Best Online Will Makers in the USA:
A Guide 2021

Online will makers are an online alternative to the traditional and expensive route – using a legal professional to draw up the will for you. Within minutes, you could create your own completely legitimate will. All you need to do is answer a set of questions written in simple English, fill in the template, and save your will. You can email it to yourself, print it out, or order a hard copy. Below you can find a list of the best online will-creating services in the USA.

Best Online Will Makers - March 3rd, 2021

1
Overall rating 97.0
  • star-100
  • star-100
  • star-100
  • star-100
  • star-50
Price level
High
Services
  • Last will and testament
  • Living will
  • Living trust
  • Power of attorney (medical)
  • + 4 more
  • Power of attorney (financial)
  • Will Codicil
  • Revocation of Living Trust
  • Affidavit
Pros and cons
  • Excellent customer service
  • State-specific documents
  • Clean design
  • Quick and easy
2
Overall rating 95.3
  • star-100
  • star-100
  • star-100
  • star-100
  • star-100
Price level
Low
Services
  • Last will and testament
  • Living will
  • Living trust
  • Power of attorney (medical)
  • + 6 more
  • Power of attorney (financial)
  • Will Codicil
  • Amendment to Living Trust
  • Revocation of Living Trust
  • Pet Guardian Trust
  • Affidavit
Pros and cons
  • Excellent customer support
  • State-specific documents
  • Money back guarantee
  • Comprehensive coverage
3
Overall rating 94.1
  • star-100
  • star-100
  • star-100
  • star-100
  • star-75
Price level
Moderate
Services
  • Last will and testament
  • Living will
  • Power of attorney (financial)
Pros and cons
  • A large variety of add-ons
  • Easy to update long-term
  • Low cost compared to similar tools
  • Free unlimired updates for one year
4
Overall rating 92.2
  • star-100
  • star-100
  • star-100
  • star-100
  • star-100
Price level
Moderate
Services
  • Last will and testament
  • Living will
  • Living trust
  • Power of attorney (medical)
  • + 1 more
  • Power of attorney (financial)
Pros and cons
  • Specialized in Estate Planning
  • Unlimited updates for 1 year
  • Free mailing of printed will
  • Customized forms for each state
5
Overall rating 90.5
  • star-100
  • star-100
  • star-100
  • star-100
  • star-100
Price level
Low
Services
  • Last will and testament
  • Living will
  • Living trust
  • Power of attorney (medical)
  • + 6 more
  • Power of attorney (financial)
  • Will Codicil
  • Amendment to Living Trust
  • Revocation of Living Trust
  • Pet Guardian Trust
  • Affidavit
Pros and cons
  • Easy to ask a lawyer or support
  • Detailed final documents
  • Intuitive user interface
  • Good form builder
6
Overall rating 89.7
  • star-100
  • star-100
  • star-100
  • star-100
  • star-75
Price level
Very High
Services
  • Last will and testament
  • Living will
  • Living trust
  • Power of attorney (medical)
  • + 2 more
  • Power of attorney (financial)
  • Pet Power of Attorney
Pros and cons
  • Credible
  • Suitable for complex situations
  • Other legal help
  • Money back guarantee
7
Overall rating 88.3
  • star-100
  • star-100
  • star-100
  • star-100
  • star-50
Price level
Low
Services
  • Last will and testament
  • Living trust
  • Power of attorney (medical)
  • Power of attorney (financial)
  • + 1 more
  • Pet Power of Attorney
Pros and cons
  • They keep up with changing laws
  • Family/friends can easily access documents
  • Easy-to-understand process
  • Inexperience
8
Overall rating 87.9
  • star-100
  • star-100
  • star-100
  • star-100
  • star-100
Price level
High
Services
  • Last will and testament
  • Living will
  • Living trust
  • Power of attorney (financial)
  • + 2 more
  • Will Codicil
  • Affidavit
Pros and cons
  • State-specific documents
  • Their interface is easy-to-understand
  • If you don't want to pay for a subscription, you can purchase just the one document that you need
  • Marketed as free but only if you make use of the 7-day free trial

How Does an Online Will Provider Work?

A will is a legal document that says where you want your possessions to go when you eventually pass away. This could be anything from donating your house to charity or leaving your three businesses to your favorite son. Whilst a will can technically be written on literally anything — literally, a candy wrapper — as long as it has your signature and non-family witnesses, online will kits are a little more credible than that.

