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The legal process and implications of creating a will are probably not at the forefront of most people's minds. Not only do we have so many other things to worry about day-to-day, but the thought of death and allocating assets is not something most of us look forward to figuring out. However, this is a necessary part of life and will relieve the burden left on family members later.
If part of the reason you haven't gotten around to creating a will is because you aren't sure where to start, we've got you covered. This process has gotten easier overtime with professional online services. Gone are the days of having to pay hundreds of dollars to sit down with lawyers to hash out legal jargon. Online legal services provide you with access to lawyers who will ensure your documents meet your state's requirements with minimal effort on your part. It's never too soon to get started!
Thursday, February 25th
Rocket Lawyer is an online platform with direct access to lawyers for creating a wide variety of legal documents, from starting a business to filing for divorce or bankruptcy. Their services cater to audiences who know the ins and outs of creating legal documentation as well as those unsure of legal practices and where to begin. This is our number one recommended site for creating both a Living Will and Last Will and Testament.
The process of creating a will through Rocket Lawyer is broken down into three easy steps:
Simple enough, right? If you get stuck or confused at any point of the process, you can chat online, email, or call for customer service help. For an additional fee, you can ask a lawyer any legal questions you have as you go.
A trial period is offered that gives customers 7 days of Rocket Lawyer service for free. Once your 7 days are up, the cost per document is $39.99. For each question you ask a lawyer, the fee is $49.99, and for a 30-minute consultation on any legal matter, you are charged $59.99. If you pay a subscription of $39.99 monthly, you become a premium member and have access to free document creation, free legal counsel, and free consultations with lawyers.
For online users who run into confusing legalese, Rocket Lawyer gives unlimited access to a legal dictionary where you can find hundreds of terms. In addition, they provide free help articles about different legal processes and documents you can create. They explain what the documents are used for, why they are important, and provide links on how to create them.
A highly-rated, downloadable app is available to get access to instant online signatures, ask lawyers questions from anywhere, and gain anytime access to your legal documents. Not only did customers have good things to say about the app, but the overall business in general. Rocket Lawyer also has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. For this reason, they have earned our highest ranking among services offering online will creation.
LegalZoom is a professional website backed by attorneys who review all created documents and step in when customers have questions. They provide sample documents to view so you know what you are paying for. We appreciated that LegalZoom is transparent with their pricing and services. Front and center of any chosen service is the price of each document. Also, every legal agreement comes with its own individual price range and package options.
The basic cost for a Last Will and Testament is $89, while the basic cost for a Living Will is $39. You can pay extra for features like attorney advice, revisions, and financial power of attorney. It helps that Legal Zoom periodically runs sales to give a discount on any purchases made. If you are unsatisfied with your experience for any reason, you have 60 days to contact LegalZoom and have a refund processed.
If you have a range of questions you'd like to be able to ask an attorney when you need to, you can purchase a prepaid plan with unlimited 30-minute consultations. In addition to having attorneys on hand, a knowledge center is available with hundreds of articles that explain legal definitions and procedures. They also provide a business resource network that compiles external links to other companies that might be beneficial for you if you run your own business.
For better peace of mind about using LegalZoom, they have over 12,000 reviews listed on their site. The Better Business Bureau gives them an A+ rating for their services and other customers have relayed positive experiences as well. Although they are a bit pricier than our first choice, LegalZoom is also a great option for creating your will.
LawDepot provides online will services that are nearly identical to what is provided by other companies we considered. Their services are clean, simple, and straightforward. They advertise that creating a Last Will and Testament only takes 5-10 minutes. You are able to see a draft version of the document before beginning and then are prompted with a series of questions that are used to fill out your document.
A free account is required to save the documents created through LawDepot. A trial period is offered for creating and accessing documents free of charge for one week. You'll be asked to provide credit card information in order to begin this free trial. Once the week is up, you pay $33/month if you do not cancel. If you want to pay yearly, rather than on a monthly basis, the pro package is $95.88/year. If you prefer to pay per document, the cost ranges from $7 to $39. We found that the individual document costs are not clearly labeled and you may have to go through with the creation of the document before finding out what the cost will be.
If you need extra information throughout the process of creating your will online, customer service is available via email, online chat, or calling the help center. A blog containing hundreds of help articles is free to browse through if you find it useful. We wish the series of blog posts were searchable because although they may prove valuable, it could take a while for you to find an article relevant to your interest. A law library is also available for free that outlines the workings of different legal procedures and why you might need to take legal action to create a document for them. Luckily, the law library is both searchable and organized by topic.
Although LawDepot is not accredited through the Better Business Bureau, they give the company an A+ rating. Other customers have good things to say about LawDepot's services as well. The reasons this site did not earn our highest rating is because the pricing is not straightforward and they do not provide much information about their legal team behind-the-scenes who make sure everything is up to legal standards. You may have a more reassuring experience using one of the higher-ranked will services in our review.
