Are you considering creating a will but unsure where to start? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! In this easy-to-follow guide, we’ll take you through all the steps involved in creating an online will. With the convenience and affordability of online tools, preparing your will has never been simpler.
Begin by researching reputable online will-making programs. You’ll want a platform with a user-friendly interface and guidance to help you personalize your will. Here are some top options to consider:
Remember, these prices are average estimates and may vary depending on the complexity of your situation and the specific features you choose. It’s always a good idea to compare prices and features before making a decision!
Before you start creating your online will, gather all the necessary information and documents. This includes details about your assets, beneficiaries, and any specific instructions you want to include. Having everything prepared beforehand will make the process smoother. Here’s a detailed list of the info and documents you should gather:
Think about any specific instructions you want to include in your will. These could be related to funeral arrangements, guardianship of minor children, specific bequests (such as sentimental items), or any other unique considerations you may have.
Have your personal information readily available, including:
Keep your identification documents handy, such as your driver’s license, passport, or any other government-issued identification. You may need these for verification purposes during the online will-making process.
Once you’ve chosen your preferred platform and gathered all the necessary info, it’s time to fill out the online form. These forms typically ask questions about your personal information, assets, and beneficiaries. Follow the instructions provided and provide accurate details to ensure your will reflects your wishes.
Most online will-making programs offer options to customize your will according to your specific requirements. You can include provisions for guardianship of minor children, funeral arrangements, charitable donations, and more. Take advantage of these features to tailor your will to your exact preferences. Be aware that depending on the platform, customizations will often raise the price.
After completing the initial draft of your online will, take the time to review it thoroughly. Double-check names, addresses, and any specific instructions. Ensure that your intentions are clearly stated and that your will accurately represents your wishes. If necessary, make revisions until you are satisfied with the final version.
Once you’ve finalized your online will, carefully follow the instructions provided by the platform to print and sign the document. Most states require at least two witnesses who are not beneficiaries to observe the signing. Have your will notarized for added validity and protection. Store your original signed will in a safe place, such as a secure filing cabinet or a safety deposit box.
If you have significant financial assets or a complex family situation, it’s wise to seek professional advice from an experienced lawyer to ensure all bases are covered and prevent future family conflicts. You can find reputable lawyers specializing in estate planning through resources like the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils. Costs for creating a will may range from $200 to $1,000, depending on your location and situation. To find the best value, compare quotes from different firms, and prepare for your attorney meeting by making a detailed list of your assets and accounts.
Originally published August 24, 2023