Everyone should have a will, and online wills make this easy. It’s an alternative to having to trek down to a lawyer’s office and hand over a lot of money. An online will maker software will take a matter of minutes, perhaps an hour at most, and turn your quick answers from the jargon-free questions into a legal document. Think of it as a simple survey, in which the answers and pasted into a template that has all the legal stuff. Different companies use different online will forms, so it’s worth checking out online will software reviews.

The best online wills are legitimate, cheap, and fast to create. They’re not perfect (we’ll get onto their downfalls later on), but don’t fret, they’re not a scam or a gimmick like those companies that sell you stars in the galaxy.

It’s important to note that many do not claim to be law firms, though some do. And there’s also more to it than a simple will. You may be looking for supplemented legal documents or features such as unlimited future revisions. And whilst these automated ways of creating wills seem impersonal, many actually include a real-life attorney to double-check your document at the end. As you would expect, these services come at varying price levels.

How to Find The Best Online Will-Making Service?

  • Is the company legitimate?

    Your first step is to create a list of the most reputable companies that are legally recognized. This means scanning online will maker reviews and learning about the software to eliminate the known scammers, and using companies that have been operating for more than a couple of years. A shortcut for this step is to use the above companies as your starting point.
  • Using the best will making soft

    Some online will providers are easier than others, but they vary because they use different online will preparation software. If your priority is time, then there are many companies in which you can create a will online in under 15 minutes. If you want clarity, perhaps you have a slightly more nuanced will, then use a company that is known for being clear and mistake-free. Additionally, some will be mobile-friendly and some won’t be.
  • Free help

    Some online will makers have customer service that helps you with filling out the document, and some do not. This can help solve step 2 above if you’re looking for clarity. Some companies also offer free revisions by an attorney upon completing your will.
  • Other legal documents

    If you have other legal duties, such as creating business contracts, lease agreements, power of attorney forms, etc., then find a company that can be your all-in-one online lawyer. These may cost a little more, but the convenience would be worth paying for.
  • Price and promotions

    If you’re down to a few companies and you still can’t pick, then browse around for promotions. There are lots of free trials and discounts around. Furthermore, it’s unnecessary to pay more than $250 for an online will. Many are under $100, so don’t be ripped off by uncompetitive companies.
  • Cover assets outside of the USA

    Only some companies will be able to deal with assets located overseas in your will, as this increases the legal complexity. The features of your estate are important to factor in when deciding on the best online will maker to use.
  • Revisions

    Some companies will allow you to revise your will in the future (often for free up to a certain date). This means you can adapt your will as your estate evolves. This may be super important to people who expect circumstances to change (i.e. they’re going through a divorce). You can see the exact data on our detailed online will maker comparison.
  • SSL encryption

    A very basic step to ensuring you’re picking a legitimate company that will keep your data secure is to make sure all purchases and transactions are done through SSL encryption. It may also be worth checking if the company performs frequent backups of data on their servers and have sound security protocols.

Is an Online Will DIY Kit a Perfect Substitute for a Lawyer?

Online wills are not a perfect substitute for the traditional method. There are a number of reasons why opting for a traditional lawyer is a better idea, but it heavily depends on your circumstance.

A complex will or corporation

Even the best online wills lack nuance. They’re mostly closed-end questions being answered in text fields online, which are then automatically drawn up as a legal document. This is sufficient for a simple will, but when things get more complicated, there’s less opportunity to clarify. Plus, complex estates or complex corporations are difficult to describe without the help of a professional anyway, and miscommunication around such an important issue could pose a huge inheritance threat. The same goes for a complex online will and trust in the sense of leaving money in trust for your kids to receive in the future. Anything particularly nuanced may be better dealt with by an experienced lawyer. Complexity usually goes hand-in-hand with having a lot of wealth. And, in the case of having a lot of wealth, it’s worth spending the money on a traditional lawyer (and may be relatively less expensive for you, given said wealth).

Complex relationships

If you’re in a complex relationship on paper, for example, you’re married, separated but not divorced, then your will may want the subtlety and thrust that a lawyer can achieve in-person. Plus, it’s these complex relationships that are the most likely to result in a will being challenged, which further emphasizes the need for a tactful and water-tight approach.

Tax avoidance strategies

If you’re looking for legal ways to tie up your assets after you pass away, for example tying them up in trusts and potentially some legal tax loopholes, then you may want more specialized professional advice in creating your will online.

A history of mental health

If you have a history of mental health, you’re at risk of someone claiming you didn’t have full capacity upon writing a will online. This applies to psychosis-related mental health issues as much as it does dementia. In this case, even if you are of sound mind, it’s better to use a lawyer which will give your will more credibility in the case of being challenged.

