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A last will and testament, often referred to as simply "a will," is a legal document that explains how you want to distribute your money and possessions in the event of your death. Choosing the right type of document can ensure that your wishes are carried out properly. It could also save your family a trip to probate court to straighten out unsettled affairs.
A will form must be easy to use for a non-lawyer. It also should be available for use throughout the U.S., and it should be easy to change or update as necessary. We evaluated 13 companies before choosing the top providers, based on key factors that include company history, price, availability in all states, offerings for online resources, ease of use, compatibility with various devices, and whether it was easy to make updates.
The 6 Best Online Will Makers of 2023
- Best for Customization: Nolo’s Quicken WillMaker & Trust
- Best Value: US Legal Wills
- Best for Ease of Use: Trust & Will
- Best Comprehensive Estate Plan: TotalLegal
- Best for Free: Do Your Own Will
- Best for Making Changes: Rocket Lawyer
Best for Customization : Nolo’s Quicken WillMaker & Trust
- Price: $99 to $209
- Legal support: No
- Free trial: No
- Update period: One year of software updates included
Customers get access to a large number of estate planning documents with this Nolo product, and the software itself is easy to use. You’re not required to have an internet connection except to download and update the software.
Get comprehensive estate planning documents for a flat rate
Free software updates for version year
Estate planning documents aren’t valid in Louisiana
Must meet minimum operating system requirements
Downloadable software not available for Starter price tier
Nolo started by publishing DIY legal guides back in 1971. It was one of the first websites to provide online legal information and assistance. It's branched out into other products, like its Quicken WillMaker & Trust software tools.
You can download the program for $99 to $209, depending on the version. They include key estate planning documents such as a legal will, living trust, financial power of attorney, healthcare directive, final arrangements, and a letter to survivors, as well as other types of personal finance and home and family management documents.
The software is compatible with both Mac and Windows and it's easy to use. It allows you to create customized legal documents using a simple interview survey to fill out forms. You can then save your information and download completed documents in PDF format. You can update your will at any time and receive legal and technical updates via the internet.
There's a legal manual to help you answer common questions within Quicken WillMaker & Trust, and you can contact technical support for additional help. Louisiana residents won’t be able to use this software because it doesn’t address the estate planning requirements for this state.
Best Value : US Legal Wills
US Legal Wills is one of the most affordable will options we've seen. It offers 40% off forms for partners or spouses, and it also has an add-on service to get an attorney to review your estate plan. It’s one of the only websites that accommodates affordable wills for expats and those who have assets located outside the U.S.
Free unlimited updates
Includes forms for assets outside the U.S. and for expats
Discounts for documents for your spouse or partner
No living revocable trust available
Website not as intuitive as other competitors
Signup process for spouses can be clunky
Formed in 2000, US Legal Wills is an independent organization that works with U.S.-based lawyers to create legal documents, including documents for expats and those who have assets in Canada or the U.K. Services are available in all U.S. states (except Louisiana) and provide some of the best values and discounts of all the websites we reviewed.
Starting at $39.95 for a last will and testament, US Legal Wills customers also get free storage for their documents on the company's secure servers, as well as unlimited updates. You can pay annually or opt for the lifetime feature if you want to keep storing your documents with US Legal Wills, which is only $129.95. It's a more economical choice if you plan on storing your will on its servers for more than a few years. Spouses or partners can get mirror wills (plus additional documents) for 40% off.
You can create a variety of estate planning documents on the US Legal Wills website, then designate what the company calls Keyholders. These are people who have access to your documents, such as trusted family members or the individual you've named as executor.
Members can receive additional support by submitting a ticket through the customer service portal.
Best for Ease of Use : Trust & Will
Customers can create their estate planning documents quickly and simply with Trust & Will. The company offers an easy way to decide which option is best through the "Get Started" section of its site. You can then fill in relevant details using an interview-style format.
We also like that Trust & Will makes it easy for you to make your documents legally binding by mailing you your completed documents for free and providing complete instructions.
