The Covid-19 pandemic has seen a surge in people preparing last will and testaments.
While as recently as 2017 only 42% of Americans had prepared a will, this has gone up across 2020. And with most of us forced to stay home this year, writing a will online has become a popular choice.
But when things return to normality, is writing a will online still a good idea? Here are 4 things to consider…
Speed and Cost
Drafting a basic will online won’t cost much and can be done quickly. These factors are certainly perks. In fact, a truly basic will is going to take you about 15 minutes to draft.
Cost is minimal and is likely to set you back no more than $100. In fact, sometimes it will cost you even less – often nothing at all.
This is a stark comparison to hefty legal costs should you opt to use a lawyer. You’re looking at several hundred dollars as a starting point, just for a draft. And depending on your assets and the complexities of them, this will only get more expensive.
Lack of Expertise
Of course, the downside to not enlisting legal assistance is that you won’t have access to professional advice. If you know about the law and are confident to write your will online yourself, this is less worrying. If, however, you don’t, legal help is recommended.
An attorney is there to guide you through the process, taking into account worst-case scenarios, thinking of matters you may not have considered, and oversee the process with an expert eye.
Lawyers are trained in handling different types of estates. They will make sure all bases are covered and are essentially more reassuring than going at it alone.
While a lawyer is being paid to hold your hand through the process and consider your best interests, writing wills online on your own lacks this reassurance.
Better Than Nothing
It’s better to have some form of will in place than nothing at all. This is a plus side to online will and estate planning. You can at least feel happier knowing there is something in place should the worst happen. Even if it’s basic.
Another benefit of having an initial will written online is that it’s a leap-pad for you and any lawyer you might hire in the future if you want to adapt it professionally eventually.
In the meantime, an executor will have something to go on should tragedy strike.
Wills require witness signatures – usually either two or three. And they usually need to be notarized, too. This means if you’re writing a will online you’ll still have to pay to get this done. You can look at this as a pro or a con to writing an online will.
Because you’re saving money on legal fees, that can go towards the notary cost. A downside, however, might be that if you’re going to spend any money on your will, including a notary, you may as well splash out on a lawyer who will arrange for this to get done as well.
Writing a Will Online
Now you know about writing a will online, don’t be one of the 58% of Americans who aren’t prepared. For more news about health and finance, click on the designated tabs on the menus at the top of this page.
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