Are you wondering how to make a will without a lawyer?
Most people think making a will is expensive or time-consuming. Many of us have term life insurance to protect our family. However, we have never gotten around to making a will.
The best online will makers let you effortlessly draft your last will and testament. Sometimes, you can even do it for free! Your online will can be legally binding, just like the one a local lawyer drafts.
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Top Online Will Makers
Most households can make an online will in less than 15 minutes. You can appoint guardians for your children and choose an executor.
Your online estate plan is state-specific and legally valid. Instead of watching TV one evening, you and your spouse can draft your last will and testament to protect your assets.
While anyone can get an online will, complex estates should consider using a local attorney. Some examples include owning a business or having property in multiple states.
LegalZoom’s last will and testament pricing start at $89. You get a state-specific will, and you can make free revisions for the first 30 days. If a court finds your will to be invalid solely because it was created online, LegalZoom will pay you $50,000.
Upgrading to the Last Will and Testament bundle costs $179. This bundle includes free revisions for the first year, financial power of attorney and a living will.
Bundling also gives you access to LegalZoom’s Legal Advantage Plus service. You can have 30-minute phone consults to get personalized legal advice. Plus, membership includes a free attorney review of LegalZoom documents and unlimited revisions. This legal access is free for the first year and costs $119.88 annually after that.
Why We Like LegalZoom
- Access to independent attorneys
- $50,000 Peace of Mind guarantee
- Free digital download for all plans
2. Trust and Will
You can nominate guardians, make a will or create a trust at Trust and Will. Plans start at $39, and you can make unlimited updates free of charge for the first year. Although Trust and Will isn’t free, it’s cheaper than hiring a lawyer who can easily cost $300.
Below is a quick overview of the three plans Trust and Will offers.
Best for nominating guardians for your children, you pay $39 and can add spousal documents for $10 more. This plan doesn’t include a last will and testament, which states your final arrangements and who inherits your assets. After the first year, it costs $10 a year to make additional changes.
This mid-tier plan costs $69, and you can add spousal documents for $60 more. Choose this plan if you want to make a last will and testament. For instance, to decide who inherits your assets, list your retirement plan beneficiaries and your final arrangements. Living wills can also be made to express your medical care wishes.
If you have pets, you must pick this plan to nominate their guardians. You can make all document revisions after the first year for $10 annually.
Making a trust costs $399 plus $100 to add documents for your spouse. Revisions are free for the first year, and you pay $100 each additional year to make changes.
This is the only Trust and Will option that lets you avoid probate court. Avoiding probate reduces the time and cost it takes to distribute your estate.
Why We Like Trust and Will
- Can make basic or complex estate plans
- Avoid probate by creating a trust
- Money-back guarantee with every plan
Fabric is one of the few free online will makers. You start by answering several questions to personalize your will. Free will revisions can be made at any time.
It’s even possible to add these features to your will:
- Child guardians
- The executor of the will
- Final arrangements
- Mirror wills (identical wills for spouses)
You can store your online will and bank account information in the Fabric Vault. This cloud storage tool is free. It is an easy way to reduce the stress that a widow or family face trying to transfer your accounts into their name.
Fabric offers term life insurance, as well. You are never required to purchase life insurance through Fabric to make an online will. But if you need to get a policy, you might qualify for a no medical exam life insurance in as little as 10 minutes.
Why We Like Fabric
- Free online wills
- Can store your will and personal information in their online data vault
- Term life insurance is available
You can make free living wills or a last will and testament at Doyourownwill.com. Other free documents include power of attorney forms and pet guardian trusts. Free printable worksheets make it easy to list your financial accounts, email accounts and current expenses.
Doyourownwill doesn’t offer attorney services. You will need to find your own attorney if you want legal advice. But this is a good option if you only need free estate planning forms.
- All forms are free
- Can make durable or general power of attorney forms
- Printable worksheets to record personal information
You can use FreeWill to create your own will at no cost. Even their power of attorney and living will forms are free.
Although it costs money, FreeWill can pair their forms with an attorney if you need expert legal advice. The FreeWill lawyer service may still be cheaper than a local lawyer. It can be worth your time to compare costs.
The main reason FreeWill is free to use is that they encourage charitable giving. Nonprofits partner with FreeWill to cover the expense for making online wills.
Why We Like FreeWill
- Free to use
- Can pair with an attorney (for an extra cost)
You may already use Nolo to get free legal advice. They offer Quicken WillMaker & Trust downloadable software for your Windows or Mac computer.
You pay $89.99 and can produce many documents including:
- Legal will
- Living will
- Durable power of attorney
- Final arrangements
- Letter to survivors
- Property worksheet
- Executor’s checklist
WillMaker uses a quiz to make sure you complete all the necessary documents for your family. Spouses can create mirror wills using Quicken WillMaker as well.
Nolo can also help you find a lawyer if you need personal advice. The lawyer consult is an extra fee.
Tip: The same company that produces Quicken WillMaker also makes TurboTax. (It is is one of the best tax filing software.)
Why We Like Nolo
- Well-respected online platform for legal advice
- Uses Quicken WillMaker & Trust software for Windows or Mac
- Can be cheaper than other online will makers
7. US Legal Wills
Most online will makers only provide service if you live in the 50 U.S. states. US Legal Wills offers wills for expatriates who live outside the United States. You can also get a will if you have assets in Canada or the United Kingdom.
