FreeWill is a non-profit agency that has helped everyday people create Last Will & Testaments for free since 2017. They’ve been operating since 2017 under the guidance of Jenny Xia Spradling and Patrick Schmitt, who act as co-CEOs.
FreeWill offers their free will creation service in all 50 states and boasts a 4.8/5 Trust Score on Trustpilot. But, are they genuinely trustworthy? In this review, we’ll examine FreeWill.com services and weigh their pros & cons. By the end, you’ll know whether or not they’re right for you.
On FreeWill.com, you’ll find the following services:
- Last Will & Testaments – This document communicates your last wishes to loved ones. It governs the division of property, custody of dependants/pets, and more.
- Revocable Living Trusts – The state of California has restrictive rules around Last Will & Testaments. A Revocable Living Trust gets around the expenses of going to probate court.
- Advance Healthcare Directives – A document that spells out your wishes regarding end-of-life healthcare decisions. Involves DNR orders, treatment preferences in case of indefinite coma, etc.
- Financial Power of Attorney – A document that assigns decision making powers in the event of your incapacitation.
FreeWill: Strong Points
- It’s free – Paying a lawyer to do your Last Will & Testament is expensive. Online services, while cheaper, may still be out-of-reach. FreeWill.com makes estate planning accessible to everyone.
- Easy-to-understand interface – Creating estate planning documents with FreeWill isn’t just free, it’s a simple process. Fill in information when prompted, and before you know it, you’ll be done.
- It’s fast – So long as you have all your information in front of you, will creation on FreeWill is quick. In less than 20 minutes, you’ll have a legally-binding document (don’t forget to sign it with witnesses, though).
- They’ve raised over a billion dollars for charitable causes – Paying it forward is a big part of why FreeWill was founded. In return for not paying, will creators can choose to pledge a portion of their estate to a charitable cause. As of October 2020, FreeWill has raised 1.8 billion USD for charity.
- Customer service with a personal touch – On Trustpilot, complaints are often answered personally by Jenny Xia Spradling, one of FreeWill’s co-CEOs. That’s a level of service you don’t often get from internet companies!
FreeWill: Weak Points
- Software isn’t the most advanced – Reviews on Trustpilot (1,100 and counting) are overwhelmingly positive. However, a few users complained about the text fields, as they found that its line and page breaks made the end product “unattractive”.
- Only works well for simple wills – If a will creator has complex wishes, FreeWill doesn’t accommodate them. For instance, a complainer brought up the fact that you can only select a surviving biological parent as the guardian of minor children. Jenny Xia Spradling, FreeWill co-CEO, replied, saying that complicated state-by-state laws prevented them from providing other options.
Ease of Use
For a free service, FreeWill is remarkably easy to use. Apart from some minor formatting hiccups, the data entry process is simple and straightforward. So long as you have all the proper documentation in front of you, you can be done in under 20 minutes.
For the most part, FreeWill streamlines the will creation process via easy-to-click prompts. For a legal document that handles end-of-life decisions, it almost seems too easy. If you get stuck at any point, this service’s outstanding customer service will help you out of your rut.
Unique Functions Offered by FreeWill
In addition to offering Last Will & Testament creation, FreeWill also offers other document creation services. These include:
- Community Forum – If you have any questions about will creation or site features, ask them here. Other users or company reps will answer them to the best of their ability.
- The Ability to Create a New Will – Circumstances change. If you need to make changes, you’ll have to go through the process again. But, as before, it’s free, and it takes less than 20 minutes to complete.
- An Extensive Glossary – Last Will & Testaments are legal documents. Legal terms can get rather complicated. Thankfully, FreeWill has an extensive library that defines legal jargon in easy-to-understand terms.
- A Regularly Updated Blog – Stay on top of the latest developments in estate planning through FreeWill’s regularly updated blog.
FreeWill offers all of its services for free. Apart from the charitable giving component (optional), there is no cost for any of their services.
- Last Will & Testament: FREE
- Revocable Living Trust: FREE
- Advance Healthcare Directive: FREE
- Financial Power of Attorney: FREE
Not everyone has thousands of dollars to spend on lawyers. Fortunately, the internet has made free legal document creation a thing. Thanks to FreeWill’s partnerships with non-profits, they offer will creation and other estate planning document services for free.
Free doesn’t mean shady, either. According to Trustpilot, an authority in online reputation, FreeWill.com has a Trust Score of 4.8/5. In other words, almost every user raves about this service.
To be clear, FreeWill.com isn’t for everybody – they don’t touch many complex will creation topics. But, if your situation isn’t complicated, they can save you stacks of cash.
Estate Planning Documents6.9/10
Home & Family Documents7.6/10
Personal Finance Documents7.6/10
- It is Free and you are not prompted with charges at the end of the process like other providers.
- The process is very straight forward and easy to follow. In 20 minutes you can create or edit your will.
- You can draft the will online, print it and finish it in front of your lawyer. Saves times and respects the law.
- If you have a larger estate or a complex will, you are better off with a real layer because the options are pretty limited.
- The software is not the most "modern".