will with LawAssure
August 01, 2022
Gleaner members can rely on LawAssure to build a will and other documents.
A will is one of several extremely important documents that every adult should establish. If you die without a will, individual state law dictates how your property and other assets are divided. It might pick someone you didn’t want to handle your estate, and even which people will be placed in charge of your children. Your survivors could be left with lengthy court proceedings, sometimes causing conflicts that tear families apart.
It may be expensive and time consuming to hire an attorney, so Gleaner Life offers members another option for drafting a basic will. LawAssure, a complimentary online member benefit, provides a step-by-step service to create your will at your pace according to your wishes. The service also can be used to collaborate with others in the process, and to securely store your documents when you are finished.
To get started, log in online to your Member Portal. This can be done several ways including from a bookmark or from the “My Account” tab on the gleanerlife.org home page. You can find LawAssure listed on the left side of your Member Portal home page beneath “My Arbor,” “My Certificates,” and “Give and Grow program”; or go to the link located on Gleaner’s LawAssure page www.gleanerlife.org/lawassure.
When you arrive at www.gleanerlife.org/member-dashboard/lawassure, you’ll find a blue button located halfway down the page labeled “Start using LawAssure today!” Clicking on it will take you to LawAssure’s secure “Welcome to LawAssure” page where you can choose “Will Writing” at the top of the options listed. Clicking on “See our services” will begin the process of creating or amending a will. (You also can create a funeral directive, which details your wishes about your funeral services, whether you’d prefer to be buried or cremated, where your remains will be placed, how your funeral will be paid for, and similar issues.)
The LawAssure program will first ask for your state of residence. This enables your state’s specific legal standards to be applied. It also will ask your marital status, address, etc. From there it will begin filling in your answers to a questionnaire about your property, retirement accounts, and other assets. It will be handy to already have such a list available, but you can compile these as you go since your will can be saved in progress and finished over time.
As you fill out your will questionnaire, notes will be available to explain legal terms such as a “marital property” or “residuary estate.” Notes also provide guidance. For example, the program will note that the advice of professionals should be sought for complicated estates and tax strategies.
Depending on your state’s standards, other steps may include naming a personal representative and successor personal representative to deal with matters regarding your estate; possibly including a pet provision; donations to charity; distribution of personal property; distribution of real property; any cash bequests; handling of intangible personal property (stocks, bonds, copyrights, etc.); possible cancellation of certain debts owed to you; your residuary estate; transfers to dependent minors; guardians for minor children or dependents; and possible inclusion of a “no-contest” clause. Instructions also are given for what to do with your will after you have it printed.
Your will is securely saved along with any other documents you prepare using LawAssure. These include not only wills but also power of attorney, trusts, advance directives and more. As circumstances change, you can update these documents.
Completing a personal will is not just important for carrying out our wishes. It also helps shield those we leave behind from unexpected chores, costly delays, and potential conflicts at a particularly difficult time. Providing LawAssure is another way that Gleaner Life protects our families.