Help Center

What's different about EstateBee?

1. EstateBee puts its customers first.

2. If you are not satisfied with our service for any reason, please contact us and we’ll correct the situation.

3. EstateBee has been developed by expert lawyers with vast estate planning experience.

4. EstateBee has been providing online estate planning documents since 2000. We were one of the first companies in the world to do this.

5. Our online documents and legal forms contain advanced provisions that are not found in simple “do-it-yourself” forms or in most other online software.

6. We don’t simply provide you with a fill-in-the-blank type form and send you off to sign it. We provide you with products that contain a vast degree of information to educate you on what you need to consider when creating legal documents. These products come in the form of books, legal kits and legal software with inbuilt help manuals.

7. EstateBee allows you to take control of your estate planning affairs without ever leaving the comfort of your home or office.

8. With EstateBee, you can save hundreds of dollars compared to the rates that an attorney and even some other websites would normally charge for preparing your legal documents.

9. The information you provide to us is kept private and confidential and NEVER sold or passed on to third parties.

10. We ensure that all your personal and banking details are kept in a secure environment. All document creation and financial transactions take place behind a secure sockets layers server (HTTPS) – this is the same encryption technology used by banks and other financial institutions.

Is EstateBee’s service suitable for me?

Although the documents produced by EstateBee are applicable for most cases, there are circumstances where it is advisable to seek specific legal advice. You should consult a lawyer if you:

•  are a resident of Louisiana (our documents are not suitable for use in Louisiana).

•  are involved in a matrimonial dispute or wish to disinherit your spouse.

•  have a history of mental illness or the question of your mental capacity is likely be raised in objection to the legal documents you create.

•  own personal property or real estate in multiple countries.

•  have complicated business investments.

•  have a high net worth.

•  have a large, complex estate and feel that you would benefit from some advice on estate planning and tax reduction.

This list is not exhaustive, and if you have any concerns you should consult with an attorney. Also, feel free to ask us – we’re here to help you make the right decision. 🙂

Do you offer legal advice?

No. we don’t. We’re not a law firm and we don’t offer legal or any other advice.

In our products and articles, we try to provide readers with an overview of the laws in a specific area. While this overview is often general in nature, it provides a good starting point for those wishing to carry out a more detailed review of a topic. However, unlike an attorney advising a client, we cannot cover every conceivable eventuality that might affect our readers. Within the intended scope of these products and articles, we can only cover some of the principal areas in a given topic, and even where we cover these areas, we can still only do so to a moderate extent.

We try to present useful information and documents that can be used by an average reader with little or no legal knowledge. While our sample documents can be used in most cases, everybody’s personal circumstances are different. As such, they may not be suitable for everyone. You may have personal circumstances which might impact the effectiveness of these documents or even your desire to use them. The reality is that without engaging an attorney to review your personal circumstances, this risk will always exist.

If you are in any doubt as to whether the documents available via this site (whether they are in books, kits or otherwise) are suitable for use in your particular circumstances, you should contact a suitably qualified attorney for advice before using them.

Is my information safe?

Yes. All your information is 100% safe – or as safe as it can be. 🙂

All our payments and all online document creation take place behind a secure socket layers server (HTTPS). This is the same type of encryption technology used by banks and leading financial institutions to protect customer data and information. For further information, see our privacy policy.

Are documents valid in all U.S. States?

Yes, all of our documents have been individually tailored to be valid in every state. The only exception to this is Louisiana and our documents do not cater for this state.

What if I am not satisfied with my purchase?

Believe it or not, in 20 years, we have received only two complaints about the quality of our products.  That’s not a bad result given the quantity of products we sold 🙂  However, what if you do have a problem?

Firstly, if you experience any problems with our products or service, please feel free to contact us. Our team is on standby and ready to assist you.

Secondly, we’ll do everything we can to address any concerns you have.  We’re good people who pride ourselves on our customer service. We’d only love to show you why 🙂

Thirdly, if you are unhappy with the manner in which we have handled your complaint, you can contact Paypal. One of the main reasons we choose to work with Paypal is because  they offer an independent dispute resolution process. That gives our customers added confidence, comfort and peace of mind.

The Paypal service provides you with an independent and impartial determination of any disputes that you may have with us. If Paypal makes a determination in your favour, your monies will be returned to you. It’s as simple as that……

Last Will & Testaments - Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Will?

A will is a legal document that allows you to set out who you want your possessions to go to in the event of your death. In order for your Will to be legally valid, the law sets out certain legal requirements in relation to the wording, witnessing and signing of wills that must be complied with. If you don’t comply with these rules, then your will could be invalid.

For more information, read our article: What is a Last Will & Testament.

Can I make a Will?

