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FreeWill is a non-profit agency that has been operating since 2017 under the guidance of Jenny Xia Spradling and Patrick Schmitt, who act as co-CEOs.
The company offers their free will creation service 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.
Should you really make a will for free? Learn about the pitfall of free wills here.
If your will is simple and straightforward, you can create it with FreeWill free of charge. However, you will need to consult your attorney and make sure it is legal in your state.
It will only take you about 20 minutes to create a legal document online with FreeWill. All you need to do is fill out a questionnaire and print out the forms. To make your documents official, you will need to sign them in-person with your witnesses. Keep them in a safe, but easily accessible place. In case you would like to create a more complicated will that does not fit into the template, you again might need the help of an experienced attorney. FreeWill has a network of attorneys to review the forms under the laws of the follow’s jurisdiction, but not in every state.
Credibility: Is FreeWill legit?
New York, NY
FreeWill Co., a Delaware Public Benefit Corporation, offers free online services that provide legal forms and legal information. However, this is not a law firm and cannot be used as a substitute for a lawyer’s advice.
FreeWill is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau and does not have any Google ratings or reviews, which makes it hard to judge about its credibility.
Is FreeWill safe? Is FreeWill secure?
FreeWill encrypts all the data that you enter on their website. Your personal information is backed up and encrypted using AES-256 GCM encryption with root keys stored in an HSM. FreeWill uses modern, secure SSL/TLS settings and HTTP headers to ensure you can safely and securely browse their site. All these protocols make FreeWill a safe and secure site that makes every effort to protect your data from unauthorized access and misuse.
FreeWill Services and Pricing
FreeWill offers all of its services for free. Apart from the charitable giving component (optional), there is no cost for any of their services.
On FreeWill.com, you’ll find the following services:
Last will and testament
Living will *
Financial Power of Attorney
* Advance Healthcare Directives
Last Will and Testament
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
In case you need legal help, FreeWill provides users with links to several attorney-finding resources, including the directory of the ACTEC fellows and the American Bar Association’s “Hire a Lawyer” page.
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.
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.
Living Trust available only for California residents – FreeWill gives its customers the opportunity to create a living trust but it's only available for people living in California.
In this section, we’ve listed several prominent competitors of FreeWill so that you could compare their reviews on different key points. For example, FreeWill does not offer any Attorney Support, but you can get these services at Nolo by Quicken WillMaker & Trust. Unlike many of its competitors who have monthly or annual subscriptions pr flat rate fees, FreeWill does not charge any fee for creating legal documents on their website.
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:
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.
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.
What makes FreeWill free?
FreeWill is supported by non-profit organizations and donations from customers. Many online will-makers prefer to leave a part of their estate to charity listing FreeWill as one of the beneficiaries.
Can I make changes to my will?
Yes. After you have created a will, you can make changes to it or replace it with a new one. Just remember to destroy the previous one.
Can I get help while creating an online will?
You can contact FreeWill customer support by email or send them a message on Facebook. The email is preferable because they don’t check their messenger very often.
What if I die without a will?
In case you die without a will, a local probate court will decide how to distribute your property following the state intestacy laws.
Can I make a joint will with my spouse?
Yes, you can create a joint will, which merges your individual wills into a single, combine last will and testament.
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.
However, first you need to verify that creating this type of will is legal in your state, and everything you would like to include in your will fits the template.
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.