On the list of things you’ve been meaning to do but haven’t gotten around to, “Make a will” has probably been there for a while.
Procrastination make sense. Who wants to think about a document that outlines what happens when you’re sick or gone? But having a last will and testament, as well as a living will (advance directive), can bring you and your family great peace of mind.
Fortunately, it’s now easier and more affordable than ever to get last and living wills. There are several websites that can help you create safe and effective wills—no appointments or expensive lawyer fees required!
How Online Wills Work
Most online sources for creating wills walk you through a series of questions. Your answers are used to populate a digital template that eventually becomes the will, similar to the way TurboTax guides you through questions to ultimately produce your tax return. There are also websites that simply provide online will forms that you fill out on your own, without guidance.
Wills created through reputable online services like those below are as reliable as those done by an attorney. If your estate and healthcare situations are relatively uncomplicated, doing your will online is a great way to save time—it can take as little as 30 minutes—and keep your personal information private. If you prefer input from an attorney, some online will services offer bundle packages that include attorney advice.
4 Helpful Will Websites
Here are some online sources for finally getting will-making off your to-do list:
This is a great place to start. GYST, an acronym for Get Your Shit Together, is a site that helps us tackle areas of life that we know we need to deal with but tend to avoid, including wills. GYST has detailed reviews of the sites mentioned below and others, for both last wills and testaments and living wills.
LegalZoom is probably the best-known hub for digital legal documents and services. You can create your own last will and testament, starting at $69, or purchase a bundle, which comes with a year of attorney advice. Living wills, or advance directives, can be done for $39 or as part of an advice bundle.
A site dedicated exclusively to wills, Willing is a very user-friendly resource for getting your will done. If you just want a basic last will and testament, you’ll pay nothing—Willing’s entry-level plan is free. From there, the price goes up based on your family situation and assets. Living wills are included with all of Willing’s paid plans.
Like LegalZoom, Rocket Lawyer offers digital legal documents and services for individuals and businesses. You can make a last will and testament or living will for free if you get it done within one week of signing up for a trial membership. After the week it goes up to $39.95 per month, but the free window is motivation to just get it done!
After You Make Your Online Will
There are some important steps to take after creating an online will:
- Print a few copies and keep them in safe places.
- Tell your executor and perhaps close family members where they can find the documents in the event of your death or illness.
- Keep it current. Changing life circumstances—births, deaths, divorces, etc.—can alter the contents of your will. Remember to periodically review your will and make changes as needed.