This article on Wills is provided by NextLifeBook — Your one stop shop for planning and organizing your life. Create, store and share important documents that your loved ones might need. Find out more about NextLifeBook.
Prices vary from free to hundreds of dollars
There are many providers for online will services including law firms, financial services institutes, and digital estate planning companies.
So which one should you choose?
That depends on how complicated is your will, what life stage you are at and other factors. In general, free online will services will be good enough to generate a simple will for people who want to distribute their assets simply.
For those online wills by law firms, they usually provide additional service such as consulting with a lawyer and providing the witnesses to make the will legally binding. Of course, this comes at a cost, usually in the range of hundreds of dollars.
You need to download, print and get your will properly signed and witnessed
Regardless of in-person or online will writing services, the most important aspect of will writing is to make it legally binding. This means:
- You must be at least 21 years old.
- You must sign the will at the bottom.
- Your signature must be witnessed by at least two witnesses who are neither beneficiaries of your will nor spouses of beneficiaries. These witnesses must sign the will in front of you.
Therefore, a soft copy of your will stored online cannot be used to execute your wishes. E-signature is not valid as the witnesses have to sign it in person.
Make sure the online service allows you to update your will
Life happens. As we move on to different stages of life, the requirements of our wills will be different. How you want to distribute your assets when you just got married compared to when you have your third child will be different.
Some online will services like ours, allows you to update your will whenever you want. Others may charge you additional fees for each update. Make sure to do your due diligence.
Most importantly, remember to download your most recent and updated will, print it, get it signed and witnessed and store it somewhere safe where your executor can locate it.