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Inside Iowa State, a newspaper for faculty and staff, is published by the Office of University Relations.

Nov. 21, 2008

You have will power

by Paula Van Brocklin

Been putting off writing a will? With Iowa State's free, online will-preparation service through ARAG Insurance Co. and Principal Financial Group, there are no more excuses.

Last year, Iowa State partnered with the insurance companies to help employees conveniently prepare wills and other legal documents. You can create a living will, healthcare power of attorney and financial power of attorney. There also are resources to help you combat identity theft. And if you already have a will filed with an attorney, you still may want to check out the web site for helpful articles on estate planning and other legal resources.

Who's eligible?

To use this service, employees must have life insurance through the university. Life insurance coverage is optional for university employees. Double-check your benefits to see if you're eligible.

How it works

Creating legal documents through this service is relatively simple. Go to the web site and register (be sure to include the university's group policy number -- N1460 -- where it's requested). Once you're signed up, you'll answer a series of questions with helpful prompts that define terms and provide examples.

If you're unable to finish the questionnaire in one visit, you can come back anytime and pick up where you left off. When you're finished, print it. Be sure to follow the instructions on how to make the document legal. If your personal situation changes, you may alter your existing online document to reflect the changes.

While the wills created through the ARAG web site are legitimate, they should not replace a will you already have established or the services of an attorney.

"We would not encourage the use of the online services in lieu of any current legal documents employees have in place with attorneys," said Mike Otis, associate director of human resource services. "Many of our employees may have complex tax or estate issues that may require specialized legal assistance.

"These are meant to be very basic," he said. "It provides basic services to help protect you and your loved ones."


"These are meant to be very basic. It provides basic services to help protect you and your loved ones."

-- Mike Otis