You can make a Will if you have attained the age of majority in your state, or are married, or are in the army or navy, and are of sound disposing mind.

For more information on making a valid will, read our article: How to Make a Valid Last Will & Testament

Should I make a Will?

The simple answer is yes. A will allows you to decide how your property will be divided after your death by means of a clear legal document. It allows you to provide for your family, relatives and friends in a meaningful way. It also allows you to provide for the special needs of family members and, in some cases, reduce tax. If you were to die without making a will the rules of intestacy would apply to determine who would receive your property. This may result in your property being divided in way that you would not have wished for.

For more information, read our articles: Why Make a Last Will and Testament? and Why It’s Important to Make a Will.

When do I need to make my Will?

The simple answer is now. No matter how young or old you are, you will undoubtedly have some valuable or sentimental possessions which you would like to give to certain people. To ensure your wishes are carried out, you need to make a Will. If you don’t make a Will, the laws of intestacy will dictate how your possessions are divided, and you wishes will not be taken into account.

As an added benefit, by having a will and letting your family know your wishes, you’ll help reduce the difficulties that your family might experience when winding up your affairs.

What if I don't make a Will?

If you don’t make a will, state law will determine how your assets are distributed among your ‘heirs’ and even who looks after any children you have.

The law doesn’t take your wishes into account. Your possessions will be distributed in accordance with strict rules and perhaps not to the people you would have liked to benefit.

Similarly, the court will appoint the people who it believes are best placed to care for your children as their guardians. These may not be people you would have approved of. The court will, however, have full regard to any nominations you make in your will. So, it’s very important to name guardians in your will.

For more information, read our article: Intestacy and What Happens If You Don’t Make a Will?

What should I do once I decide to make a Will?

The first thing to do is make a full list of all your assets and liabilities. Our Estate Planning Worksheet can help you in that respect. Secondly, and most importantly, you should carefully choose the persons whom you wish to act as executors of your Will. Finally, you need to decide whom you would like to benefit under your Will. You will need to consider the age, position in life, financial means etc. of the proposed beneficiaries.

For more information about online wills, read our article: How to Make an Online Will

How long will it take to make my Will?

This really depends on the complexity of your will. If you are leaving everything to one person, and you have no other dependants or family members, particularly from previous marriages, your will could be very simple and quick to create, perhaps taking just a few minutes.

Alternatively, if you wish to make a variety of gifts, the process will require a great deal more thought and consideration, and as such takes longer.

However, the whole process should take no longer than 15 minutes.

Are DIY Wills Safe?

No, not always. ‘Home-made’ wills runs the risk of being value and not making sense, or not having been validly signed and witnessed. Even in the simplest of situations, its easy to be vague and leave room for doubt or misinterpretation. If there is doubt as to your intentions, the court may render a potential gift under your will void for uncertainty.

If you are going to prepare a home-made will, then make sure to use services such as EstateBee. We ensure our will forms are clear, up-to-date and legal. We also go to great lengths to ensure we give clear and precise instructions on how to complete your will, and how to sign it and have it witnesses. Better still, we have an expert team here to help you if you need assistance. We’re pretty sure Google doesn’t give you access to a real live estate planning team 🙂

For more information about online wills, read our article: How to Make an Online Will


Who should be my Executor?

This is an extremely important decision as the role of executor is often unpaid and the duties that go with the role are often demanding.

It is important that the executor is someone you know and trust, and has a reasonable knowledge of your affairs. This is to avoid the possibility of  assets going un-traced and beneficiaries losing out.

People often choose family members as executor since they tend to have a very detailed and intimate knowledge of the will maker’s affairs. Many people also appoint their lawyer as a second executor since their lawyer will also often have information about their affairs and will be able to provide assistance and advice to the other executor when dealing with probate.

Beneficiaries are often appointed as executors.

Generally speaking, executors should be trustworthy and capable, and you should have confidence in their ability to carry out your wishes as expressed in your Will. They should also have a thorough knowledge of your affairs or be able to form that knowledge by reviewing papers and asking questions.

If you make a gift to a minor under your will, your executor may also be asked to act as a trustee of that gift until the minor reaches the age of majority in their estate or such other age at which he or she can inherit the gift.  Of course, executors and trustees can be different people – but often the same persons perform both roles.

It’s also a good idea to appoint a second executor to covers a situation where one of your executors is unable or unwilling to perform the role. Same applies to the appointment of alternate executors.

For more information, read our article: Should You Be an Executor of a Will? 

Should I appoint Guardians to my Minor Children?

Yes, if you have children under the age of majority, then you should appoint a guardian. You should do this even if your spouse or partner, or their other parent, is still alive. You never know what’s around the corner – so it’s best to be prepared.

