Can I get a will for free?

Yes, it is possible to get a will for free. They are best if your situation is simple and straightforward.

Don’t use a free will if…

Get the help of an estate attorney if any of the following apply to you:

  • Divorce
  • Blended family
  • Business owner
  • Dependents with special needs
  • A large estate
  • A lot of assets
  • A desire to control how your assets are distributed
  • If you split your time between 2 or more states
  • If you are unsure what you need

Important note!

Your state may require you to get your completed documents notarized or signed in the presence of witnesses. Don’t overlook this crucial step!

Free will option #1: Statutory will

A statutory will is available in some states. It’s for people who have simple situations. Think of it like a template the state has put together and recognizes as legal. As of this writing, states that have statutory wills are California, Maine, Michigan, New Mexico, Texas and Wisconsin.

Tip: It’s safest to get statutory wills from a .gov website.

Free will option #2: Online tools

We tried three online tools that offer free will creation: eForms (also owns Do Your Own Will), LawDepot and FreeWill. Of the three, FreeWill was our favorite.

(If you use one of these tools, be prepared to enter your email address and other personal information your name, gender, birthdate, address and marital status.)

We liked FreeWill best because it was an easier user experience overall. Their will-making service is free because they offset the cost with charitable donations. By that we mean, midway through the process of answering questions, they ask if you want to donate to a list of their charities. This is optional and easily skippable.

Another thing we liked about FreeWill is their mirror will option for spouses (see below).

Random FreeWill tip: Use the calendar icon instead of typing in dates. It works better.

eForms (also owns Do Your Own Will) is easy to start without entering your email address. However, at the end, you can only download or export your completed will if you sign up for a free 7-day trial account. You can cancel before the end of your trial. You can download multiple documents in that 7 days so take advantage of that. LawDepot works similarly.

Free will option #3: Handwritten (“holographic”) will

Handwritten wills are legal in about half the states. Nolo has a list of states in which holographic wills are valid. Note, they must be written entirely by hand.

Mirror wills

A mirror will is a will for a second person that is basically the same as the first. FreeWill provides the option to create a mirror will during the regular questionnaire.

From FreeWill: “When your Will is mirrored, your spouse’s name will replace your name and vice versa. Mirror Wills generally aren’t suitable for couples with different wishes or if there are children from prior relationships.”

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