Overseas estate

Similar to the above, an estate or assets that are held overseas increases the complexity of your wishes and involves more legal literature. This is something that can be dealt with by some online will writing services, but if it’s a large number of assets, it may be a good idea to turn to a physical lawyer for assistance. At the very least, paying a premium for an extremely high-quality DIY online will would be necessary.
Are online will legit and will actually be in effect?

Are Online Wills Legit and Will Actually be in Effect?

As mentioned earlier, a legitimate will can be written on a candy wrapper, so long as it has your signature and witnessed by two people who are not friends or family. However, just because something is legitimate, it doesn’t mean it’s impenetrable and comes with no risk of being challenged or rejected.

Of course, the most legitimate way of making a will online would be with the lawyer of Mel Gibson, or one equally expensive. Online wills lay somewhere in between the candy wrapper and the expensive lawyer — they’re valid, well-structured, and have little chance of being rejected if the will is relatively straight forward. However, a will created by a lawyer would have even less chance of being challenged.

An online will is certainly effective. The only concerns you have, are those outlined above around either a highly complex will, relationships, or if you have a history of mental health. Additionally, if you drew up a will using an unknown online will service that has little credibility, your will might also be less legitimate. It’s all a scale, but fortunately, legitimate online wills from reputable companies are good enough for most ordinary people.

Vis-a-Vis

Writing a will can be a difficult task, and we understand how hard it is to pick a company that fits your needs best. To help you make an informed choice, we created detailed side-by-side online will service comparisons. We took the best online will-creating services and directly compared them to each other across several important parameters. In these comparisons, we don’t try to make the decision for you by declaring definitively which online will-maker is objectively better or worse. Instead, we recognize that every company is unique, and we analyze differences and similarities between the two will writing services, helping you make the best decision for yourself. In addition, we outline each company’s notable unique features that could affect which one you ultimately choose.
vs

This LegalZoom vs Nolo Will Maker by Quicken comparison will help you understand how these two major companies stack up against each other in terms of the services that they offer. Read about the strengths and weaknesses of each company before you make a will online and decide which one works best for you.

LegalZoom vs Nolo Will Maker by Quicken
vs

Take a look at our Rocket Lawyer vs LegalZoom comparison to see how these two companies are similar and different, what each company has to offer, and what their advantages and disadvantages are. Our detailed overview will help you understand which online will service best matches your needs.

Rocket Lawyer vs LegalZoom

Research and Articles

Read the articles below and learn more about the online will-making process.

  • Tips and Guidelines to Writing Your Will

    Tips and Guidelines to Writing Your Will

    This article explains the most essential terms for will-writing. It helps you to learn more about what exactly a will is, what it does for you and your loved ones, and why it is important to have one. Read our top tips for creating a will online that covers all your bases.

  • What is a Will Executor and What Is Their Role?

    What is a Will Executor and What Is Their Role?

    Learn about why you need an executor and what their duties and responsibilities are. Find out if you can become an executor and whether you are entitled to any compensation for this difficult task.

  • What is a Testator?

    What is a Testator?

    Why should a testator create a last will? When should a testator create a will? Does a testator need a lawyer to make a will legally binding? Find the answers to these and other questions about a testator’s role in the will-making process.

  • What is a Holographic Will?

    What is a Holographic Will?

    In this article, you will learn about a holographic will. Find out if you can create one, if they are legal in the USA, if they are hard to create, and why people should create them in general.

  • What is a Codicil?

    What is a Codicil?

    Find out why people write a codicil and whether you should write one. In case you decide that you need it, learn how you can make it and whether it should a notarized.

  • Does a Will Need To Be Notarized?

    Does a Will Need To Be Notarized?

    For peace of mind, learn whether you should notarize your online will and trust and why you should get a self-proving affidavit. Read this article to find out how to get a self-proving affidavit and whether or not your state recognizes them as binding.

FAQ

What is a will?
A will, also known as a last will and testament, is a document that goes into effect after you have died. In your online will, you can designate funeral arrangements, specify where and to whom your assets will go, and name new legal guardians for your kids and pets.
What is a living will?
A living will is a document that goes into effect while you are still alive but unable to make sound decisions due to illness or severe injury. A living will names a person who will manage your affairs and your medical care while you are incapacitated, as well as determine when life support will be withdrawn.
What is a trust?
A trust is a document that, unlike a will, goes into effect while you’re still alive and capable of making decisions regarding your estate. It allows you a greater level of control over how your assets are dispersed.
How long does it take to create a will?
The average time it takes to complete a will or a trust document online is approximately 10-15 minutes, though it can be more depending on the complexity of your will and the extent of your assets.
Are Do-It-Yourself wills worth it?
An online DIY will is generally cheap and easy to make. However, online will forms tend to be one-size-fits-all and don’t take into account special situations. For those cases, it is recommended to seek the help of a legal specialist who can carefully craft a will or a trust to ensure its validity and authenticity.
What information will I need to provide for the will?

