For years, money expert Clark Howard has tried to drive home to his listeners and readers the importance of having a last will and testament.
He’s recommended LegalZoom.com and WillMaker software from Nolo.com. Both are cheaper online alternatives to the traditional process of sitting down with a paid lawyer to draw up your will — but they each run around $70 a pop.
Now, there’s a new free and easy option for creating a will online that you may want to check out.
New life insurance startup offers free will preparation
There’s a new life insurance startup called Fabric, which takes the idea of applying for life insurance and updates it for the mobile age.
Fabric’s accidental death policy starts at just $6/month for $100,000 of coverage. Best of all, you can apply and be approved in just two minutes on your phone.
The startup has also made online will preparation similarly easy — and this part is free, with no strings attached.
At MeetFabric.com/Wills, you can create a will in just five minutes. There are no apps to download, no services to sign up for and no gimmicks.
You don’t even need to be a life insurance customer with a Fabric policy to do the free will prep — it’s available to anyone.
Here’s what you can expect when you create a free will with Fabric…
Part 1 – Getting started
You’ll need to provide the following info:
- Legal name
- Email address
- Home address
In addition, you’ll also have to create a password for your Fabric account during this step of the process.
Part 2 – Creating your will
Here’s where the rubber really meets the road!
This step includes nine or fewer fields to fill out, depending on your exact circumstances:
- Enter the legal names of your children
- Designate someone as your children’s guardian in case you pass away
- Designate an alternate guardian in the event that the primary person chosen is unwilling or unable to take on the role
- Select how you’d like your estate to be left to your beneficiaries — either children alone or spouse and children
- Enter your spouse’s legal name, if applicable
- Include a bequest in your will, if you wish
- Indicate what you intend to bequeath
- Enter the name of your executor
- Designate an alternate executor, if applicable
Part 3 – Plan your final arrangements
You’re almost done! Here’s what this section entails:
- State your wishes for your final resting place. It’s easy to do from a drop-down menu
- Decide what kind of ceremony you wish to have. Again, you can use the drop-down menu to make it easy
- Make any special requests for your final resting place or your ceremony
- Click the “create will” button
What happens next?
Within minutes, you’ll be emailed the Fabric Will Kit. In it, you’ll find a copy of the will itself…
You’ll also find a checklist with step-by-step instructions on how to take the document you’ve made online for free and turn it into a legally binding document.
How to make your will legally binding
You’ll have some homework to do after you create your will online. Here are the five steps Fabric advises that you take:
- Find two disinterested witnesses to verify that you are of sound mind at the time of signing
- You may wish to include an Affidavit of Attesting Witnesses. It’s recommended, though not necessary. If you choose to do this, a notary public must be present
- Sign your will
- Store your will in a safe place
- Contact your executor and another party to tell them where the will is stored
One nice thing about the Fabric Will Kit is that it also includes scripted prompts to help you broach the discussion about end-of-life issues with your executor, guardian and witnesses.