Can You Write A Will Without A Lawyer In 2022?
A will is a part of an estate plan that clarifies your plan on how you plan to distribute assets after your death. Traditionally, Wills was created with the help of lawyers.
But, thanks to the internet and technology, creating a will without a lawyer’s involvement has become a norm. Today, there are many service providers that help individuals in generating legally binding Wills.
An estate attorney can charge you upwards of $200 per hour for their services. However, an online Will is like a DIY approach to ensure your assets are distributed the way you want after your death.
So what exactly is this Online Will, and How Does it work? Let’s find out!
What Is An Online Will?
An online Will is the same thing as a pair of documents drafted by a lawyer. The only difference between an online Will and a traditional Will is that an online Will is made without the help of a professional.
Although most online Will services follow a Do-It-Yourself approach, some do offer a certain level of guidance.
Most online Will services ask for your information to better understand how the distribution of your assets will take place.
- All your real estate property.
- Bank accounts.
- Insurance policies.
- Retirement accounts.
- Any exclusive assets for minors, and who would be their guardian.
If your online Will is compliant with all the state’s estate laws, it will be legal and valid.
However, if a person creates an online Will, they must clearly state that they are in sound mind and intent to bestow their assets.
How do Online Wills work?
Most people do not need to visit a lawyer to create a Will. Their requirements are just basic, which can be fulfilled by simply using a store-bought legal form or an online Will.
When you create a Will online, you are walked down through a step-by-step process. As you move forward with the process, you are asked different questions and asked to fill in some important information.
You then print out the Will, sign it with two witnesses, and notarize it. The best thing about these online Will services is that they allow you to go back to the Will and make the necessary changes quickly.
Who Should Consider Making A Will Online?
Making a Will is not only reserved for rich people. If you have an asset, that means it needs a new owner once you die. This is where the concept of Will finds its place.
Making a Will online is a good idea, only if the assets are worth less than tax limits or have fairly straightforward estates. If your estate is subjected to state tax, consulting a lawyer is advisable.
Online Will creation is beneficial for individuals who have simple plans about their estate and do not have to deal with complicated life events like divorce, re-marriages, or property located in different states.
In addition, you must also consider the contest that might happen after your death. If there is a possibility of any contest, it is advisable that you go with the traditional method and let a lawyer handle your estates and property.
How To File A Will Without A Lawyer?
Below, you will find the step-by-step guide to file a Will without the layer. Although the steps that have been enumerated below might vary depending on the online Will creation services, the basic component of the Will remains the same.
Step 1: Create A List Of Asset
Start with creating a list of the assets you own. Do not limit yourself to just the financial assets. Wills can be included with real estate property, personal belongings, family heirloom, or anything that belongs to you.
Step 2: Includes The Necessary Languages
It is important that you use all the necessary languages needed to make all your family members understand what your Will says. While talking about people in your Will, ensure that you are using the person's real name to prevent any identity confusion.
Step 3: List out Members Receiving Your Asset
Once you have listed down your assets, the next thing you need to do is list the immediate family relative who can inherit your party. After creating the list, go through the list and consider everyone’s personal and financial situation before distributing the assets.
Step 4: Clearly Specify Your Beneficiaries
Now that you have thought of what you want to give to whom, specify beneficiaries clearly. It is important to be as specific as possible to avoid causing any confusion. This confusion will only end up in family conflicts.
Step 5: Determine Guardianships If Needed
If you have any children who are minors, you must name a guardian to take care of them after you die. You must name a contingent guardian if your first option is not available or will not take the responsibility.
Step 6: Sign The Will
Just creating a Will is not enough. It goes into effect once you sign it.
The state rules state that you must sign the Will in front of three witnesses. The rule also states that these three witnesses cannot be included in the Will or can be natural heirs to the assets.
The purpose of having witnesses from outside your Will is to maintain neutrality.
So, Can You Write A Will Without A lawyer!
Creating an online Will is easy. Online Will creation has taken all the guesswork out of making a will and has removed the need of hiring a lawyer.
However, can you really consider a Will created by an online application?
Yes, you can certainly do so - provided they follow all the unique state laws regarding estate and assets.
Finally, remember that a Will is a living document. So to speak, do not forget about the Will after creating it. Life events like birth, death, marriages, and divorces can influence changes in your Will.
Be sure to visit your Will from time to time and ensure it's up-to-date!
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