Writing a will might not be the most fun or appealing thing to do, but it’s always a good idea to have one written in case anything were to happen to you. You should write a will to ensure that your assets will be given to the people you wish to have it, should you pass away. However, we understand that most people likely won’t want to go through a lengthy, expensive process to create their will. That’s why today, we’re going to tell you about how you can create your will yourself, online.
Reasons you might need a will
- You want to make sure your assets go to specific people in the event of your death.
- You want to name someone to look after your children in the event of your death.
- You want to name someone who will be in charge of making sure your property is distributed to the people you wished to get it.
Note that if the total value of your property is higher than the amount for federal tax exemption, you should consult a lawyer to help you create your will.
Before you get started choosing a service, we’ve got some tips for you to make the process much easier.
4 tips to creating your will online
1. Have all of your important information ready and organized before you begin.
It’s a good idea to have all of your personal, legal, and financial information prepared before you start drafting your will. You’ll need all of this information to include in your document, so take some time to gather all the information you need and organize it before you get started.
2. Determine the assets that are legally yours to distribute in your will.
Take your time figuring out what assets you legally own (properties, vehicles, etc.), that you can distribute among the heir(s) in your will. Make sure you know everything you need to include in your will so that you don’t leave out anything important.
3. Select an executor to your will before you start.
Choose the person you’d like to execute all of your wishes as outlined in your will. For most people, the executor of their will is their spouse, a close friend, or a family member. Let this person know that you will be naming them as your executor before you begin creating your will.
4. Think of any possible situations that could occur so you can plan for them before they happen.
Try to think about all of the possible situations that could result in different outcomes regarding your will. For example, if anything were to happen to your spouse, who would be the next heir to whatever assets you planned to leave to your spouse? Keep things like this in mind when you begin the process of drafting your will. This will not only reduce the likelihood of your heir(s) losing out on some of your assets, but it can prevent you from needing to re-do your will in the future if something were to happen to the people listed in your will.
Now that we’ve given you some information about things you need to know before you start writing your will, let’s go over some will-creating services that you can use to make your own will online.
7 services to use to create your own will online
LegalZoom is a company that provides legal documents online, including living trusts and wills. For creating your will, LegalZoom has a few different pricing options that you can choose from depending on your needs. Their basic package is $69, but they also have two other packages with more features, like advice from one of their attorney consultants. LegalZoom customer support specialists can be reached by phone 7 days a week, so you can get help if you need it. We should also mention that LegalZoom’s average customer rating is 4.7/5, which we think is awesome!
2. Rocket Lawyer
Rocket Lawyer is another legal technology company like LegalZoom that has been around since 2008. They offer all kinds of legal services, including estate plans, wills, legal documentation review, and more. Rocket Lawyer also offers a legal consultation service to help customers determine what type of documents and services they require. Rocket Lawyer can help you build your will document, save it, print it, and legalize it. They have monthly or yearly subscription plans starting at $39.95/month, but they also offer free 1-week trials of their services.
Do Your Own Will is an online will creating service that you can use for free. They’ll walk you through the steps of creating your will, then you can download and save your document as a PDF (.pdf) or a Word document (.docx) file. The will that you can create for free with this site covers most possible situations, but if you need to add complex details to your will, this service might not be right for your needs. Also, this website does not provide legal advice or answer any legal questions, so you should keep that in mind as well, as it may be better suited to those with a relatively good understanding of how wills work. However, it is a good option if you’re looking for a service that will help you create a basic will for free.
Law Depot is another service that you can use to create your own will. They have different options for will templates depending on where you live (so that the document meets the legal requirements of your area), and all you need to do is answer a few questions, then download and print your document. Their service is available in Canada, the USA, the UK, and Australia. Their system is simple and easy, and they claim you can be done within 10 minutes. Something to keep in mind though is that Law Depot is not their own law firm, and they cannot provide legal advice, just the documents themselves.
Law Depot has a few different subscription options available: a basic plan where you pay a certain price per document, or a pro membership for $71.88/year or $33/month where you can create and download as many documents as you want. Law Depot also offers a free 1-week trial that gives you access to all of their documents for one week – this is a great option if you just want to create your will and don’t care to have access to all their other legal documents afterwards.
5. Quicken WillMaker 2017
Quicken WillMaker is software that you can download to create your own will. The software costs $54.99 and provides you with all of the documents you need for an estate plan, including your will, financial power of attorney, health care directive, and more. You’ll also get the added benefit of having a lawyer edit and review your document to ensure that it meets the legal requirements for where you live. You can even use Quicken WillMaker to give someone authority over your social media accounts, online bank accounts, and other digital assets.
LegacyWriter is another will-creating service that will help you create your own will at home. They also offer other legal documents, like bills of sale, rental agreements, and more. You can register for one of their basic accounts completely free, but you’ll have to pay for each legal document you want to download. If you want unlimited access to legal documents as well as additional services (like document storage and attorney services), you can sign up for their TotalLegal plan for $9.95/month. Also, LegacyWriter has a 30-day money back guarantee, so you’re covered if you’re not satisfied with your purchase.
7. US Legal Wills
USLegalWills.com partners with American lawyers to provide their customers with services to create their own legal documents. You can use their service to create your own last will and testament, living will, and power of attorney documents. They offer lawyer-approved services that are quick and simple to use – they say you can complete your will within 20 minutes of beginning to use their service. USLegalWills doesn’t have any automatic subscriptions, so you don’t have to worry about monthly payments. You just need to pay for each legal document you create. You can view their pricing here.
Now that we’ve gone over seven different services you can use to create your will online, here are a few things you should check over once you’ve finished preparing your will.
5 things to do when you’re done creating your will
1. Add any special requests or stipulations.
If any of your assets are being left to an heir with a condition (that they have to finish college first, for example), be sure all of the necessary information has been included. Add in any other additional information that you feel is important.
2. Make sure everything is finalized (signatures, witnesses, etc.).
Once you’ve finished creating your will and reviewed it to ensure all the information is there, sign the documents and have a witness (like your spouse) sign where necessary as well. Without the necessary signatures, your document won’t be considered legal.
3. Ensure your will meets the legal standards of your area.
Do some research to make sure that the will you’ve created has all of the necessary information, signatures, etc. that your area requires in order for it to be considered a genuine legal document.
4. If you have concerns, consult a lawyer to review your documents.
If you have any legal questions or if you want to make sure that your will meets all the requirements for the place where you live, speak with a lawyer to discuss your questions. Meeting with a lawyer is the only way you can truly 100% guarantee that you have everything in order, legally speaking.
5. Review your will annually, and ensure everything in it is still applicable.
Every year after creating your will, be sure to go over it to make sure that all the information is up-to-date. If there are any necessary changes, update your will to reflect the new information.
That’s what we have about how to create your own will online, at home. We hope these tips and recommendations are of help to you!