How to Make a Will Without a Lawyer & Put Your Wishes into Writing

If you want to plan for the future without breaking the bank, you may find yourself wondering how to make a Will without a lawyer. Thankfully, you have options to save you time, money, and stress.

How to Make a Will Without a Lawyer

There is only one certainty in life: death. While it may feel daunting to think about a time when you are no longer around, the important thing is to be prepared.

Writing a valid Will is a critical element of preparing for the future as it will make the mourning process easier for your family members and other loved ones. Additionally, you will gain peace of mind knowing that your Estate is in safe hands.

The term “Estate” might lead you to think of huge stocks, pricey possessions, and a high net worth. However, your Estate simply includes anything you own. It could be residential property, personal possessions, land, a car, a life insurance policy, or simply the cash in your checking account. This means that everyone, regardless of wealth or income, needs a properly-drafted Will.

If you do not make your final wishes clear in a Will, then your Estate will undergo the probate process and your state’s laws will take precedence. The downside of this is that the court decision may not favor your family’s needs or the arrangements you would have wanted.

Creating a Will is a simple process. Unless you have a complex Estate, you likely will not need to set aside the time or money to visit an Estate Planning lawyer. The advent of online Will services has made it easier than ever before to create a legally-binding Will in accordance with state laws. Below, we outline the basic steps involved in creating a simple Will that takes into consideration your final wishes.

Choosing the Right Resource to Write Your Will

Many resources are available for those who wish to make a Will without visiting a lawyer. Previously, many people would visit their local retail store and pick up a preprinted template where they could just fill in the blanks and think they are done. However, this has been a costly mistake for many families when their loved one passed away and the Will they prepared did not meet the state requirements to be valid or the Will was not completed properly. Other options include using a prewritten Will online with again the fill-in-the-blank simplicity. The same problems exist with online templated wills as well. This is where GoWillTrust can help you.

If you are looking for a reliable way to create a legally-binding online Will, you can use an online platform like GoWillTrust. We provide budget-friendly Estate Planning document preparation services nationwide.

Before You Start Your Will

The process of creating your own Will can be very simple when you have all of your documents together and know exactly what you want your Will to say. If you don’t know what you want to state in your Will, can help you get started. Here are a few items you should think about before starting the process of creating your Will.

Create a List of Your Assets

The first step is making a list or inventory of your assets that you want to pass on to your friends and relatives. Assets can be either physical or financial. Physical assets are assets that can be seen and touched, such as your home, other residential or commercial property, vehicles, gold, jewelry, land, etc. Financial assets are liquid assets that include savings accounts, retirement accounts, checking accounts, cash, intellectual property, etc. General assets include personal items such as your collection of baseball cards or collectible items, or any sentimental item that you want to pass on to your loved ones like your grandmother’s collection of fine china dinnerware.

Name a Beneficiary and Executor of Your Will

Your Will should appoint at least one Beneficiary and an Executor. In some cases, this can be one person, such as an adult child or your surviving spouse. However, it’s important to think this decision through. Once you are gone, the Will’s executor will manage your Estate by ensuring that your last wishes are honored.

Beneficiaries will inherit your property. They may be your children, surviving spouse, or a close friend. You may choose to have a named beneficiary who will inherit your financial instruments and a residuary beneficiary to inherit what is left of your assets after distributing specific gifts.

Appoint a Guardian for Your Minor Children

If you have children below 18 years of age, this will be one of the most important things you put in your Will. By appointing a legal guardian for your minor children, you will be able to rest easy knowing that someone you trust will be there to take care of your children for you. The court will consider your preference for a guardian when creating the legal guardianship. If you skip this part when creating your Will, the court will not know who to choose and as such, anyone may be selected to act as the legal guardian of your children, whether they are a relative or third party individual you may not even know. It is vital to name an alternate guardian as well in case the legal guardian cannot perform their roles and responsibility.

Print and Sign Your Will in Front of Witnesses

Your Will is only considered valid if it is executed according to the laws of the State where you reside. Many states require the Will to have your signature and be executed in front of at least two witnesses Most states require two adult witnesses who are not named in the Will or related by blood or marriage. For example, you can choose a friend, church elder, or neighbor to be your witness in most instances. Other state-specific requirements may apply so it is a good idea to check your state laws.

Store Your Will Safely

Store your Will in a safe place where the executor can retrieve it easily. Inform those who need to know where you have stored it—for example, your Will executor.

Can You Make a Will Without a Lawyer?

Can You Make a Will Without a Lawyer?
Yes, it is legal to draft your own Will. You can do it yourself if you have a simple Estate Plan. You don’t have to spend lots of money going to a law firm to find a lawyer to help you draft a Will.

With this in mind, it’s still a good idea to get help from a professional, even if it’s simply through an online Will maker service. GoWillTrust helps customers create a Will at an affordable price without the hassle or expense of going to an Estate attorney.

Can You Make a Will Without a Lawyer

Do I Need a Lawyer to Make a Living Will?

No, you do not need a lawyer to make a Living Will. Just as you are able to draft your own Last Will and Testament, you have the legal right to draft your Living Will.

A Living Will is necessary to appoint someone to take care of your medical needs when you are unable to make those decisions for yourself. This document is very different from a Last Will and Testament but both documents should be part of your Estate Plan.

Voluntary Guardianship of a Child

How to Make a Will Legally Binding

The legal requirements of a Will are fairly straightforward. However, each state has its own set of requirements, so being informed of these is critical. When you turn to GoWillTrust, you can rest assured that your Will will be created in accordance with the laws of your state.

The following are factors that make a Will legally binding in most U.S. states:

  • It must be in writing.
  • It must have a valid signature and date.
  • Under most states’ requirements, a Will is legally valid if two witnesses have signed. The witnesses must be present during the signing of the Will.
  • The testator (the person making the Will) must be at least 18 years of age.
  • The testator must be sane and able to comprehend the process.

Unlike many online Estate Planning services, GoWillTrust prepares documents that have been developed by professional attorneys in Estate Planning.

Who Can Make a Will for You?

Creating a Will can be done by anyone, whether you are doing it yourself or receiving assistance from someone else. However, it is best to have a professional create your Will.

Writing a valid Will with GoWillTrust is easy and affordable. Start now! Browse our online services or reach out to our friendly customer service team to get started with your Estate Planning documents.

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