A guardian should be someone you know and trust to raise your children, someone who will instil the correct values in your children and ensure they tend to their education. More importantly, it should be someone who is going to love and care for your children in the way you would want.

How often should I review my Will?

Once you make a will,  it’s sensible to review it every two to three years This is because your personal circumstances are always changing and you will need to take account of those changes in your will from time to time. Assets are acquired and disposed of, people die, relationships change, and so on.

You should bear in mind that marriage or the birth of a child can severely alter the legal position or validity of your will. So, it’s worth updating it when a major life event like that happens.

It is not necessary to revoke your will in order to record a change of intention. A simple document known as a ‘Codicil’ can be executed which will record any alteration without the need to change your existing will. For more information on codicils, see out Codicil Kit.

Where should I keep my Will?

It is imperative that your will is kept in a safe place and, where possible, in a fire proof safe. Your executors should be provided with details of its whereabouts so that it can be easily located in the event of your death. Courts tend not to ordinary admit copies of wills to probate, so it’s best to keep the original safe.

Living Wills - Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Living Will?

A Living Will is a legal document that allows you to instruct healthcare providers regarding the use or non-use of certain life-prolonging medical procedures in the event that you become terminally ill or permanently unconscious and unable to communicate your own wishes.

For more information, read our article: What is a Living Will? 


Who Can Make a Living Will?

To make a living will, a person must first be able to understand the purpose for which he is creating the living will and the effect of the living will document he is about to sign. This is the same standard of mental capacity that applies to the making of wills and other contracts.

In order to ensure that a person has sufficient mental capacity to understand the import of the document he is signing, the state imposes minimum requirements on those who can make living wills. For example, the law generally requires that a person must first reach the age of 18 years before they can make a living will or other advance healthcare directive. There are, however, two important exceptions to the above requirements. Firstly, in the states of Alabama and Nebraska a person must be at least 19 year old before they can make a living will. Secondly, Nebraska allows a person under the age of 19 years to make a living will if they are married.

For more information, read our article: Who can Prepare a Living Will?

When do Living Wills come into Effect?

As a general rule, living wills only come into effect if you’re no longer able to make your own healthcare decisions. For example, if you suffer serious brain damage in an accident or suffer an incapacitating stroke, you may be permanently unconscious and unable to communicate your wishes to your doctor. In this case, a living will lets your doctor know your wishes concerning the receipt or non-receipt of certain medical procedures.

The law in the majority of states, and indeed the terms of most living wills, require that one or in some cases two doctors must first personally examine you and agree that you are terminally ill or in a permanent state of unconsciousness before the terms of your living will can be applied. If the doctor or doctors agree that this is the case, then the medical procedures may be withdrawn or applied, depending on the choices expressed in your living will.

For more information, read our article: How Living Wills Work

Do I need a lawyer to prepare a Living Will?

The simple answer to this question is “No, you normally don’t need a lawyer to help you make a Living Will”. However, if you are someone that is not comfortable in preparing your own legal documents or simply don’t understand what Living Wills are all about then you should contact an attorney who will be able to prepare a tailored Living Will for you. Alternately, use one of EstateBee’s products or services.

For those of you that feel confident enough to prepare your own legal documents, making a Living Will can be relatively straight forward. There are numerous self-help legal books on the market which can adequately help you make a Living Will. These books typically give you background information on Living Wills and examples of Living Wills. In fact, many books contain the state approved versions of Living Wills. These are Living Will forms that have been specifically drawn up by the legislator of a state for use in that state. In the majority of cases, these state Living Will forms are offered as samples of the type of Living Will forms that can be used in a state rather than saying that this is the type of Living Will form that must be used.

In addition, there are also a number of websites offering online Living Wills. Online Living Wills are simply Living Wills that can be created online through the use of an interactive online question and answer process. You simply answer some questions about what you would like in your Living Will and the software program prepares a Living Will that suits your specific circumstances.

If you would like to learn more about Living Wills, we have included a number of articles on this website which cover the basic questions asked about Living Wills. Feel free to read them and let us know if you have any more questions. Remember, every good estate plan includes a Living Will!

Living Trusts - Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Living Trust?

A living trust is a trust used for the purpose of avoiding probate. They are fairly easy to set up and simply involve completing and signing a living trust agreement in which you name yourself as both the grantor (the creator of the trust) and the trustee (the manager of the assets transferred into the trust) of the trust. Once the trust is set up, you (as grantor) then transfer some or all your assets to the trust. As trustee, you then take over management of the trust assets. By acting as both grantor and trustee of the trust, you maintain control over the trust assets.

As grantor, you can revoke the living trust at any time and have the assets in the trust immediately transferred back to you in your personal capacity and free from the trust.

For more information, read our article: What is a Revocable Living Trust?

How does a Living Trust work?

