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Do It Yourself Wills: Pros and Cons

DIY Wills have been around for a long time and are important in making sure that many people can make their own Wills. Before, you would buy one from an office supply store as a DIY Will.  However, some online Wills created by attorneys are available today for those who feel they have a simple estate. If you want your loved ones to be taken care of well after your death, and for your wishes to be implemented, you should most certainly have a Will.

In addition, lawyer costs of writing it might be costly causing many individuals creating an online Will. The next few sections give tips on how to create do-it-yourself legally valid Wills that suit you best.

Who Should, and Shouldn’t, Make A Do-It Yourself Will?

Simple Estates: 

Typically, people who are best suited to making their own will online have simple financial and family situations. They include:

      • Single Adults: This is when someone has no dependents or complicated economic interests.
      • Married Couples: In case they have similar desires and their estates are not intricate.
      • Parents with Clear Plans: Parents who have simple clear instructions on what happens to their children should they die and how their assets should be distributed.
      • People with Modest Estates: These are people without substantial real estate, business concerns or significant investments.
      • Individuals with Simple Bequests: Those persons wishing to pass on their assets to a few beneficiaries but without many conditions or trusts.
      • Such individuals usually have uncomplicated estates and lucid wishes on how they want their properties divided, thus making them good candidates for the use of online will services.
      • Those who plan on giving less than $1 million to a given charity.

More Complicated Estates:

Individuals not well-suited for creating a will online or at home typically have more complex financial or familial situations. This includes:

      • Individuals with Huge or Complicated Estates: Those with large possessions, several homes, or business enterprises.
      • Parents of Children with Special Needs: Ones that need to establish special trusts or guardianships.
      • Individuals with Unusual Bequests: Those who want to leave assets under specific conditions or in intricate ways.
      • People with Substantial Debts or Obligations: Those estates whose debts might be resolved through complex methods.
      • International Assets: Those owning different properties and assets across countries.
      • Charitable Aims: People who plan on donating huge amounts of money to charities, as well as establishing charitable trusts.
      • Individuals Worried about Taxes: People whose properties could have an estate tax liability, and other complex tax considerations may apply to them.

Many times, a lawyer will need to be involved to make sure the will is thorough, legally valid, and customized to each person’s unique needs and situation.

These situations often require the expertise of an attorney to ensure that the will is comprehensive, legally sound, and tailored to the specific needs and circumstances of the individual.

Create a Will Online Prior to Your Attorney Consultation

Nonetheless if your estate is more complicated, even then you may still get value out of employing an online Will to generate initial documents.  Having an outline of your wishes from an online Will, allows you to consult with ease with an attorney later on. Through this method, the lawyer’s work is made easier leading to saving both time and money eventually.

Consider Your State’s Legal Requirements For Wills

When drafting your own Will, it is essential that you consider the legal requirements in each states. Every state has its laws and regulations governing how a Will should be drafted and executed. Some important points include the following:

  • Age and Mental Capacity: In order to write a validly enforceable one, testator (the person making the Will) must be at least 18 years old and sound mind when he or she signs it.
  • Written Document: A verbal or oral document does not meet the requirements of being called a ‘Will’. This makes oral or verbal Wills void unless certain conditions are met.
  • Signature Witnesses: At a minimum, two people (who are not beneficiaries) must sign the Will as witnesses
  • The Will has to be signed by you.
  • Some states may require additional formalities, such as notarization.

Homemade Wills are Risky

Unfortunately, some people who try to create their own Will from home without an attorney or online Will program. When someone sets up a Will incorrectly, it risks invalidation, which can cause confusion and distress for family members. In such cases, if there is no valid Will, the estate would proceed intestate. In this scenario, the court intervenes to direct how assets should be distributed.

Requirements of Quality “Do it Yourself Wills” 

To enable users to create a legally sound and comprehensive document, the best online Will creating program should possess certain key features and attributes such as mentioned below:

Legal Validity:

It should have templates that follow jurisdictional laws and some updates whenever there is any change in legislation. Online wills entail using precise legal language, ensuring all essential elements are addressed

User-Friendly Interface:

An online Will program needs to be user-friendly for ordinary individuals who do not have knowledge about law so that they can also use it with ease.

