What Is an Online Will Maker?
A last will and testament is a legal document that allows you to specify what you want to happen to your assets after you pass away. If you don’t have a will in place when you die, your assets are distributed according to state inheritance laws. Having a will can help avoid that scenario and ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes.
Hiring an attorney used to be the only way to have a will made. Now with online will makers, you can create your will and other estate planning documents affordably, 24/7, and access or download them instantly.
Who Should Use an Online Will Maker?
If you have a straightforward family and/or financial situation then an online will should work for you. You can make a will online if you have kids, pets, own a home, and have money in investment accounts you’d like to pass on.
However there are very few or no online services that will cover some unique or complex situations, including:
- Having a spouse who’s not a U.S. citizen
- Children with special needs who are receiving state or federal benefits
- Paying out prenuptial, post-nuptial, or divorce agreements that include money paid out after death
- Estates worth more than state or federal estate tax exemption amounts
- Distributing a business
- Paying out to a trust instead of a beneficiary
How Much Do Online Will Makers Cost?
Online will makers can cost anywhere from $0 to $200 with the average falling between $20 to $100.
Most services charge a one-time fee while some charge a subscription to access or update forms. When you’re looking at online will makers, be sure to also check out what it costs to make updates and reprint your documents. A higher fee upfront with no or low-cost fee to access later could save you money over time when compared to a service with a high annual fee or one that requires you to start over with a new purchase.
How We Chose the Best Online Will Makers
We looked at 14 online will makers and narrowed them down to the best based on the variety of legal forms available, pricing structures, the availability of legal counsel, and the product’s ease of use. To evaluate the products, we looked for companies that have historically positive user ratings or new companies that are breaking the traditional estate planning mold in some way. Finally, significant weight was placed on the ability to make a state-specific will and the number of states where the will is valid.
All of our top choices offer a variety of documents related to making a valid will, are affordable and accessible to most people, and have solid reputations among users.