For years, the topic of wills and estate planning was the province of lawyers almost exclusively. Then the Internet came along, offering a variety of free or cheap online ways to do a will yourself!
The Newest Way to Do a No-Cost Will
If you don’t have children and you don’t have a lot in the way of assets, then you probably don’t need a will.
But if you have a family and/or money, then you do need to give some thought to will preparation.
Enter the latest site to help with that challenge, FreeWill.com.
As its name suggests, FreeWill gives you the opportunity to do a last will and testament via a simple online will-making platform for free.
FreeWill says it makes money on the planned giving side of things. That is, FreeWill makes it super-easy for grassroots donors to make a bequest to charities that are near and dear to their hearts as part of the estate planning process.
So far, users have committed more than $178M to nonprofit organizations through the platform, according to FreeWill.
Charitable institutions pay a fee to FreeWill for the ability to reach out to donors and cultivate a relationship.
Meanwhile, we’ve got other free and cheap ways to get your will done online right here.
When Should You Pay to Sit Down With a Lawyer and Do a Will?
With all the talk of free online will preparation, you might be wondering when a robo-will just won’t cut it.
Money expert Clark Howard isn’t opposed to you paying a lawyer to draw up your will. But he says a lawyer is only an absolute necessity in a handful of circumstances:
- You own your own business
- You have substantial assets and/or net worth
- You have a blended family, e.g. both you and your spouse were married previously with children
If any of these scenarios apply to you, you’ll likely want to steer clear of the online self-prepared sites and sit down with a lawyer who specializes in wills, estates and trusts.