Free online will
Creating a will online is already much cheaper than writing your will at an attorney’s office, but some companies are now helping people make online wills free of charge. Oftentimes, these are life insurance companies that use online will making as a site feature to attract more customers or companies that sell ad space. Are free last will and testaments legally valid? How different are they from paid online wills? Below we will explain the answers to these and many other questions about free online wills.
Companies That Offer Paid Vs. Free Wills Online
|Free online will makers
|Paid online will makers
|Estate planning sevices
|Customizable will template
|Written by legal pros
|Last will price
|US Legal Wills
Note: Tomorrow.me was acquired by Ethos life insurance provider in early 2022. The service was subsequently rebranded.
To investigate how free wills are different from paid online wills, we looked at a sample of three popular free online will makers versus three popular paid online will makers, and compared the services of each group. DoYourOwnWill and Fabric offer free wills, and Rocket Lawyer, LawDepot, and USLegalWills charge fees for creating a last will and testament.
The clearest differences are with the relative lack of flexibility and customer service with free will makers. These companies do not offer any legal advice from attorneys, no customer support is available, and their will templates are not customizable. Because these services are free, it is reasonable that these companies do not provide those kinds of options and resources.
However, even among the companies that charge fees, not all provide attorney support. Among the three companies that we included in the analysis, Rocket Lawyer and US Legal Wills offer it, and LawDepot does not. However, all of them do provide customer support that can be reached by phone, by email, and in some cases via online chat on the company’s website.
With the companies that charge fees, will templates are always customizable according to the customer’s needs. They are created by state-licensed attorneys according to state laws. Among free will makers, DoYourOwnWill and Fabric do not provide any state-specific documents and do not specify whether the templates for creating free wills online were approved by a legal professional. Both free and paid online will companies allow making updates to the finished will, which can then be stored in a cloud if this service is available.
More Differences Between Paid and Free Online Will Makers
First of all, companies that charge fees for online wills specialize in creating state-specific legal forms and keeping them updated. All the forms in these companies are created by licensed attorneys. In case you need attorney advice, it can be available either directly through the website or you will be able to find an attorney through a directory on the company’s website.
Some online will makers have huge libraries of legal document templates for any personal or business occasion, while others specialize in estate planning. In most cases, companies that charge a fee have a money-back guarantee. Those companies that offer monthly or annual subscriptions have a free trial period, typically 7 days, which you can use to create your will.
In addition, some paid companies provide additional services, such as a Digital Vault, where you can store not only your will or power of attorney, but also your pictures, videos, audio files, and any other digital materials dear to your heart.
Who Can Make a Will Online Free of Charge
Anyone 18 years and older can make a free will online. However, you will get the best results if every point mentioned below can be applied to you:
- Your estate is very simple and is located in only one jurisdiction.
- You’re familiar with estate law in your state, or you are ready to do your own research.
- You know legal jargon. Paid online will makers ask their attorneys to create FAQs and helpful hints in plain English.
- You don’t need an expat will. It can only be created with paid services.
- You don’t need any help wizard and/or customer support to create a will online.
- You don’t need any attorney advice
- You don’t mind if your personal information is shared with third parties.
- You are okay with receiving ads and spam.
In the event that one or more of these conditions are not met for you, we recommend picking a paid online will maker.
How To Make A Free Will
If you do decide to go with a free will maker, all you have to do is register on their website, fill in the form, and print it out. Please note that you will likely not be allowed to make any changes to the template.
In case the template does not cover everything that you would like to include in your last will and testament, you may try to register with another free will maker and see the templates that they offer, or switch to a paid will maker that offers customizable templates.
Once you create your free online will, you might want to legalize it with an attorney. For this, you will need to find an attorney elsewhere because free will makers do not provide any contacts for state-specific attorneys, while paid companies offer directories with attorneys certified in your state. Also, you will need a witness who has to go with you to the attorney’s office to legalize your signature. Be sure to check your state’s restrictions about having a family member, spouse, and/or beneficiary serve as your witness. You don’t want to go to the trouble of showing up to an attorney’s office only to find out that your witness is ineligible.
The idea of creating free last will and testaments is great, and it may work for some people. However, like everything that is free, it comes with a catch. When it comes to making a will, you tend to get what you pay for. Your will has to be simple because you will not be able to modify the template in a free online will maker software. You almost certainly cannot request any assistance from an attorney or even customer support. These and many other conditions make it preferable for the majority of customers to purchase wills from the online will makers for a reasonable price. In our online will maker reviews, you will find detailed information about each company. Reading these reviews carefully will help you find the best online will maker for your estate needs.