Free Estate Planning Forms

Free estate planning forms can be found at a number of places online. Of course, none of these websites is a substitute for personal legal advice. However, whether you are preparing for a meeting with an attorney or have decided to prepare your own documents, these sites provide useful information to help you make an informed decision.

Here's a free estate planning questionnaire that you might find helpful to fill out before meeting with your attorney.  He or she may have a similar form for you to fill out.  It's a pdf file so you can download and print it out.  This is a way to be prepared with the information you need prior to seeing the attorney.  You don't want to spend time with the attorney searching for information -- that could get expensive -- if you know what I mean....

Advance Directive (Living Will) Forms

An Advance Directive (sometimes called a Living Will) provides specific instructions regarding your wishes for medical care when you cannot speak for yourself. A properly prepared advance directive should be a written document that reflects your choices. It can be prepared by an attorney, although it does not have to be. We don’t recommend the "checklist" forms, but encourage you to write your wishes after discussing them with your family.

The American Bar Association's (ABA) website has a toolkit that provides basic information about advance directives. Bill Moyer’s PBS special produced a wonderful discussion guide called "On Our Own Terms" that provides some thought-provoking information about available choice and how they should be presented in an Advance Directive.

It is important to remember that each state has its own laws regarding advance directives. Additionally, many states have their own forms. Federal law requires hospitals to provide patients with state specific information regarding advance directives in your state. The Patient Representative or Social Services Department at your local hospital can provide you with this information.

Once you have completed your advance directive, we recommend registering it with the US Living Will Registry. This organization has been electronically storing Advance Directives since 1996 and makes them available to hospitals and health care providers. In addition to making your advance directive available 24/7, this organization sends you a letter each year to update your personal and emergency contact information. Their website Living Will Registry also includes a link to other websites that contain free downloadable advance directive forms for each state.

Free Will Forms

You can find free will forms at Free Will Forms. You must pay $5.95 shipping and handling.

Here is another source for a free sample will form.

If you live in England, Wales, or Northern Ireland, UK Will Forms offers free will forms with every purchase.

Charitable Remainder Trust Forms

Sample forms specific to Charitable Remainder Trusts can be found on the Charitable Trust website. While these are specific to the Renaissance Group, they will give you a feel for the limitless possibilities available in providing a charitable remainder trust.

The Internal Revenue Service has also published two documents that contain useful information if you are considering a charitable trust. Publication 526 Charitable Contributions provides general information and Publication 561 Determining the Value of Donated Property provides information on determining value. Both of these documents can be accessed through the IRS website Pubs 526 and 561.

Estate Planning Hub is always adding estate planning forms -- so check back often.

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--by Beth Heikkinen
Marquette, Michigan
I just want to thank you for this site. It answered my questions. I think many people that do research on the net take it for granted and when they find what they are looking for they forget "someone put time, money, etc into providing me with this information."

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