I stumbled across Wills drafted online by Nolo quite by accident. While I knew that Nolo publishes many books related to wills and estate planning, as well as the popular Quicken Willmaker software, I didn’t know they have a version for online wills. Perhaps it wasn’t promoted that much.
Nolo used to have several packages that includes books that is added together. In the past, the most basic package cost just above $50 which is only for writing your Will online. They also have a bundled package which included books on how to avoid probate and how to organize your documents and information so that your family can find them easily. These have been removed recently and now they only have 1 single price and just provide for writing Wills. They lowered their prices and now you can write you will for just $34.99. I think it is a pretty good deal since you can update your Will every year or two if changes to your family requires it.
Like most other Wills services online, you register for a free account to begin. You do not need to download and install software to your computer. All you need to do is to fill in the information at each step. What I like about Nolo’s service is even before you begin, all the key question you might have about their service is right on the same page. All the question I could think of is all there; the price an online Will, whether it is suitable for you or not, common FAQ and even a sample Will is there for you.
The FAQ is useful to answer basic questions even if you are writing your Will for the first time. There are some basic questions for you to think about, so you don’t waste your time keying in all the information only to realize a lawyer is better suited for you.
When you first log in, you are presented with the list below outlining each step in preparing your Will. Once you have completed the step, a check mark is shown beside it.
1. You and Your Residence
2. Marital or Domestic Partnership Status
5. Personal Guardian for Your Children
6. Main Bequest
7. Specific Bequests
8. Residuary Bequest
9. Property Management
10. Property Guardian for Your Children
11. Forgiving Debts
12. Paying Debts and Taxes
At each step, if you are not sure why something is done, there is “More Information” just beside. A brief explanation on why you need to do something is also included at each step. For example, the importance of selecting the correct state you reside in as you can see below.
Overall, I found the whole process is really user friendly. At the end of filling up all the relevant information, you are taken to a page to make payment. There are several ways you can pay online. Once you’ve made the payment and the transaction is successful, you get to download your Will in a pdf document.
You should read the instructions on how to sign your Will in front of witnesses. After that, you are done and you now have a valid Will. It is advisable to make a copy to be kept by your executor or close relatives. Make sure some one in your family know where you keep your Will as well.
You can find out more about Nolo’s online will here before you decide to use their service.