In life, death is the only event that remains a mystery. No one can ever predict when or where they will die, so it can happen to anyone at any time. As such, it’s always important to have a will ready once you’re 25 years old. That’s because a will takes care of the remaining family members and prevents squabbles during estate division. It also prevents a court from taking over your estate and dividing it on your behalf. Still, the biggest challenge for you and many people is the cost of a will.
How much should you expect to pay for a will? In this post, you’ll get a detailed explanation of the cost of drawing a will through different avenues.
Cost of a Will Through an Attorney
Hiring an attorney is the most common way of making a will. Cost-wise, an attorney will charge you a flat rate fee from $200 to as much as $1,500 plus hourly fees ranging from $100 to $400 per hour to write a will for you based on a couple of factors. These include:
- Location: where you live will determine the cost of getting a will written by an attorney. Generally, some states have a higher cost of living and fees for wills and estate planning services than others.
- Estate size and value: The bigger and more valuable an estate is, the higher the cost an attorney will charge for drafting a will. This is because significant estates, especially living trusts, require additional resources and time to document in a will.
- Attorney pricing method: An estate planning attorney will either charge a flat fee or hourly fees for a will. Again, flat rate fees for a will can range from $200 to $1,500, while hourly rates start from $100 for a rural attorney and go as high as $400 an hour for a city practicing attorney.
- Attorney experience: A newly practicing attorney will charge way less than a lawyer who’s been doing it for over 15 years. Newer attorneys are best for simple wills, while experienced lawyers are better for complex wills.
Online Will Programs That Charge Fees
If lawyer fees sound expensive, you can still create a will without spending too much money. Technology has made it such that anyone can create a will at their own pace and adjust it without incurring high extra costs. Below is a list of the most affordable online will programs that create legally binding wills:
LegalZoom is an online legal help company that gives you every tool needed to draw a will. From the start, LegalZoom provides attorneys on call to explain the legal process of drafting a will at a monthly cost of $14. From there, you choose between three online will-making plans, including the basic do-it-yourself plan that costs $89, the two-week attorney support plan for $99, and the yearly plan costing $179. Will changes and updates are usually reserved for the higher plans.
Nolo’s Quicken WillMaker & Trust
Nolo’s Quicken WillMaker & Trust software allows you to create a will and numerous other legal documents, such as a financial power of attorney, living trust, and healthcare directive. Their starter bundle for the 2022 version starts at $89, while the Plus version costs $129, and the All-Access version goes for $199. What’s more, all these versions allow you to change your will whenever you want for a year.
U.S Legal Wills
U.S Legal Wills is an online will-making tool that creates a will from your answers regarding your estate. The will contains all the information an executor must follow during asset distribution. That alone costs a one-time fee of 39.95, but you can also get additional services like setting up power of attorney and other legal services through more advanced packages that cost $69.95, $99.95, and $129.95. U.S. Legal Wills also allows you to make unlimited updates to your will for a year.
Rocket Lawyer is a BBB-accredited company that allows you to draft a will in minutes. At the start, the platform asks you to complete an online interview that helps create a customized will template for a one-time fee of $39.99. You can also create other estate planning documents and speak to an attorney at an additional cost. Conversely, you can get the total Rocket Lawyer package by subscribing to their premium membership, which costs $39.99 monthly.
Trust and Will
Trust and Will online create a will from the answers you provide about your estate. Specifically, it creates a customized will form with all instructions on what to include in your will. You also get HIPAA authorization to set up trusts, healthcare directives, and powers of attorney. All this costs a total of $159 for individuals and $259 for couples yearly.
Total Legal helps you create a will from scratch and offers unlimited 60-day revisions for a one-time fee of $19.95. You can also get additional estate planning documents, such as living wills, for a one-time fee of $9 to $99, depending on the document. Total Legal also offers a yearly plan for $89.95, unlimited revisions, lower legal fees from a network of attorneys, and secure online storage.
Online Will Programs That Don’t Charge Fees
The following are online will programs that allow you to create a will for free. Keep in mind that most are suitable for people with smaller estates. They include:
Fabric is among the online will makers that are free to draw a will. You don’t even have to create an account. Just log in to the platform, answer a few questions, and print your legally binding will. The only problem is that any subsequent updates can’t be done.
Do Your Own Will
Do Your Own Will is a free platform that allows you to make your own will. You simply answer a few questions, create a customized will, and download it as a PDF or Word document. You can also get other estate planning documents, such as durable power of attorney and pet guardian trust, for free.
To Sum it Up
In addition to using these online will-making programs to help reduce the cost of a will, an attorney may still be helpful if you have a significant estate. You should also ensure your will is registered with The U.S Will Registry after and keep a copy on the cloud. Sidedrawer.com offers the public and attorneys free icloud storage to assure that your will never goes missing.