Best Free Will Solution

Do Your Own Will is a truly free online will drafting service that’s designed to help individuals begin their simple estate planning. It offers easy-to-follow tutorials for each document and includes helpful articles that explain the process in more depth. Seniors can also access useful worksheets that cover their preferences for funeral planning and the organization of important financial and personal information. All completed documents can be easily downloaded to a desktop without needing to set up an account.

Pros and Cons of Do Your Own Will

Pros:

  • 100% free
  • No need to set up an account or share personal information to access services
  • Planning worksheets available for end-of-life wishes not covered by a will

Cons:

  • No legal support available for questions
  • Limited to simple estate planning
  • Need to verify that self-created documents follow current state law

Overview of Do Your Own Will

Founded in 1999 by Trial Data, Inc., Do Your Own Will was developed to provide free online assistance to those with simple estates. This ensures seniors in any economic position can create a legally valid will to protect their interests. The site offers a variety of informative articles to help explain the process and several supportive services, such as a power of attorney, funeral planning, and pet guardian trust documents.

  Estate Planning Documents Access to an Attorney Software or Online Service Pricing Options
Do Your Own Will Last will, living will, power of attorney, pet guardian trust Not available Online service free

How Much Does Do Your Own Will Charge for Elder Law Services?

All features offered on the Do Your Own Will site can be accessed at no charge. There are no hidden fees and no options to add payment information. The company supports itself through advertisements placed on pages and affiliate revenue. It’s important to note that this service only handles the creation and download of the completed document. Notarization and filing, when required, may incur separate fees outside of Do Your Own Will and are the responsibility of the individual.

Eligibility, Plan Details and Other Information

Do Your Own Will provides free guided tutorials on completing several legal documents relevant to cementing final wishes. These documents are meant to cover general information and work best for anyone who has a simple estate and would like to protect their medical wishes and assets in the event of their death or incapacitation. The site also offers many helpful planning and organization worksheets to include with estate documents for a more comprehensive view of an individual’s expectations after they die.

Last Will and Testament

As the site name suggests, users have the option to create their last will and testament. This is meant for those with simple estate needs but offers several options to personalize the document:

  • Beneficiaries
  • Guardianship of minor children
  • Named and alternate executors
  • Personal property gifts
  • Memorial preferences

Once these fields are filled out, a completed will is generated that can be downloaded to a computer and printed out for notarization. Once a will is completed, users have access to a detailed contacts form for information on executors and guardians that can be added.

Living Will

The living wills are often state-specific, so navigation of the process will vary by state. Users have the option of working through the paid guided tutorial offered through eForms, following the free general tutorial, or they can simply download the document and fill it out by hand. Details covered can include:

  • Primary physician and alternate
  • General and personalized care instructions
  • Organ donation

If users choose to work through eForms, an account must be created to download completed documents. Credit card information is required, but eForms offers a free 7-day trial for new users.

Additional Free Legal Forms

Do Your Own Will offers several additional legal forms that can be completed and downloaded for free:

  • Durable Power of Attorney. Assigns agency to handle specified legal, medical and financial matters during a specified time frame
  • General Power of Attorney. Assigns agency to handle specified legal, medical and financial matters during the specified time frame or until the incapacitation of the beneficiary
  • Pet Guardian Trust. Designates the person who will care for pets left behind due to incapacitation or death.
  • Digital Agent Assignation. Names trusted individuals who are allowed access to estate documents.

Below the main selection of legal forms is a link to other miscellaneous forms. This leads to a list of over 50 free forms that can be downloaded as Word documents and edited for personal use. Although none of these forms offer a guided tutorial, they cover a range of estate legal situations that include contracts, real estate, attorney retainer agreements and assignments for a variety of assets.

Complementary Worksheets

For more detailed instructions on funeral and memorial preferences, Do Your Own Will provides a selection of worksheets. These can be filled out and included with estate paperwork to help guide family members in making arrangements in the event of death. Worksheets include:

  • Information already entered in the will
  • Organ donation
  • Favorite flowers
  • Charitable donations
  • People to notify
  • Existing prepaid funeral details
  • Funeral details
  • Memorial details
  • Pallbearers
  • Burial wardrobe and jewelry
  • Preferred officiants
  • Preferred speakers
  • Favorite music
  • Readings/prayers
  • Wake/vigil details
  • Burial location
  • Body presentation
  • Obituary draft
  • Casket specifications
  • Additional instructions

Another section helps organize important files and documents needed in the event of death. Online accounts and login information, housing and utility details, vehicle documents and financial papers for banks, credit cards and debts are all covered in this section. Additional digital planning worksheets are scheduled to be added and will cover investments, insurance policies, advisors and electronic devices. This information can be especially handy for estate executors and family members who need to make notifications.

Additional Information

To get the most out of Do Your Own Free Will, it’s a good idea to have everything checked over by a licensed attorney. Although this site does an excellent job creating a one-size-fits-all approach to simple estate planning, state law can play a huge role in the validity of estate documents, and these laws are subject to change. It’s also important to note that notarization of a will isn’t required for it to be valid. However, notarizing legal documents makes them self-proven and eliminates the need for courts to verify validity. This can be especially helpful for family members and executors trying to navigate the estate after a death.

Who Should Consider Do Your Own Will?

Seniors on a Budget

Since everything offered on Do Your Own Will can be accessed for free, seniors with limited resources can use this service to start their estate planning process. The money they save can be put toward notary fees and other estate services that may not be covered on the site.

Seniors With Simple Estates

Do Your Own Will is a simple DIY site that lacks the resources and options needed for complex estates. Seniors with straightforward estate needs can generate some of their estate documents by working through the available guided templates.

Seniors Worried About Identity Theft

Seniors have the option of creating an account to create their wills, but it isn’t required, meaning it’s possible to complete the entire process without handing over any identifying information. Completed documents through Do Your Own Will are delivered directly to a desktop, negating the need to even provide an email address. 

What Are People Saying About Do Your Own Will?

Do Your Own Will receives high praise from most consumers. Free is a tough price to beat, and many people who have used the services express gratitude for having an economical option to begin their estate planning. Many also mention the surprising number of legal documents available to add to their simple estate plan. There are some who say it would be nice if there were options for more complex estate needs, and the company scored slightly lower for customer service. It should be noted that most of this was due to the company not providing any legal support and directing those who need help with their planning to their own qualified attorneys. General assistance is offered through relevant blog posts that explain the processes of the documents offered on the site, and many users felt this information was more than enough to navigate the process with ease.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Power of Attorney?

A Power of Attorney grants authorization to a third party regarding an individual’s financial, health and legal matters. It’s typically drafted for a set period of time and often with specific limitations.

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What Is Elder Law?

Elder law refers to legal matters commonly associated with seniors, such as estate planning, long-term care planning, health directives and public benefits.

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What Does an Elder Law Attorney Do?

Elder law attorneys work as legal advocates for their senior clients, primarily assisting with the drafting and filing of estate documents but also attending to other legal matters.

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What Is the Difference Between an Elder Law Attorney and an Estate Attorney?

An estate attorney specializes in estate planning and handles estate matters once a person has passed. An elder law attorney can also assist with estate planning but is retained to protect the rights and interests of their senior clients while living.

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What Is the Difference Between a Will and a Living Trust?

A will is created to specify asset distribution once an individual has passed, while a living trust explains how an estate should be handled while that individual is still alive but unable to make estate decisions.

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