Creating a legally binding will is crucial for ensuring that your loved ones are taken care of after your death. Unfortunately, hiring an estate planning attorney can be expensive, leaving some people feeling helpless. That’s why free will templates have become increasingly popular in recent years. In this article, we will explore everything you need to know about will templates that are free.
A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating a Legally Binding Will with Free Templates
Before diving in, it’s essential to understand what a legally binding will is and some of the legal requirements for creating one. A legally binding will is a legal document that outlines how a person’s assets will be distributed when they pass away. To be considered valid, a will must meet specific requirements, such as being in writing, signed by the person creating the will, and witnessed by two individuals.
Creating a legally binding will with free templates involves several steps. First, you need to find a reliable website offering free will templates. Next, you’ll need to download and review the template to ensure it meets your needs. Then, you’ll need to fill in relevant information and make any necessary changes to the template. Finally, you’ll need to get the will witnessed and signed.
While free will templates offer a convenient solution to creating a legally binding will, some potential issues may arise. For example, the templates may not be state-specific, leading to errors and discrepancies. Also, the templates may not provide enough guidance, leading to confusion on how to fill the document properly.
5 Popular Websites Offering Free Will Templates and How to Use Them
Several popular websites offer free will templates, making it easier for individuals to create a legally binding will. Here are five of the most popular websites and how to use them:
1. LegalZoom – LegalZoom offers free will templates in addition to other estate planning services. To use LegalZoom’s templates, you need to create an account, answer a series of questions, and download the completed template.
2. Rocket Lawyer – Rocket Lawyer offers free will templates and a host of other estate planning services. To use the templates, create an account, fill in the required information, and download the document.
3. FreeWill – FreeWill is a non-profit organization that offers free will templates. To use their templates, answer a series of questions, and download the completed document.
4. LawDepot – LawDepot offers a vast array of legal documents, including free will templates. To use the templates, create an account, fill in the required information, and download the document.
5. DoYourOwnWill – DoYourOwnWill offers free personalized will templates that are state-specific. To use the templates, select your state, fill in the required information, and download the completed document.
How Using a Free Will Template Can Save You Time and Money
Using a free will template can save you time and money compared to hiring an estate planning attorney. Creating a will through an attorney can cost anywhere from $500 to several thousand dollars, depending on your location and the complexity of the will. In contrast, free will templates allow individuals to create a legally binding will for little to no cost.
In addition to the financial benefits, using free will templates can save time compared to other estate planning methods. Traditional estate planning methods usually require multiple visits to an attorney’s office and several weeks to complete. In contrast, using free will templates allows individuals to complete the process at their own pace and in the comfort of their own home.
Real-life examples of people who have saved time and money by using free will templates are plentiful. For instance, a married couple with two children in their early 40s created a will using a free will template, saving them approximately $1,200 in attorney fees. The process was simple and took them less than an hour to complete.
A Review of the Best Free Will Templates for Different Situations
Different situations require different types of will templates to ensure that your wishes are accurately reflected. Here are some of the best free will templates for various situations:
1. Simple Will Template – A simple will template is best suited for individuals with few assets and no need for complicated instructions. LawDepot offers a straightforward simple will template that is entirely customizable to meet your needs.
2. Living Will Template – A living will template is used to outline your desires on how you want to be treated in a medical emergency. DoYourOwnWill offers a free living will template that is customizable based on your state’s laws.
3. Pour-Over Will Template – A pour-over will template is used in conjunction with a trust document. It ensures that any property that is not in your trust at the time of your death will be transferred to the trust. LegalZoom offers a free pour-over will template that is customizable.
What You Need to Know About Using Free Will Templates for Your Estate Planning
While using free will templates can save time and money, there are potential pitfalls to be aware of. One of the most significant pitfalls is the templates may not be state-specific, leading to errors and discrepancies. Also, the templates may not provide enough guidance, leading to confusion on how to fill the document properly.
To avoid making mistakes that could cause issues down the line, it’s essential to review and update your will regularly. Life events such as marriage, birth, divorce, and death may require you to alter your will to reflect your current needs accurately. By keeping your will current, you can ensure that your wishes are accurately reflected.
In conclusion, using free will templates is an excellent way to create a legally binding will without incurring the expense of an estate planning attorney. With a step-by-step guide, access to websites offering free will templates, and knowledge on different types of will templates for various situations, creating a legally binding will has never been easier. Avoid the common pitfalls of using free will templates by reviewing and updating your will regularly to ensure that your wishes are accurately reflected.