Have you written a last will and testament? If you’re like most Americans, your answer is no. Despite a will being one of the easiest legal documents to write, as well as something that everyone should have, millions of people put it off until it is too late.
This is not surprising. Legal services are not cheap and can be confusing for anyone without an education in law. Furthermore, no one wants to think too much about their own mortality. Young people especially prefer to believe that it is something they have a few decades to do.
Unfortunately, the events of the last year have made death ever present in many people’s lives. Even those who are unlikely to die from COVID-19 probably know at least one person who has succumbed to the virus. Mortality is becoming such a common part of everyday life that most of us have become desensitized to the frightening numbers.
With all of this in mind, it is crucial that Americans start thinking of the creation of a will as a basic necessity. The good news is that with online will makers, it is now easier and more affordable than ever.
Why do I need a will?
If you’re asking yourself why do I need a will, chances are you haven’t had to deal with the estate of a deceased family member. When someone dies without a will, they set their loved ones up with tough decisions to make about post-death arrangements during an incredibly difficult time.
You may also want specific arrangements to be made, which not everyone will agree with. For example, some individuals wish to be cremated after death, while family members may have religious qualms about this process. Without a will, this decision may be left up to people who won’t respect your wishes and will fight with the loved ones who are trying to do what they know you would have wanted.
Not having a will also set the stage for battles when it comes to inheritance. Not even the most unified family is immune from infighting after the death of a loved one. Emotions are running high, including anger and survivor’s guilt, and people take it out on one another. The smallest dispute can be blown out of proportion by normally reasonable people.
A last will and testament prevents all of this from happening. It explains exactly what the deceased wants to happen when they die. You can include everything from your funeral arrangements to where you want your possessions to go. It saves your loved ones from undue stress when they are grieving, and goes a long way towards keeping the peace among those you leave behind.
The best thing about a will is that it is not a complex document. Technically, you could write your wishes on a napkin in front of a witness and that would be considered a legally binding will. So although it may seem like a complicated undertaking, there is no real need to get a lawyer involved.
This is where the best online will makers come in. These services create a will for you for free or for a small fee. Here is how they work.
What is an online will maker?
An online will maker is software that collects your information regarding your final wishes and collates it into a legally binding will. Its algorithm uses legal terminology that, while you may be familiar with it, is difficult for the average person to use correctly.
Think of it like inputting details into a template. The difference is that it provides multiple options so as to take your individual needs into account. Once you have created your will, you can proofread it and file it both physically and digitally.
This may sound too easy, but that is only because we have been trained to think of a legal document as something that can only be written up by a qualified attorney. In reality, you can use your own knowledge and common sense to ensure that your will says what you want it to say once it has been drawn up into a template.
That said, some of the top online will makers offer a paid service to have a legal professional look over the document. You can do this for your own peace of mind, or if you have specific circumstances that are more complicated than those of the average individual.
The best online will makers go above and beyond the creation of wills. There are a number of other legal services that are as important yet just as simple. Here are some of the added services you can get from the top online will makers.
Additional legal services
It is difficult for most of us to see mortality as something that is concrete, especially when we are young. It is not as difficult, however, to consider the possibility of medical emergencies. This is particularly true during a global pandemic.
Unfortunately, when accidents happen or in the case of sudden illness, you are not always in a position to make your own medical decisions. Unless specified, your closest living relative will make decisions for you. This is not necessarily what you want, and can cause a huge amount of conflict between your loved ones.
In many scenarios, romantic partners and members of the nuclear family have different ideas of how their loved one should be medically treated. When conflicting religions come into the picture, there is no limit to just how immense the battles can become.
Using an online service, you can write a document that gives power of attorney to the person you trust to make the medical decisions you would make. While this does not necessarily mean that other family members won’t be disgruntled, it does ensure that they cannot go against your wishes.
Power of attorney is also important for financial decisions when you are incapacitated. Finances can be hugely divisive among family members, and some people only have their own interests at heart. Writing a document that gives power of attorney to the person you trust when it comes to finances is simple, and can be done by the best online will maker services.
Having a last will and testament is crucial, but that does not make it difficult or expensive. Use an online will maker to write a will, and take the opportunity to grant power of attorney to the person you trust. This can avoid tremendous strife for your loved ones during a difficult time.