Comprehensive learning center
Choose from three options so you can feel less overwhelmed
The website is intuitive to use
Only one year of unlimited updates available
Doesn’t offer free upfront legal consultations
Founded in 2017, Trust & Will aims to modernize the estate planning industry by providing an easy and secure way to create your estate plan online. Document creation is seamless using its user-friendly website and its step-by-step path to getting started. The process can take as little as 15 minutes, and the company even mails your completed documents to you for free, along with instructions to make sure everything is legally binding.
The fintech expert's state-specific trusts offer pretty much everything you'll need, including a living will’s schedule of assets and a revocable living trust to help your loved ones avoid probate. It's one of the only do-it-yourself companies to offer this option.
Trust & Will has a flat fee for wills of $159 for an individual and $259 for couples. A customized trust costs $599, or $699 for couples. This includes unlimited updates for a year. You'll pay $19 a year after a year for unlimited updates for wills and $39 for trusts.
Best Comprehensive Estate Plan : TotalLegal
- Price: Starting at $19.95 or $89 per year
- Legal support: Yes
- Free trial: No
- Update period: 60 days
TotalLegal is one of the only companies that provides comprehensive legal services that include do-it-yourself business and estate planning documents plus free and discounted services from attorneys through its TotalLegal™ plan.
Low annual or monthly fee
Premium members have access to free and discounted legal services
Ability to create a wide variety of documents
Customers who purchase one-off documents have limited update period
No living trusts available
No online access for executors
TotalLegal is part of Pro Se Planning, Inc., which provides self-guided legal products, including estate planning and business formation documents. Customers can purchase and complete individual estate planning documents starting at $19.95 for a last will and testament, which remains available in your online account for 60 days, then offers unlimited updates.
The biggest advantage of TotalLegal is its yearly subscription plan. You get access to free legal services for $89 a year, including a free consultation, attorney-reviewed documents, and a free will with free updates each year. All this provides the most comprehensive resources for those who need some guidance.
Document creation is simple. You’ll go through a series of questions to inform and complete your document, which can then be downloaded and printed. TotalLegal’s help center provides extensive information, and you can always call or email customer support if you have any additional questions.
There are discounted services that include creating a simple will with a trust. You'll also get access to its document storage vault service, where there are no storage limits.
Best for Free : Do Your Own Will
This free option offers one of the widest varieties of forms without paying for extras. There's no need to create an account or hand over any credit card details. You can download your documents instantly.
No need to sign up for an account to get access to documents
Available to residents of all 50 states
Ability to save your will as either a PDF or Word document
No legal support
You must check state laws yourself
Do Your Own Will is a completely free way to make a last will and testament, power of attorney, or a living will. Beyond the unbeatable price, one of the major perks is that it’s simple to use. There's no need to sign up for an account, but you'll have to provide your email address if you want to make updates or changes later.
Users complete forms online by filling in details such as marital status, information on your dependents, how you want your assets to be divided, and who you want to name as your executor. Download the document as a PDF or Word document, then you can sign it.
It’s available nationwide, but there's one caveat: There's no legal support, so make sure you do your own research to make sure your will is legally binding.
Best for Making Changes : Rocket Lawyer
- Price: Starting at $39.99 or $39.99 per month by subscription
- Legal support: Yes
- Free trial: Yes
- Update period: Unlimited with subscription
You get access to all Rocket Lawyer's estate planning documents for one monthly price and you can make updates whenever you like. What makes Rocket Lawyer stand out is its ability to get legal advice for new legal issues and the ability to sign your documents securely online. This allows any changes you make to go into effect immediately.
Offers a wide variety of legal and estate planning documents
A free seven-day trial to try out its services
Ability to pay a low monthly fee for premium access
Monthly membership pricier than other options
You must provide credit card information even for a free trial
Founded in 2008, Rocket Lawyer offers online legal services that include documents and attorney services. Users can purchase individual legal documents for $39.99 each, including wills, trusts, and powers of attorney. You can download them immediately after you complete all the required information online, then receive instructions to make the documents legally binding. They can be securely signed online, plus you can invite others to sign them digitally as well. This allows you to make updates and changes quickly.
