Last Will and Testament Guide
Making a will is not an easy task – there are a lot of things you need to know to ensure that you create a legally valid will that meets all your needs at a reasonable price. While there’s a lot of information about estate planning out there, not all of it is reliable, up-to-date, and complete. This is why Online Will Makers has collected a trove of useful and accurate information about last will and testaments. Whether you’re just starting to learn about wills and other estate planning documents, or already choosing the best will-making service for your needs, you will find our website useful. On this page, you can see a list of all the articles about wills that we have on our website. These articles are organized into four sections for your convenience.
If you are just beginning to learn about last will and testament documents and estate planning, you should start with the articles below. We have detailed texts that will help you understand who testators and will executors are, as well as learn about various estate planning documents such as powers of attorney, living trusts, and will codicils. In short, we will give you all the information you need to create a legally valid will. Information contained in these articles will be useful for any person who is interested in estate planning matters or is trying to find out whether they need to create a will.
Do I need a will?
Yes, the majority of people need to have a will
. Making a will allows you to ensure that your wishes regarding your assets, guardianship of children and pets, and other matters will be followed after your death.
Does a will need to be notarized?
To find out whether you need to have your will notarized
, you need to check the laws in your state or read the respective article about estate laws in your state on our website.
How to write a last will and testament?
When writing your own will, you need to follow precise rules and legal parameters to ensure that the document will be legally valid. Check out our article for tips and guidelines for writing your own will.
What is testamentary capacity?
refers to the ability of the testator to create a legal will. Essentially, the testator needs to have enough mental capacity to understand who their family members are, what it means to create a will, etc.
What is a holographic will?
A holographic will
is a will written entirely by hand. Some states accept holographic wills, while others either don’t accept them or have special requirements for handwritten wills.
What is the term for a person who writes a last will and testament?
A person who makes a last will and testament is called a testator
What is a will executor?
A will executor
is a person who acts as a representative of a deceased person and takes care of the deceased’s estate after their demise.
What is a will codicil?
is a document similar to a will. A codicil is typically used to change or update a will, but in some jurisdictions, a codicil could be used as an alternative to a will.
What is the difference between a last will and testament and a living trust?
A living trust
is a document that puts your assets into a trust during your lifetime and appoints a person (usually, you) as the trustee who manages the assets. A will, on the other hand, states who should receive your assets after your death; a will has no effect on your assets during your lifetime.
What is a power of attorney?
A power of attorney
or POA is a legal document that grants another person the authority to make decisions regarding your finances, health, and other matters on your behalf.
What is a self-proving affidavit?
A self-proving affidavit
is a notarized document signed by a will testator and two witnesses. This document verifies the will’s validity and eliminates the need for the witnesses to your will to testify in probate court after your death.
How to make a last will and testament?
To create a legally valid will
, you should follow the specific steps that are outlined in the guide on our website. We recommend using an online will-making service to craft the document instead of writing it yourself.
How to find a last will and testament sample online?
There are numerous sample last will and testament templates
online and you can find them simply by using a search engine. Make sure to read our article about will templates to get all of the information you need to know.
Can my pet be my will beneficiary?
No, you can’t leave any assets to your pet directly. However, you can list the pet’s new caretaker in your will and leave that person money for the pet’s care. Find out more about pet estate planning
in our article.
What are some common estate planning mistakes?
The most common estate planning mistakes
include not creating an estate plan in the first place, not naming backup beneficiaries, guardians, and executors, failing to include your pets in your will, and not updating your estate planning documents regularly.
What happens if I die without a will?
If you die without making a will
, a court will decide who will become the executor of your will, how your assets will be distributed, who will take care of your children, what will happen to your pets, etc. This decision will likely be different from your actual wishes, which is why it’s essential to ensure that you have a valid will even if you’re young.
Once you’ve learned the basics regarding will making, you can move on to our intermediate-level articles. Here, you can begin to learn about various online will-making services through our in-depth reviews of all the will makers on the market today. We also have several comparison articles that juxtapose the most popular online will services and give you a definitive answer as to which online will makers provide the best value and the best service.
Is Nolo better than LegalZoom for making a will?
Both LegalZoom and Nolo provide high-quality will creation services. However, in our comparison of LegalZoom vs Nolo
, we find that Nolo offers a better value for most customers.
Is Rocket Lawyer better than LegalZoom for making a will?
If you’re looking to create a will online, both Rocket Lawyer and LegalZoom are excellent choices. But in our comparison of RocketLawyer vs LegalZoom
for will-making purposes, we’ve found that Rocket Lawyer is a better option for many people.
Can you get a will for free?
Yes, there are some websites online that allow you to make a will for free
. However, wills created using these websites are very basic and have numerous limitations, which we discuss at length in this article.
In this section, you can find links to our advanced-level articles. After studying the pages in this section, you will become a real pro when it comes to online last will and testament forms. Here, you can find articles that give in-depth information about the cost to make a last will and testament, along with other estate planning documents online. We also give details on estate planning and will-making software. Finally, we have a tool that compares all of the major online will creation companies with regard to their services, features, pricing, reliability, and more.
Where to get a last will and testament?
Today, you can make an affordable will online. On our website, we’ve reviewed the best online will makers
and compiled all the information you need to know to create a valid will online.
How to choose the best online will maker?
Our website features an easy-to-use will maker comparison
tool that allows you to contrast the services and features offered by different online will makers, and then choose the company that suits your needs best.
What software can I use to make a will?
Today, Nolo is the only company that offers will-making software
. Other companies have cloud-based platforms or mobile apps.
What is the best estate planning software?
The only estate planning software
you can purchase today is Quicken WillMaker & Trust by Nolo. Other companies offer cloud-based estate planning services and mobile apps.
How much does a will cost?
A last will and testament created by a lawyer usually costs a minimum of $200, while wills created using online services can cost as little as $50. Check out our article on estate planning document pricing
to find a detailed will pricing guide.
Can I leave cryptocurrency in my will?
Yes, you can leave your cryptocurrency in a will
by listing all the assets and wallets you own. However, you shouldn’t put passwords and login information directly in your will, instead, create a separate memorandum with those details to prevent unauthorized access.
Will and Testament Extras
In this section, you will find articles that cover various unusual estate planning situations. For instance, did you know that if you have assets in a country other than the USA, you need to create a special type of will that will cover those assets? Or that if you’re a devout Muslim, you can’t make a regular secular will, and instead you need to create an Islamic last will and testament in line with the Sharia rules of inheritance? We provide in-depth coverage of these and more topics in the special subject articles on our website.
What is an expatriate will?
An expatriate will
is a last will and testament document that can be created in addition to your primary will in order to cover any assets you own in a country that’s not your primary place of residence.
How to make an Islamic will?
If you need to create a Sharia-compliant last will and testament
, you can use either Shariawiz or MyWassiyah. These are two Sharia-compliant online will-making services that have been certified by Islamic scholars.