A will is a legal document that communicates a person's wishes to how they would like to distribute their assets after death and also appoints guardians for any minor children they may have. A will can also express their wishes concerning their funeral, so for example, whether they would prefer to be cremated or buried.
Most people will begin to think about writing a will when they've gone through some major life events such as buying a property, having children, getting married, starting a business, or accumulating financial assets. However, once someone has turned 18 years old they become eligible to write a will.
Sometimes writing a will can seem like a daunting and overly formal experience that can be very tedious and sometimes will require the help of a lawyer, but in fact, it doesn't need to be like this at all.
We're happy to say that this process has become a lot easier especially now that you can create your wills online, including right here at Wills.com.
The first use of a will or testament can be traced back to ancient Greek and Roman times, where male citizens would transfer valuable possessions to their heirs. However, nowadays you'll find most if not all men and women writing wills to transfer assets to loved ones or beneficiaries after they pass.
- Most people would handwrite or type out their will themselves by either following a template or even hiring an estate attorney to help them through the process. (An estate attorney can cost upwards of hundreds of dollars (per hour!) and is typically recommended for testators who have numerous assets and many beneficiaries.)
- Once the will has been drafted, it must then be signed by two independent adult witnesses to confirm that they witnessed the testator was in sound mind when signing the will and was not coerced into signing the will by anyone else.
- Should any adjustments need to be made to a written will further down the line, then the testator will either need to redraft the will with the changes and then gather the two witnesses to witness the signing and sign it themselves again or seek two alternative independent witnesses.
The New (and Easier) Way To Write A Will
Nowadays, it is a lot easier and more time-efficient to write a will online because:
- You won't have to have your two witnesses physically present whilst you sign the will and for them to sign the will as well as it is all done electronically online.
- This also makes it a whole lot easier should you ever need to make any adjustments to your will in the future as you won't have to gather everyone together again to witness the signing of the will.
- You'll be able to write your will from the comfort of your own home without having to make visitors to a live professional or an attorney to help you out.
- Instead of using a live professional like with traditional will writing, you'll be guided online to help you understand what you should include in your will to help build your will and ensure you don't leave anything of importance out.
- It is 100% legal to do your will online and is also a very common choice amongst people nowadays instead of going to solicitors and paying hundreds of dollars for the entire process.
Can you do a will online and use it on other states? Well, it depends. Some states do have different laws concerning online wills, so you may want to do some research into your particular state to ensure your will is compliant with the law.
Your will can then be stored digitally online, on a personal device such as a hard drive, or even printed out as a physical copy for safekeeping somewhere secure in your home. You'll just need to ensure your loved ones and beneficiaries will know where to find it when the time comes.
What Goes Into A Will?
There are some common things that most people will include in their wills and some will be more suitable for your circumstances than others, for example, if you have children of minor age.
- The Name Of Your Executor: This will be the person who is responsible for distributing your assets and estate through the wishes of your will. The executor should be someone you trust and preferably someone who has good organizational skills. Most people will choose their spouse or children. It's advised that you choose a substitute executor should your first choice die before you.
- The Guardianship Of Any Children: If you have children who are under the age of 18, then you'll want to decide who will be appointed as their guardian should you die before they reach this age. A legal guardian is normally the other parent of the children or a close family member.
- Your Funeral Wishes: As morbid as it may be to think about whilst you're writing your will, you should ideally express whether you'd like to be buried or cremated and where you would like it to be done. You can even include minor things such as what music you'd like to be played during your funeral or what you'd like people to wear. This will make things easier for your loved ones when it comes to organizing your funeral as the decisions will have already been made.
- Distribution Of Your Assets: You'll need to include your money which could be basic bank accounts to pensions, to bonds, to your property and cars, to even things such as valuable possessions such as art to jewelry. You'll then also need to cover which of these things and how much you would like distributed to people. If you'd like a certain individual to inherit a particular item from your estate then list this down in your will otherwise there can be tension in the family when it comes to distributing the assets.
Can you do a will online that specifies who will take care of your pets? Yes, you can disclose who you would like to take care of when you pass. If you have a spouse and children, then it will probably be presumed that they will continue to look after the pet once you pass.
How Can You Do A Will Online?
So how can you do a will online? You can do it right here at Wills.com and it's incredibly easy to do so.
We offer a standard price for your state-specific legal will which includes free changes for the rest of your life, so should you ever need to adjust your will if circumstances change then you won't find yourself paying out any hidden charges.
A basic will here at Wills.com can be created within just 15 minutes and it will be stored securely whilst your friends and family can be informed of its whereabouts.
We give you the freedom to begin creating your will at your own pace and allow flexibility to take a break from writing it and return at a later date and continue exactly where you left off.
As we mentioned, certain states have particular laws and requirements when it comes to online wills and here at Wills.com, we can help you each step of the way to ensure your will is completely legal and valid.
Start Your Will Today
If this will be the first time that you attempt to write a will, then our helpful guides and checklist and even the assistance of our helpful team will ease the stress of writing your will and make the process more seamless for you. Just sign up here to get started on writing your state-specific legal will today.