Friday, August 01, 2008

Websites on Estate & Financial Planning

Forbes magazine offered a "Best of the Web Directory" in 2005 that included a section on "Estate Planning" websites; and those listings remain useful for consumers seeking orientation on basic estate and financial planning concepts.

The listings by Forbes were comprehensive as to consumer topics:

[Y]ou can find more than 3,000 sites reviewed by Best of The Web, each selected according to five criteria: Content, Design, Speed, Navigation and Customization.
In prefacing the "Estate Planning" list of websites, Forbes representative Leigh Gallagher explained why consumers might benefit from reviewing them:
It's never too early to start planning for your legacy. But if you haven't started yet, the Web offers more resources than ever to learn the basics and to keep up with ever changing estate planning laws.

We all have to go someday -- but being prepared can make a world of difference for those you leave behind.
These are the estate planning websites recommended by Forbes:
Another Forbes representative, Nikhil Hutheesing, produced a separate, slightly longer, distinct list of websites on the related topic of "Financial Planning" described as follows:

There is a giant bulge of Boomers now beginning to realize that they are closer to retirement age than they would like to be.

Many are turning to financial planners, but the first thing these Web savvy workaholics typically do is see if they can help themselves by going online.

The sites below all cater to self-directed investors wanting to take control of their financial health. Some of the sites also offer referrals to advisers or have made their best services available only through advisers.

There are a few holdouts that provide a wide range of tools and assessment -- for a fee in most cases -- but most financial planning sites just provide articles, conveniences like bill payment programs, and simple calculators.

That list of fifteen websites providing information about financial planning can be found here.

Both these topical listings were cataloged under a broader heading of
"Personal Finance & Careers" that contained other interesting topics, such as 401(k) Advice, Financial Calculators, Legal Advice, Life Insurance, Mortgages, and Tax Planning. And then there was my favorite: Time Management.

Keeping in mind the passage of time since the selections, and the self-interest or promotional messages
interwoven by some of the vendors into their posted materials, nevertheless the vendor and association websites selected by Forbes still offer considerable resources for consumers today.