The best value is Rocket Lawyer’s monthly subscription model, which costs $39.99 per month. You get unlimited access to all its legal documents for this price, including the ability to make updates and attorney services. The price also includes a free 30-minute consultation on new legal matters, a “ask a lawyer” option for your legal questions, and discounts if you hire an on-call attorney through Rocket Lawyer. You can also contact customer service by email, online chat, or calling its hotline.
We’re a fan of Nolo’s Quicken WillMaker & Trust because you can make your will or trust and other documents with one download for one flat price. But you may want to choose another option if you want additional help from a live lawyer. Nolo’s Quicken WillMaker & Trust is an option with great features for your estate planning forms if you're computer savvy.
Compare Online Will Makers
|Company||Price||Free Trial||Additional Documents||Legal Support||Update Period|
|Nolo’s Quicken WillMaker & Trust Best Overall||$99 to $209||No||Yes||No||1 year of software updates included|
|US Legal Wills Best Value||From $39.95||No||Yes||Yes||Unlimited|
|Trust & Will Best for Ease of Use||From $159||No||Yes||Yes||1 year|
|Total Legal Best Comprehensive Estate Plan||From $19.95 or $89 per year||No||Yes||Yes||60 days|
|Do Your Own Will Best for Free||Free||N/A||Yes||No||Unlimited|
|Rocket Lawyer Best for Making Changes||From $39.99 flat fee or $39.99 per month subscription||Yes||Yes||Yes||Unlimited with subscription|
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Online Wills Legitimate?
Online wills are legitimate as long as they comply with federal and state laws. Online will companies hire licensed attorneys and legal professionals to carefully word their estate planning documents so that each is legally binding, but you'll want to make sure that your final documents will carry the same weight as one that an attorney creates. Check the fine print of the online will company to make sure it’s compliant in your state.
Is Paying for an Online Will Maker Worth It?
Using a free online will service can suffice if your estate is simple and straightforward: You don’t have any children, your only beneficiary is your spouse, and your estate is very small. But you'll probably benefit from using a paid service if you have a larger estate or a more complex situation, or you want a legal professional to help you work through your documents.
Who Should Draw Up a Will?
The only individual who doesn't need a will is someone who owns absolutely no assets, has no cash or bank accounts, and has no children. A slim exception exists for someone who has set up their estate so that all assets and cash pass directly to living beneficiaries through some legal means other than probate. This might be accomplished through beneficiary designations, payable-on-death designations, and with certain deeds that can transfer ownership of real estate to a surviving co-owner.
Should an Individual Write Their Own Will?
It's inadvisable to write your own will without any sort of legal guidance unless you have an up-to-date background in and knowledge of estate law. Otherwise, it's too easy to inadvertently sidestep a rule or law in your state that you didn't even know about. This could result in your final wishes not being carried out, throwing your estate into chaos as the court looks for alternate solutions. Always touch base with a legal professional before writing and finalizing your own will.
What Should You Avoid Putting in a Will?
Your will is not a private document after your death, so don't include anything that you don't want to become a matter of public record. Forming a living trust is a much more private estate-planning alternative. It will avoid airing out all the most intimate details of your life in probate court. A will must pass through probate in order for your estate to be settled.
Our goal is to make sure our recommendations are ones we would share with our family and friends when looking to choose an online will maker company. We looked at 13 companies before choosing the top providers. Factors we looked at include company history, price, availability in all states, offerings for online resources, whether the product was simple to use, compatibility with various devices, and whether it was easy to make updates.
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Nolo. "About Us."
US Legal Wills. "Media."
Trust & Will. "Founding Story."
Rocket Lawyer. "Rocket Lawyer Introduces Rocket Tax."
HG.org Legal Resources. "Probate Overview."
American College of Trust and Estate Counsel. "How Does a Revocable Trust Avoid Probate?"