The following documents are also available for U.S. residents:
- Last will and testament
- Power of attorney
- Living will
A last will and expat will cost $39.95. Living wills cost $19.95. All spouse documents cost 40% less. For instance, a mirror last will and testament for your spouse only costs $23.97.
It’s possible to make unlimited revisions to every document for the first year. After that, you pay $11.95 per year to continue storing your documents in the US Legal Wills vault and have unlimited revisions.
Purchase a multi-year storage plan is a great way to save money. For instance, a lifetime plan only costs $124.95. This is the better option if you plan on keeping your will at US Legal Wills for more than ten years.
For extra peace of mind, you can pay $69 for their lawyer team to review your documents.
Why We Like US Legal Wills
- Expatriate wills available
- Lifetime unlimited revisions and vault storage
- 40% discount for spouses
- Lawyers can review your documents
LawDepot gives you free access to all documents for the first week. You can print your documents during the free trial.
After the free trial ends, a license costs $33 monthly or $95.88 per year to have full access to the LawDepot document library. Another option is paying a flat fee between $7.50 to $39 to access a single document.
There are a variety of documents you can create, such as:
- Last will and testament
- Living will
- Power of attorney
- Revocable living trust
- Gift deed
After deciding which documents you need, you can choose the best membership plan. For example, you can use other LawDepot documents if you start your own business.
9. Rocket Lawyer
Make a living will, power of attorney or last will and testament using Rocket Lawyer. It’s free to try Rocket Lawyer for seven days. After that, you pay $39.99 per document plus fees for attorney services like asking a lawyer legal questions.
Becoming a premium members costs $39.99 a month and includes these benefits:
- Access to all printable legal documents
- Ask legal questions to a lawyer
- Review disputes with an attorney
- 30-minute phone consultation with an attorney
- Discounts on hiring a Rocket Lawyer attorney
The one-time fee for these options for non-members cost between $9.99 and $59.99. If you only want to make a document once, Rocket Lawyer can cost less than other online will makers. The one-time attorney service fees are affordable if you don’t want to become a monthly member.
Why We Like Rocket Lawyer
- One-time or ongoing fee to make an online will
- Attorney services are available
- Can create documents for other events like buying rental property
One of the most lowest-cost online will makers is TotalLegal. Their estate planning documents include a last will and testament, living will and power of attorney. Each document costs $19.95 without a paid membership.
The TotalLegal Plan membership costs $9.99 monthly or $89.99 a year ($7.49 monthly). Paying the fee lets you make unlimited documents and access attorney services. Premium members can print their legal forms or store them on TotalLegal’s online vault.
Louisiana residents can’t use TotalLegal as of October 1, 2019. Membership is open to the other 49 states and the District of Columbia.
Why We Like TotalLegal
- Low monthly or annual fee
- Can make most estate planning documents
- Attorney services available to premium members
Willing lets you start making your will for free. You pay $69 when you print and sign your last will and testament. It’s possible to create other estate planning documents. Although you may pay an extra fee for these documents.
Attorney services are not available, but there is a basic learning center you can use. For most people, Willing is best for those who want an affordable online will maker.
Why We Like Willing
- Costs less than other online will makers
- Don’t pay until you print and sign your document
If you’re comfortable making your last will and testament on a mobile device, Tomorrow can be free. Their team of 52 nationwide lawyers will help you make your printable will. You can also link your bank accounts, investment accounts and life insurance plans to Tomorrow.
Paying $39.99 a year lets you access the premium Tomorrow Plus platform. Extra perks include being able to make a living trust and data syncing between family members. This is one of the most affordable ways to draft a living trust document.
Why We Like Tomorrow
- Free last will and testament
- Mobile app-friendly
- Can make a living trust for only $39.99 a year
You can make living wills, powers of attorney and last wills and testament with Gentreo. There are currently two different plans you can join. A third plan to make a trust is coming soon.
The costs can be less than some of the other online will makers. For example, you can get a HIPAA authorization for $49.99, but others charge over $100.
It costs $49.99 to make a healthcare proxy or power of attorney. These forms include a living will and HIPAA authorization. The power of attorney forms can be for digital assets or financial assets.
You will pay $49.99 each year to keep your documents accessible in the online Gentreo vault.
The Basic+ plan is what you must join to make a last will and testament. You also need this tier if you are making pet documents. It costs $129.99 for the first year to make your documents and $49.99 every following year.
Why We Like Gentreo
- Fair costs for living wills and power of attorney forms
- Can store documents in an online vault for family members to access
Are Online Wills Valid?
Online wills can be legally binding once you print them and have several signatures. The first signature is the person (the testator) who makes the will. So if the will is for you, then you must sign it as the testator. Your spouse will need to sign their will.
More importantly, two non-involved people must sign your will, and these signatures must be notarized. Your bank may offer free notary services.
You will also need to see which services the online will maker offers. For example, you might only be able to legally assign guardians for your children but not your pets.
Also, a last will and testament that isn’t a trust must go through a probate court. The court will legally decide who receives your property and gains custody of your children under age 18.
Finally, none of the statements in this article are formal legal advice. Check your local laws and ask your attorney for personalized assistance.
These online will makers can be the easiest way to get a legally binding last will and testament. Making your will online instead of hiring a local lawyer helps you save money.
Whether you can make a will for free or even pay extra for attorney service, you are protecting your future.
Do you have a will yet? What type of will are you planning on making? Please let us know.