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Predictions For Personal Finance
More Americans Will Be Writing Their Last Will And Testaments Online
Even before coronavirus, most of us weren’t keen on spending hours (and thousands of dollars) to sit in a lawyer’s office in order to designate simple but important things like who should watch our kids if we were no longer here. Fabric was already at the leading edge of online will creation, with more than 50,000 people drafting a will through our free online service. I expect the trend toward online estate planning to continue picking up speed. Greater access to estate planning services means that more families will gain peace of mind—and since 3 in 5 U.S. adults don’t have a will, that’s a big deal.
States' Recognition Of Digital Signatures Will Accelerate
Previously, the vast majority of states required paper-and-ink signatures to make a will legally binding, whether you created it online or not. But as Covid cases spike throughout the country, more and more states are recognizing that people should be able to get their estate in order while remaining socially distanced. Utah enacted the Electronic Wills Act, and Nevada, Indiana, Arizona and Florida have passed laws authorizing electronic wills. I expect this trend to continue and accelerate due to current events; New York and Connecticut issued executive orders allowing for temporary electronic notarization or execution of wills due to Covid. California, the District of Columbia, New Hampshire, Texas and Virginia have all considered e-will legislation, and I expect more states will follow.
Life Insurance Health Exams Will Become A Thing Of The Past
The old way of applying for life insurance involved an in-person health exam, in which a medical professional came to your home or office. Of course, inviting strangers into your home can pose challenges during the pandemic. The technology already exists to assess risk accurately through digital information. That means that the majority of applicants may be able to receive a final decision on life insurance underwriting without an exam. With this “accelerated underwriting,” you can apply online and could be approved for a policy instantly, without a health exam, at the same price as if you had taken a full health exam. Even after the pandemic lifts, I predict that consumers will continue to fully expect this new level of convenience.