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do you need an attorney to make a will

Do You Need an Attorney to Make a Will?


Creating a will is a crucial step in ensuring your final wishes are honored and your assets are distributed according to your desires after your passing. Many people wonder, “Do I need an attorney to make my will?” However, the reality is that you have the power to create a legally binding will on your own, without the need for legal representation. In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of making a will with or without an attorney’s assistance.

Making a Will Without an Attorney

While it’s entirely possible to make a will without the help of an attorney, some individuals may feel overwhelmed by the prospect.  Consequently, this leads them to put off creating this essential document. Common concerns include not having access to a reputable attorney, uncertainty about the necessary steps, or simply feeling too busy to handle the process. However, the absence of an attorney shouldn’t deter you from drafting your will. Several resources, such as online will templates, can provide guidance and structure for making a will on your own. These tools help you outline your final wishes and ensure your assets are distributed as you see fit.

When to Consult an Attorney for Estate Planning

For individuals with complex estates, consisting of various assets, intricate family dynamics, or potential legal complications, hiring an attorney is highly advisable. A complex estate may involve significant financial holdings.  This may include multiple properties, business interests, or blended families with stepchildren and ex-spouses. Additionally, individuals with high net worth, international assets, or beneficiaries with special needs may require specialized legal expertise to navigate the complexities of estate planning effectively. An attorney can provide tailored advice and solutions to address specific challenges. Ensuring that your final wishes are accurately reflected in your will is essential.

By leveraging their expertise, individuals with complex estates can minimize the risk of disputes, reduce tax liabilities, and preserve their wealth for future generations. Therefore, consulting with an attorney is essential for those with non-simple estates to ensure comprehensive estate planning and peace of mind.

Creating an Online Will as a Preliminary Step

Many individuals opt to create an online will as a preliminary step before consulting with an attorney. This approach provides them with the opportunity to consider their final wishes and distribution of assets. Online wills prevent individuals from feeling pressured or incurring attorney fees.  By drafting a basic will online, individuals can take their time to reflect on their decisions. In addition they can conduct further research as needed.  This process allows them to consult with family members, beneficiaries, or other trusted individuals.  This will ensure that their wishes align with their intentions. Once they have a clearer understanding of their priorities and preferences, they can then take their will to an attorney’s office for review and additional guidance. This two-step approach empowers individuals to make informed decisions about their estate planning.

Advantages of Online Will Services

Online wills offer numerous advantages due to their: accessibility, convenience, and cost-effectiveness. Firstly, they provide easy access from any location with an internet connection.  This allows many to eliminate the need for in-person visits to lawyers’ offices.  Secondly, online wills often come with user-friendly interfaces and step-by-step guidance. This process becomes simpler and less intimidating for those without legal expertise.

Additionally, online wills cost less than traditional legal services, which makes estate planning accessible to a wider range of people. Furthermore, services like The U.S. Will Registry not only offer a free online will-making program.  It offers the highest rating among online programs.

Finally, individuals can easily update or revise online wills, allowing them to adapt their estate plans as their circumstances change without incurring significant legal costs. Overall, the convenience, affordability, and flexibility of online wills make them a popular choice for many individuals seeking to create or update their estate plans.

Navigating the Signing Process

Regardless of whether you choose to make your will with or without an attorney’s assistance, it’s essential to understand the legal requirements for signing and executing the document. In most jurisdictions, the testator (you) must sign the will in the presence of two witnesses who are not beneficiaries named in the will. While notarization isn’t always required for a will to be legally valid, it can provide additional assurance of the document’s authenticity and may be advisable in certain circumstances.

Storing Your Will: Ensuring Accessibility and Security

After drafting and signing your will, you must store it in a safe and accessible location. While it’s essential to keep a physical copy of your will in a secure place, it’s highly recommended to store a copy of your will online. The U.S. Will Registry partners with for free online iCloud storage.  Once stored online, it is critical to  register the location of your will with an online registry.  Founded in 1997, the U.S. Will Registry provides a valuable resource for Last Wills.  Registered wills have been responsible for 34% of missing wills being found when families are unable to locate it. 

When you register your will, you ensure the fulfillment of your final wishes, offering crucial peace of mind to your family and beneficiaries.

Too often wills can’t be located for some of these reasons:
  1. Poor organization or storage
  2. Moving or relocation
  3. Disputes or disagreements among family members
  4. Lack of communication regarding the will’s location
  5. Changes in circumstances such as divorce or remarriage
  6. Accidental destruction due to mishaps like fire or water damage
  7. Someone intentionally destroys the document, either out of spite or with malicious intent, even though they were not included in it.

Otherwise, if a will can’t be found, it will be said that you died intestate. In that case, the state will distribute your assets, and your wishes will not be known. Therefore, registering the location of your will secures that it can be located.


In conclusion, whether you create your will independently or with legal assistance, it’s crucial to document your final wishes. While consulting with an attorney offers advantages, using online resources can also suffice. Registering your will ensures accessibility, avoiding potential disputes and uncertainties. Ultimately, taking these steps ensures that your loved ones have clarity and security, honoring your intentions.


Don’t Have a Will, or Need to Update Your Will?

The U.S. Will Registry has created a FREE online will program for the public to create a user-friendly, online legal will from your home. Creating a will from home gives you the ability to take your time and ensure your wishes are accurately reflected.


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

Discover our range of services: Free Will Creation, Free Will Registration, Missing Will Search, Free iCloud Storage and Free Death Notices, and Obituaries.
Create and Safeguard your will and ensure peace of mind.

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