You can do your will online by getting a will template and filling it out. But before you proceed to doing that, you have to consider some other factors like the validity and the pros and cons of having an online will. Read on to find out more.
Is an online will valid?
An online will is valid if it is prepared by certain standards. In the UK, for your online will to be valid, you have to sign it in the presence of two witnesses; and your witnesses must sign your will in your presence. If you do this online, the will loses its validity.
However, just because an online will is valid doesn’t mean you should prepare one without adequate legal advice. This is because your will needs to meet probate court requirements, and if it doesn’t meet the requirements, it will be rendered invalid. Another factor that affects the validity of your will is the nature of your assets. If you have property abroad or some foreign investments, you should definitely get some legal counsel, as these require different approaches when including them in the will; approaches that an online will may not be able to accommodate.
What Do You Need To Prepare An Online Will?
The only major difference between preparing an online will and preparing one with your attorney is that you don’t have a back and forth interaction with your attorney. The will is prepared over the internet, based on your answers to some standard questions.
The remaining parts of preparing the will are identical, and so, the same preparations apply. You will need to provide basic information about yourself and your assets. You would need:
- Your beneficiary’s information. This includes their full name, address, and what parts of your estate you would like to leave them
- Your asset information. Here is where you provide information on the assets that you do own and can give out as an inheritance, including any houses or properties that you might own, valuable personal items, bank accounts, and even your current debts.
- You will also need to provide contact information for your executor and guardian.
Benefits Of Making An Online Will
Online wills are incredibly cost-effective. In fact, you can create an online will for almost no cost at all. With an attorney, you pay by the hour, and the fees may differ based on the attorney you get. However, with an online will, you can get a free template and fill out your details. The complete can then be emailed to you.
The process of preparing online wills is much shorter than that involved in preparing a physical will. As long as you have your information, as listed above, you’re good to go. Most online wills can be created in very little time. The only delay you might have is when you have it reviewed by an attorney.
Convenient To Create
Consulting with your attorney on your will often involves you spending hours in meetings with him, while you spend hours more commuting between your home and his office. However, with an online will, you can complete the entire process in the comfort of your home.
What are the limitations of online wills?
Even though an online will is a short and relatively low-cost alternative, it does have its limitations. Most of these limitations stem from the fact that the will is being prepared on the internet, instead of physically. The process is even more complicated if there was no legal counsel involved in the process. Here are some of the disadvantages of preparing an online will
Your Personal Credibility Can Be Questioned.
According to the law, a will can only be prepared by a person of sound mind. It is much easier to prove that you were of sound mind if you prepared the will physically in the presence of your attorney. One prepared over the internet may be contested in this way.
The Will May Lack Flexibility
When preparing an online will, you usually have to adhere to a strict template. The template includes pre-arranged questions for you to answer and fill out, and these questions only cover basic scenarios. If you have more complex wishes or procedures you would like carried out, you may not be able to do so with a free template. Even paid templates have limitations.
What Kind Of Will Can You Create Online?
Because of their complexity, there are certain types of wills you can’t do online. In fact, besides simple wills, mirror wills, living wills and a durable power of attorney, you probably won’t find a template online. This is because there are several considerations that need to be made in will types like joint wills and testament trust wills.
What To Expect When Getting An Online Will Template
The first step to creating an online will is to get a free Will Template. These are usually available on the websites of several legal services. You could also get a premium will template. Even though premium templates cost money, they cost considerably less than legal services. Most templates come with instructions on how to prepare the will. There are usually guidelines and questions you must answer. This makes the process much easier for you to complete.
When picking a template, you often have the option of selecting the kind of will you want to write. There are different types of will (simple will, mirror will, living will, and so on). Each of these templates usually come with their instructions, and they are quite easy to fill out.
Additionally, after filling, you can receive your will in one of two ways. Either you receive an email of your will, and you print it, or the service mails you the complete will. Most premium will template providers will print your will for you and then send it to you in the mail.
Can You Change Your Online Will?
When you create a will with your attorney, you can change it pretty easily. All you would need to do is to create a new one, have it reviewed by your attorney and signed by your witnesses. The same applies to online wills. If you used a free template, you can simply get the template and create another one. If you used a paid template, you might have to pay for another template. Also, don’t forget to destroy the old will when you’re done creating the new one as it may lead to conflicts after you die.