When it comes to creating a will, a lot depends on your individual circumstances. But if an attorney’s fees are out of your budget, an online will-writing service can help. These services ask a few basic questions and produce a legal document within minutes. They can also provide additional documents to cover complexities such as estate taxes or heir disputes. Many are reviewed by attorneys to ensure that your documents pass legal muster. They can be found online and in stores such as Staples, Office Max and Home Depot.
These services can be expensive, but they are less than the up-front cost of an attorney and can save you money in the long run. Some even offer a free version with limited support. However, it is recommended that you have an attorney look over your documents for a small fee.
A lawyer can charge a flat fee or an hourly rate. They can also help best will writing service you address broader estate planning concerns and make recommendations that can minimize the costs of probating your will or trust. Attorneys can also help you decide whether a living will or health care proxy is right for your situation.
There are several different companies that provide online will-writing services, with some offering additional perks such as outside legal support or the ability to print and mail your documents for a small extra fee. Others, such as LegalZoom, have a simple questionnaire process that takes only 10 minutes to complete and produces a document that is legal in all states. However, LegalZoom has a few drawbacks such as a lack of flexibility in answering the questionnaire and a requirement that you download its software to your computer, which can cause problems if you’re on an older operating system or have limited hard drive space.
Another service that offers a similar experience is TotalLegal. For $89 a year, it provides a comprehensive package of 35 legal estate-planning documents and three plans to choose from based on your needs and the amount of complexity involved in your will. The company’s online interface is easy to use, and its customer support representatives are knowledgeable and helpful. However, like Legal Zoom, the company’s will template does not take into account unique family situations or atypical financial arrangements, which can lead to unintended consequences or a will that isn’t valid in your state.
Finally, there are DIY kits available over the internet and in some brick-and-mortar stores that include all the guides, templates and forms you need to write and legally validate your own will and other estate planning documents. While these are cheaper than an attorney’s fees, they may not be as thorough or easy to understand. They may also contain outdated information, or not take into account a recent change in your life or the law. However, they are a good option for people who need a quick and inexpensive solution. A few of these services can be purchased from legal supply companies such as Nolo or Rocket Lawyer, and they are sometimes offered by insurance vendors.