Life is like a winding road – you never know what lies around the next bend. Usually, you find nothing. Sometimes, it’s a pleasant surprise. But at any time, that next corner could be your last. If that happens, you’ll wish you made use of the best will making software (free and paid) options online.
Here’s why: if you don’t have clear instructions in place, courts can decide who gets your assets, or the custody of any minor children. Deep in grief, your loved ones will be in no position to defend themselves.
Don’t put them through that. By leaving behind a Last Will & Testament, you force the legal system to respect your wishes.
Wait – What is Will Making Software?
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Online will maker software allows you to create your own Last Will & Testament without involving a lawyer. As a result, you can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
Here’s how it works – you start by entering personal information. Then, you name your executor – that’s the person who will administer your estate after your passing. Lastly, the will making software will ask you a series of questions that will determine your final wishes.
In less than a half-hour, you’ll have a legally binding document that will protect your family. However, these programs might not work for those in complex situations. If you want to establish a trust or have complicated wishes, hiring a lawyer may be best.
How Do Online Will Maker Software Programs Differ?
One size does not fit all. Will making software that works for you might not be the best solution for others. Thankfully, there are dozens of options out there. With many different types of online will maker software, chances are great one of them will fit your needs.
There are many ways these programs differ from each other. NOLO, which was the first to offer online will maker software, offers downloadable software. Other firms provide a mobile interface, while still others focus exclusively on estate planning.
And most notably, some sites offer their will maker software for FREE.
The Top Ten Will Making Software Websites in the USA
Let’s cut to the chase – which online will maker software is the best in America? Well, we can’t just crown one winner – as we’ve already established, one person’s solution may be ineffective for another.
Below, we’ve listed ten will making software websites in America that stand above their competition.
Working with low-income families can be heartbreaking. Programs that make their lives less burdensome are often means-tested – make a bit too much, and you’re out. Lawyers Ralph Warner and Charles Sherman witnessed these injustices in the 1970s, as they had to turn away families who didn’t qualify for legal aid.
These experiences led them to found NOLO back in 1971. In those days, they published DIY legal guides that covered topics like divorce and estate planning. And in 1980, they were the first to create will making software (WillMaker).
Today, they still offer downloadable solutions. But, in keeping with the times, they also have cloud-based will making solutions. At $59.99, their price is middle-of-the-road, but with over 50 years of experience, you get a lot for your money.
There’s a lot to be said for simplicity. Since 2015, eForms has maintained a bare-bones web presence. But on this site, you’ll find a wide range of business and personal legal docs, including estate-planning documents.
In that category, they offer last will & testaments, living wills, power of attorney, living trusts, and more. What’s more, during your first seven days, access to documents is free. After that, they charge you $39 per month. For a la carte access, you’ll pay $45 per document.
You don’t just get access to legal docs for that price – you also pay for accuracy. These documents are updated regularly, and eForms backs it all up with a top-notch customer service team.
3) Rocket Lawyer
Many web services are started by entrepreneurs who aim to “disrupt” a sector. The same is true in the law documents niche – often, these site creators are thinking more about their “inevitable” nine-figure exit than helping people.
Not Rocket Lawyer. This site was started by Charley Moore, an actual legal professional. As a result, not only can you download estate planning documents, but you can access advice from real lawyers.
At a price point of $39.99, their will maker software is one of the industry’s best value solutions.
4) Trust & Will
Don’t let the youth of Trust & Will fool you. Despite only having been around since 2017, it has quickly curried favor with its affordable yet thorough estate plans. Their site is also very usable – of all the will making software on this list, it has the slickest, cleanest design.
Because of this, Millennials have flocked to this app in droves. This development has attracted the attention of venture capitalists, who have shovelled millions into this company.
On Trust & Will, you can get a Last Will & Testament done for $39.99. This is on the low-end for paid will creation options – a fantastic price when you consider everything you get.
5) US Legal Wills
Since the year 2000, US Legal Wills is one of the OGs of online will maker software. From then to now, they’ve helped millions of Americans produce DIY legal documents for cheap.
But affordability isn’t their only calling card – they also offer a digital safe service called MyLifeLocker. In it, you can provide your executor access to the digital details of your life. This area is one that many services have failed to address adequately – a major plus for US Legal Wills.
To produce a Last Will & Testament, you’ll pay a one-time fee of $39.99. Situated on the lower end of the paid estate-planning spectrum, this service is an excellent value.
6) Total Legal
The internet has made it easy to access information. As a result, once-profitable cottage industries like estate planning have become commodified.
While some providers of will making software have embraced specialization, Total Legal has chosen to compete on price. On their site, you’ll find some of the cheapest paid estate planning docs on the web. Living wills start at $14.95, and a Last Will & Testament costs $19.95.
Now, there are downsides. Total Legal only offers three estate-planning documents, and their site design doesn’t inspire confidence. But, if you’re looking to save time AND money, Total Legal is a great option.
There are a lot of will maker software websites out there. However, most are dogged by a common critique – these platforms can only accommodate simple estates. The second you have a complicated situation, they can’t help you.
That’s where LegalZoom comes in. This site has no less than twenty different will, trust, and family-related documents. But most importantly, they have legal advisors and free revisions – two factors that make it easier to accommodate complex legal situations.
They also offer access to hundreds of other legal docs. But if you’re looking to save money, LegalZoom may not be your best choice – their Last Will & Testament forms start at $89.99.
Our pets aren’t just pets – they’re family. But if you suddenly passed, what would happen to them? That’s a question many established estate planning companies don’t have a clear answer to.
Enter Gentreo. Since 2018, they’ve made a name for themselves by offering a Pet Power of Attorney form. However, there is a downside to this provider – they operate via a subscription model. To access this document, plus trust, living will, and Last Will & Testament documents, you’ll need to pay $99.99 per year.
In the online estate planning world, LawDepot has promoted itself as a source of free legal documents. Like most marketing stunts, however, this is a half-truth. LawDepot offers a seven-day free trial – if you cancel your subscription, any legal docs you download during that period are “free”.
But for that to be true, you must cancel the trial on time. Otherwise, you’ll pay a monthly subscription fee of $33 per month. A good deal for a business owner, but a family looking for a will? Not so much.
On LawDepot, a Last Will & Testament costs $49.95 via their a la carte pricing structure – but why would you want to do that? Get their seven-day free trial, and cancel before the period ends to get it for no cost.
Does a truly free online Last Will & Testament exist? You bet it does – on DoYourOwnWill.com, the only thing you’ll spend is your time. Within 10-15 minutes, you can print out a legally-binding will – and you won’t spend a dime.
There is a catch – because of DoYourOwnWill’s “business model”, they have no no customer service department. Also, they do not offer legal advice. So while DoYourOwnWill offers free estate planning documents, we can only recommend them if you have a simple estate.
Protect Your Family
In a moment, anything/anyone can strike you dead. If today was your last day on Earth, would your family be okay? If you aren’t sure, look into one of the online will making software options above. If nothing else, you’ll sleep better at night.