In order to create a Living Trust, you need to complete a simple trust agreement. This agreement sets out the rules and regulations of the trust and specifies who will receive the trust assets after you die (just like a Will does). Importantly, it will also appoint you as trustee of the trust. This gives you the ability to control the management of any assets held by the trust.

Once the trust is established, you transfer some or all of your own personal assets into the trust. In turn, as trustee, you take over the management of those assets while they are in the trust. When you die, the trust assets are distributed in accordance with the terms of the trust agreement. As the assets are held in the name of the trust rather than in your personal name, they will not form part of your estate for probate purposes. This is the key advantage to using living trusts.

For more information, read our article: What is a Revocable Living Trust?

What happens if I don’t make a Living Trust?

If you don’t make a Living Trust, there is a risk that your assets will be caught up in the probate process. Probate can cost about 5% of the value of the estate. In addition, many of your assets may be frozen until probate is complete which means that your beneficiaries will not be able to get access to them. A living trust helps you avoid and/or reduce these problems.

What happens when I die or become incapacitated?

Under the terms of your trust agreement, you will name someone to act as your successor trustee. This is the person who takes over the management of your property when you become incapacitated and who is responsible for distributing the trust assets after you die. The successor trustee will manage your assets during any period of capacity in the best interests of the trust and the trustees. One of his or her overriding duties will be to preserve the value of the trust assets. Under the terms of the trust agreement, the successor trustee will have very broad powers to do this.

If you recover from your incapacity, then the successor trustee’s power ordinarily comes to an end and your powers as trustee are restored.  This usually happens automatically in accordance with the terms of the trust agreement.

If I make a Living Trust, do I still need a Will?

Yes you will still need to make a will. A will acts as a backup in case you have not properly transferred all of your property to your living trust. This may occur because the correct documentation has not been completed or simply because you received a new asset shortly before you died and simply didn’t have an opportunity to make the transfer.

Remember, in the absence of having a will, your property held outside of your living trust will be transferred to your heirs under the laws of intestacy. You will have no say in who receives these assets as it is determined by state law.

What’s the easiest way to make a Living Trust?

As you can see from the foregoing questions, Living Trusts are not that complicated and can be easily understood by almost everyone.

When it comes to making a Living Trust, the best result can often be obtained by engaging a lawyer. He or she will be able to ask you the right questions and come up with a Living Trust that best suits your need.

However, time and excessive costs are often a negative factor with lawyers. The next best solution is to make a Living Trust online. In choosing an online Living Trust provider, you should ensure that you select software that has been prepared by lawyers (many are not!!) and that is being sold by a reputable company with estate planning experience.

You should also look for Living Trust making software that includes advanced features like the inclusion of alternate beneficiaries (few pieces of online or offline will making software do), UTMA custodianships and child trusts.

EstateBee’s online Living Trust Writer contains all of the above features and more. It has even been prepared by lawyers and is safe to use.

For more information on making trusts online, read our article: How to Make an Online Living Trust

Powers of Attorney - Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Power of Attorney?

A Power of Attorney is a legal document by which you can appoint and authorize another person (usually a trusted friend, family member, colleague or adviser) to act on your behalf and to legally bind you in that respect.

For more information on powers of attorney read our articles: What is a Power of Attorney? and How to Make a Power of Attorney

What is a Durable Power of Attorney?

A durable power of attorney is a power of attorney that either (i) comes into force when you become incapacitated or (ii) survives your incapacity. Ordinary (non-durable) powers of attorney cease to have effect if you become incapacitated.

For more information on durable powers of attorney, read our article: Planning for Incapacity – Durable Power of Attorney for Finance and Property 

What is a General Power of Attorney?

A general power of attorney is one that is unlimited in scope. If you appoint an agent to act on your behalf under a general power of attorney, he or she can act in relation to all of your legal and financial affairs – usually without limitation.

General powers of attorney can be durable or ordinary (i.e. non-durable).

For more information on powers of attorney read our articles: What is a Power of Attorney? and Planning for Incapacity – Durable Power of Attorney for Finance and Property 

What is a Limited Power of Attorney?

A limited power of attorney is one that is limited in scope. If you appoint an agent to act on your behalf under a limited power of attorney, he or she can only act in relation to the very specific matters identified in your limited power of attorney. This may be as limited as you wish. For example, your agent may only be authorised to close a bank account – and no more. You will be able to specify the exact scope of authority your agent has in your limited power of attorney document.

Limited powers of attorney can be durable or ordinary (i.e. non-durable).

For more information on powers of attorney read our articles: What is a Power of Attorney? and Planning for Incapacity – Durable Power of Attorney for Finance and Property 

Does my Agent need to be an Attorney?

No, your agent can be any person or legal entity you wish. It does not have to be a lawyer or attorney.

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