You will need to bring all the paperwork to identify your assets and beneficiaries. Your assets could include, though are not limited to:

  • Deeds to property or real estate
  • Vehicle titles
  • Checking or savings account statements
  • Documentation proving ownership of a business
  • Stocks and bonds
  • Documents certifying the value of jewelry and art
In addition to the detailed description of assets, you must provide a list of your current debts. You will need to provide information regarding your inheritors, such as their full names, addresses and phone numbers, social security numbers, dates of birth, and birth certificates. If your children are minors or you are the guardian of somebody in your family with special needs, you can also appoint a new guardian.
Can I write my own will and have it notarized?
It depends on where in the USA you live. In some states, you can create your own legally valid will, sometimes called a holographic will. Before you begin, find out your state’s requirements for creating a will or a trust.
How does an online will maker work?
Think of it as a simple online survey, in which the answers are pasted into a template that has all the legal language. An online will software will transform your answers into an official legal document. They usually take anywhere from fifteen minutes to an hour to fill out.
What is the difference between a paid online will maker and a free online will maker?
Online will-creating services are already cheap. But the money you do pay goes towards the online will’s legal team, estate planning abilities, software development, and customer support. You should be wary if a company is offering you all of this for free. There might be a hidden fee or some other scam element involved. Free DIY wills will not be as reliable or comprehensive, and they won’t have much in the way of customer support. As the saying goes, you get what you pay for.
Does an online DIY Will Kit substitute a lawyer?
Online wills are not a perfect substitute for the traditional method of visiting a lawyer. There are a number of reasons why opting for a traditional lawyer might be a better idea, but it heavily depends on your personal circumstances.
Is online will legit and legally sound?
An online will can be an easy, effective, and affordable way to manage your affairs in the event of your death. However, an online will might be called into judgment if you have a highly complex will, unusual personal relationships, or a history of mental health issues. Additionally, if you drew up a will using an unknown online will company that has little credibility, your will might be considered illegitimate. The legitimacy of a will is decided on a case-by-case basis, but fortunately, authentic online wills from reputable companies are usually legally sound.
Do online will makers have a refund policy?
Yes, the majority of online will providers have a money-back guarantee.

Why a Paid Online Will Maker Trumps a Free Online Will Maker?

The phrase “you get what you pay for” isn’t always true, but what is true is that there is no free lunch. Online will kits are already cheap. But the money you do pay goes towards the online will’s legal team, estate planning abilities (software, knowledge), and customer support. You have to be at least somewhat suspicious if a company is offering you all of this for free. The short answer is, they’re not. Free DIY wills will not be as reliable or comprehensive, and they will not come with much customer support. They’re only a small step up from the candy wrapper.

Paying fair money for an online will should result in peace of mind. You don’t know what you don’t know, and messing up your will isn’t like messing up your taxes. You’re not investigated and told to make changes. Instead, your will is void and you have no idea how things turn out. You’ve lost all control over your own possessions.
Are online will legit and will actually be in effect?

A good, paid-for online will maker will often offer other documents, as mentioned above. An important document that is not covered by a will, but often offered by the same companies, is a power of attorney. This is a process in which you give legal power to someone else to make legally binding decisions on your behalf. This allows you to choose someone else to make all of your financial decisions for you. This is important for many people and is something you likely wouldn’t get with a free online will maker.

Paying for an online will from a good company may also have extended support down the line. You may be able to make adjustments, receive attorney advice when new information arrives or your estate evolves, and you may even have human revisions by a professional attorney. In a sense, it does sound a little like the fast-food takeaway version of estate planning. But that’s what we want, isn’t it? Good value, affordable wills that are quick to deal with, and are processed online for our convenience.

Concluding Words for Online Will Makers

Over half of Americans do not have a will. This is simply not good enough, but the best online wills are helping fix this. They’re not flawless, but the more people that create a will soon, the better. Even if it means paying for an online will as a temporary will until the future when their estate becomes complex — that is well worth ~$50 to $200.

Online DIY wills are very much legitimate legal documents. They’re not created with the same level of nuance as with a lawyer, but they can be revised and approved by an attorney to put your mind at rest. With a half an hour form, free online help and potentially future revisions, best online will-creating services pose a great threat to the exorbitant industry of traditional wills — especially for ordinary people.

To learn more about best online will makers in Canada go here.