Most of us already know what a will is and why we should make it. However, still, a majority of people don't have a last will and avoid the task. The reason is that we think of lawyers and fancy legal fees as necessary components for estate planning. Well, it's not true for making your last will and testament. Creating a will without paying a long legal bill can be pretty straightforward. Several new platforms and modern estate planning have allowed people to handle this task themselves and create an online last will and testament while sitting on their beds!
Keep reading if this sounds interesting and you've been thinking about making a will for the longest time.
Who can make a will without a lawyer?
Anyone who wants a simple, straightforward, and standard last will can make it without a lawyer. You could make this DIY will if you:
- Have a normal amount of assets and estate
- Want to leave the estate to the beneficiaries that don't have an unusual relationship, or if your plans for distributing the assets aren't uncommon
- Don't expect anyone to challenge your will after you pass away.
If you fit these criteria and don't have any exceptional needs, use an online platform to create your last will and testament. You won't need an attorney and can easily save all that legal fees.
Steps to make a will without a lawyer
Follow these steps to create a DIY, affordable, and effective legal last will and testament:
- Choose an online service: You should first choose an online will-making platform. You could use several tools to create your online last will and testament. Most of them provide easy-to-use blank forms or will-making kits to help finish your DIY will easily. You could use our platform TrulyWill to complete your will without paying any legal fees for attorneys. So, decide which platform you would use to create your DIY will first.
- List and classify your assets: You should then proceed with listing all your assets for the will. It should include physical property like a house, cars, or other precious artifacts. The will should also mention financial assets like your bank account or investments. Ensure you clarify all the details about an asset while mentioning it in the will. For example, explain which artifact or family heirloom you're talking about by describing the look, color, or other details.
- Decide the beneficiaries: You should then mention who would inherit what from your estate. It would be beneficial to mention the beneficiary's full legal name rather than saying that it goes to my son, wife, brother, etc. Decide who gets what and mention it in the document. Ensure that you name a beneficiary for all your assets.
- Mention a guardian: You should mention a trusted adult as the guardian of your minor children in the will. It would help avoid any confusion among the family after you pass away. Ensure that you talk to the person first and that they would be up for the role. You can also mention who would take care of your pets after you're gone in the will.
- Decide your executor: Your executor would primarily be responsible for ensuring that your wishes in the last will are followed. They would manage and oversee the estate distribution and handle the process. Also, the executor would have to communicate with the beneficiaries and the interested parties regularly. That's why you must name a trusted person as your executor.
- Print and sign: Once you've filled in all the details, recheck everything. Ensure that nothing is missing ad you've entered all the correct information. After that, print the will and follow the state requirements for a will. You should read and decide how many witnesses you'd need and whether you have to notarize the will or not. Follow the rules to complete your legal will.
- Store the will: After following all the steps, you have your online will ready. The task left to do is to find a safe spot for storage. It would help ensure that you can easily access the will if required, and it doesn't face any damage. Ensure that you keep a physical hard copy of the will. Also, your beneficiaries or the interested party should be able to access the will when required.
When should you hire a lawyer?
Making this online DIY will is an efficient solution to avoid hiring an attorney and save money. However, you might prefer to consult a lawyer if you have a unique and uncommon request or circumstances about your estate and will.
For example, if you have a vast estate or want to disinherit your family from the will, it might be better to take help. The experts could guide you better about what to do and how to make the will to fulfill your unique requirements.