Clear Instructions and Guidance:

In order to guide people through the creation procedure, programs must contain all necessary information needed in plain language. This process ensures full comprehension of ideas by providing definitions of legal terms used.

Customization Options:

A good program should allow users to customize their Wills so as to make them suit special requirements associated with particular circumstances. 

Review and Editing Capabilities:

This enables individuals who change their minds after filling out first draft copy realize possible inaccuracies in pre-existing text parts before finally completing its content. Editing features also allow you to review your choices and modify them easily to create a new Will document.  

Security and Privacy Measures:

The program should secure sensitive information contained in Wills, as they contain personal details of testators. This may involve encrypting data, providing secure storage facilities, and undertaking measures to protect the privacy of users.  To boost security and prevent access from unauthorized persons with ill motives, a good program does require you to enter your email address alongside password before logging into service.

Notarization Services:

In order to make a document more legally binding, some websites offer notary services. Notarizing a Will helps prevent challenges to its authenticity. If you don’t notarize the Will, you should use the Self Proving Affidavit form.  This affidavit is a statement that confirms the competency of the testator at time of execution as well as validity of Will itself. It simplifies probate by allowing heirs without calling witness for testimony during court proceedings.

Accessibility and Compatibility:

It must work on various devices such as mobile phones and different web browsers’ systems in order for clients to easily access it wherever they are,

Cost Transparency:

A reputable online Will-creating program should openly state its costs. Securely maintaining a physical copy provides protection against unforeseen circumstances.

iCloud Storage or Safekeeping Options:

Identify a program that offers solutions for safe storage of a completed Will. Users can do this through iCloud digital services or by guiding them on where to physically store important documents.

Distributed Online Notary and Witness Logistics

The option of notarizing your Will is very important because it adds an extra layer of legal protection. A notary public is a licensed professional who can legally witness and certify your signature on your Will. The existence of the notarization renders it difficult for anyone to contest your Will’s validity in court, hence, enhancing its legal security.

Most Preferred Program Online

The most recommended online will is found at The U.S Will  website.  It features an online will creator, free iCloud storage, will registration, a notary link, and various downloadable forms. Furthermore, once you register, their nationwide database enables them to retrieve the location of your will if your family cannot find it after you pass away.

Ensuring Your Will Can be Found

To do that, you need to keep your Will in a place that other people know about or will have access to when needed.

Online iCloud Storage

Cloud storage is safe and easy to use. Free online document storage with is partnered by the U.S. Will Registry. Using iCloud Storage will mean you can access your Will from any place or device at any time. For unauthorized access, loss, and destruction of documents, these services employ high-end security systems which protect your documents. Your unique email and password secures your information and privacy.  

Store Your Original Will in a Safe Place

However, it is important to have the original copy stored securely despite having an online version. This can include a safe deposit box or fireproof safe or even leaving it with your attorney. Securely maintaining a physical copy provides protection against unforeseen circumstances.

Online Registration

By registering your Will with The U.S. Will Registry, you can secure its location for future reference. Documenting the whereabouts of both the original and duplicate copies in a national registry prevents the risk of loss or irreparable damage.

Review and Update Your Will Regularly

It is necessary to check on and update your will often after making one for yourself. Situations such as getting married or divorced, having kids, changes in financial conditions are all examples of life events that could affect whatever has been documented.   Review your will once a year to make sure that it always reflects what you would want now as well as years later.

Consider Having a Lawyer Review Your Will for Legal Soundness

While creating an affordable DIY (do-it-yourself) will is possible, you may want to ensure its legality and suitability for your circumstances. A good idea might be hiring an attorney who goes through the will in question for its legal soundness. This will mean that it meets the requirements of your state and accurately reflects what you want. If you are not sure if the document is okay, attorneys can review it at an affordable cost.

In Conclusion

With reputable online resources and software programs like The U.S. Will Registry, you can create a legally sound Will that provides peace of mind. The added features offered by The U.S. Will Registry guaranteeing safety, accessibility and timely location of Wills when necessary.

Explore Comprehensive Last Will Management with The U.S. Will Registry

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