The best way to prepare your will is to let a reputable legal professional handle it. The cost of making an online will ranges from $20 to $400 dollars, as compared to a will made by a lawyer who may charge anything up to $5000 or even more, depending on the complexity of your financial situation.
While a basic online will cost is approximately $50, estate planning involving creating several documents start from $69 and can go up to $179. For those who need frequent changes in their will, a monthly subscription between $10- $33 can come in very handy.
Everyone may be aware of the inevitable, but no one wants to pass away and leave a financial mess behind which could become a burden, instead of a boon, for the loved ones.
As Covid-19 has changed the way people work and live around the world, they have now begun to realize that important decisions impacting loved ones cannot be pushed off to a later date.
The backdrop of Covid has exposed the fragility of human life in such a pronounced manner that the lessons learned from the virus have made people even in their 40s rethink and seek the services of an online will maker.
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Importance of securing your assets through a will
You may have accumulated a lot of wealth, but if you pass away without making a will, your legal heirs will have an upheaval task on their hands to access the money and assets you toiled so hard to save for their future and well-being, especially when times were uncertain.
There are many people who have complications in the finances of their estate and consider using the services of a lawyer to protect their assets. But despite the heavy fees they levy and legal acumen they may possess, there is no need at all to take this route.
Why pick an online will maker?
Extended periods of isolation and stay-at-home orders are experiences that most people had never dealt with before. While some have started estate planning only now, which they should have done years back, attorneys are latching on to those who are ignorant to make a fast buck.
Meeting in person, no doubt promotes trust, but social distancing has its own limitations which have forced practitioners to embrace technology. People can now get a basic will online or through store-purchased legal forms, at a cost of a fraction a lawyer may charge for the job.
Online will making services
All online will makers are not the same. While costs may vary considerably across different platforms, this should not act as a deterrent as it will be risky to run into an online will maker which is unable to protect your legacy when some of the more experienced service providers can.
Here are a chosen few who stand apart from the others:
Nolo’s Quicken WillMaker & Trust: Quicken is a personal finance management software and Nolo is a DIY legal guide publisher of repute. WillMaker & Trust has brought the expertise of both these firms together to create one of the best online will makers overall. For as little as $99.99 they offer:
- 35 estate planning documents, like will, living trust, a general power of attorney for anyone you want to make a will for.
- Property inheritance documents that others either don’t include or charge extra.
The downside is that their services are not available in Canada, Louisiana, and US territories. Secondly, you need to first download their software on a compatible computer with adequate hard drive space.
Trust & Will: With wills starting from $89 a person and $159 for a couple and unlimited updates @$19 after one year, Trust & Will is a great value service for many as you get:
- Customized & state-specific last will and testament.
- Supporting health care documents.
- Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act(HIPAA) authorization.
- Living Will & Power of Attorney.
However, if you have children from different partners or other complex family issues, look for another provider.
LegalZoom: LegalZoom has been assisting clients for their legal needs for over 14 years and this last will and testament maker claims to make one in only fifteen minutes. Their price structure is a bit complicated and pricey with a basic plan at $89, comprehensive at $99, and Bundle at $179. Their coverage includes:
- Basic Plan: Will and no other documents.
- Comprehensive Plan: 30 minutes free call with an attorney and upgraded will plan.
- Bundle: All the above plus access living will, financial Power of Attorney, and a year’s subscription to Legal Advantage Plus
LegalZoom is designed for the average user. For additional documents, switch to a different online service or consult an attorney.
RocketLawyer: Of all the online will makers in the industry, RocketLawyer is known for its excellent customer service which helps cover all issues. While a single document fee is $39.99 you can opt for the Premium monthly membership, (which includes a 7 day free trial) for the same price with all documents included. Services of RocketLawyer are:
- On-call attorney to answer immediate questions
- Free 30 minute consultation
- Free access to the legal documents library.
This is a great service with the only drawback that you can’t print or make any updates after the trial period without paying.
All online will makers are different and to get the right fit, review the laws of the state yourself to make sure you are covered before reaching out to a legal representative.