The last 18 months lived under the shadow of the global COVID-19 pandemic have seemingly focused America’s mind on its own health, well being and mortality. More Americans than ever before are paying ever closer attention to their health care services and a record rate are now looking into Estate Planning and Will Making for the first time. Whilst Will Making services used to be the preserve of expensive lawyers, online Will Makers are now helping users to draw up their last wishes faster, easier and much cheaper than ever before. Still, only a small percentage of American seem to be aware that they can take advantage of online will and trust services which according to onlinewillmakers.com, online wills are cheaper than lawyers by 70% on average.
Do You Need A Will?
Let’s start at the beginning (or the end if you can forgive the morbid joke…). You are not in any way obliged to create a Will and many people die without ever having drafted one or even thought about it. However dying without a Will or ‘Intestate’, can cause all kinds of problems for those left behind. Firstly, they may not know what to do in regards to your last rites and earthly remains. Writing a Will allows you to state whether you would prefer a traditional Church funeral service and burial, or to be pushed out to sea on a flaming longboat like a Viking!
Will’s also allow you to specify how you want your worldly possessions and assets to be handled. You can specify who gets any savings, shares or pensions you have and can of course dictate who gets your beloved gold watch, and who is left with your kitschy old teapot.
Whilst many of us would rather simply not think about this, dying without writing a Will can cause problems for your loved ones and family members. They may find themselves embroiled in legal disputes with your bank or even with each other who gets what. Therefore writing a Will really is the responsible thing to do – and hey, some people even find the process to be cathartic.
How To Make A Will
Technically, you can make a Will yourself. Any written document may be accepted as a legally valid Will as long as its integrity can be established. However, DIY Will’s are often problematic. They may be suspected of being fake, they can contain contradictions, leave important oversights and in many cases they end up being open to challenge. Furthermore, if you simply write your own Will and leave it folded in your bookshelf, who will even know it exists when the time comes?!
This is why Will Making Services have been around in various forms almost as long as death itself. These duties have traditionally been undertaken by either the family Lawyer, or by engaging the services of a specialist Estate Planning Lawyer.
There are many advantages to using a Lawyer as you get personalised, legally sound advice as well as the personal touch. However, the reality is that a lot of what they do is actually quite simple and they are often following a bog standard procedure unless you happen to have a very complicated personal life and asset base. And by the way, if the Lawyer ever actually has to do any heavy duty legal work such as deal with relatives contesting, they will charge your estate extra for that.
Look at it like this – whilst you certainly need your Orthodontist to handle root canal surgery, a hygienist can do your monthly scale and polish perfectly adequately for a fraction of the price your Orthodontist would charge.
Online Will and Trust Services
Online Will Makers represent a happy hybrid between simply doing the Will yourself and hiring an expensive lawyer. Online Will Makers are typically 70% cheaper than engaging a lawyer and yet can offer the same service level. You simply choose which Online Will Service you wish to use and download their package. It will guide you through everything you need such as details of your assets (from bank accounts down to clothes) and details of your beneficiaries.
Online Will Makers first began to emerge at least two decades ago. However, initially, their target client base (the over 50’s) were not online as the internet was still the preserve of the young and carefree. This has of course now changed and even the elderly and retired are fast getting online. Also, general trust in online service providers has grown across all generations. Online Will Making has therefore made some inroads over the last decade and more and more firms are popping up.
Still, it is only a minority of Americans who use Online Will services and each year, Lawyers continue to make vast sums of easy cash drafting up Wills! It is not quite clear why this is but some commentators suspect it is simply a matter of awareness – a lot of people still don’t know you can make a Will online (here is a hint, you can do or find absolutely anything online!).
Others are aware of it but just don’t quite feel comfortable entrusting such a serious task to an anonymous website. This is a very understandable concern so it is highly important for anybody wishing to make their Will online to do a lot of research and pay close attention to testimonials and trust pilot ratings.
Let’s be honest, we entrust a good deal of our lives to the internet so why not let it help out a bit with our death too?