U.S. Legal Wills is designed to offer all the legal documentation one might be in need of before the end of life. They have been in business for over 19 years and are run by Parting Wishes, Inc. which is the parent company of Parting Wishes. The products they offer consist of a Last Will and Testament, Power of Attorney, Living Will, Expatriate Will, and Life Locker.
On the home page, there is a short video that explains what you receive by purchasing from U.S. Legal Wills and the simple process you follow for document creation. They advertise that it only takes about 20 minutes to create your will. The cost for the Last Will and Testament is $39.95. When you purchase this, your spouse gets a 40% discount and can create their Last Will and Testament for $23.97.
If you run into questions about creating your will, they have a searchable knowledge base to help. Articles related to your search terms will appear and go into detail about the topic. For really specific issues, you can fill out an online support ticket with your name, email, subject, and message body. Other options are to call them toll free or mail them a physical letter. Plenty of information is provided to ensure you feel confident in the will creation process.
Like Parting Wishes, U.S. Legal Wills has positive customer feedback. Their website refers you to the A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau for Parting Wishes. Since there are almost no differences between the two sites, U.S. Legal Wills is equally a good place to go for putting your legal needs in order before passing.
Based out of Canada, Parting Wishes specifically caters to customers looking to tie up legal matters before the end of their life. Unlike the other sites we have considered, they do not offer legal document creation for anything besides the making of wills and handling personal matters. Here is the complete list of products they provide:
The cost for a Last Will and Testament is $39.95. You can purchase any of the products above for an individual price as well. Gift certificates are available if you want to help pay for someone to use Parting Wishes' services. There is a 30-day money back guarantee for gift certificates if the recipient is unsatisfied with their product. This guarantee also extends to anyone purchasing products through Parting Wishes for themselves.
Membership is required in order to purchase and continue working on documents. As a member, you can make free, unlimited updates to your document overtime. The initial cost of purchasing a product comes with one year of storage and unlimited updates through your membership. If you want to purchase additional storage, there are options to add anywhere from one year up to a full lifetime.
Parting Wishes advertises that their instructions and answers to questions are free of legal jargon. This will be a relief to the majority of people who are intimidated to enter the legal arena for fear they won't understand entirely what is going on. A blog page is accessible to answer frequently asked questions and explain the main purpose of writing a will.
Overall, Parting Wishes is a good place to create your will online and tie up any loose ends before the end of life. You will find very specific services offered here with less variety and fewer free resources than our highest-rated companies, but they are still a great option. Parting Wishes is given an A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau with other satisfied customer feedback to back them up.
Nolo has been providing legal document assistance to customers for over 45 years. They have sold over 1.7 million products and have 30,000 local attorneys in their network. When it comes to the business side of things, they have built out a wide range of products that cater to common legal needs.
Finding a will to create online from their website was a little tricky. Since they offer e-books and software in addition to online document creation, their website isn't the most user friendly that we have experienced. Once you find what you are looking for, the purchasing process is easy and you receive a good product. The online option is $59.99. With this Nolo online will, you can:
If you choose to go the software route, you pay $89.99 for "Willmaker & Trust 2020" where you can create a customized estate plan, build a will, write a living trust, provide health care directives, give financial power of attorney, and create other essential documents. The software options available for purchase are downloadable on both Windows and Mac computers. Other DIY software products for purchase cover a range of topics such as bankruptcy, divorce, neighborly disputes, immigration, intellectual property, and more. These software packages are designed to help with self-paced learning of different laws.
Something unique about Nolo is the different resources that customers can access for free on their website. One of our favorites was the calculator tool. With this you can find a financing topic and use their calculator to plug in numbers and get financial help. For example, you can find estimates on everything from how to save up a million dollars, to how long it will take to pay off a loan or what rate is needed to support retirement. This is a helpful tool for anyone at any stage of life. Another resource for users is the "Find a Lawyer" page. Here you can choose a topic, state, and then view a list of lawyers that deal in cases of that nature. There is also a page that gives tips on hiring the right lawyer for you.
Nolo has an A- rating from the Better Business Bureau. Something to be aware of is customer complaints about receiving glitchy products and having no luck reaching customer service to fix their issues. We suggest using Nolo for their free online tools rather than purchasing legal document software to create your will.
Most online will services give you a step-by-step explanation of the documents as you create them. Some providers also have round-the-clock access to customer service agents who will walk you through the process to make sure you feel comfortable with what you are doing.
When browsing through the selection of online will services, here are a few important things to be on the lookout for:
TopConsumerReviews.com has ranked the best Online Wills available today. We hope this information helps you gain peace of mind as you tackle this important task!
Select any 2 Will Services to compare them head to head
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