Looking to know if online wills are legal

Making online wills is now simpler than ever thanks to the internet. However, a lot of individuals still have legal questions about online wills and want confirmation that the will they draft is sufficient to ensure that their ultimate desires are carried out as they want. They’re not unreasonable inquiries to have, especially given the current increase (opens in new tab) in DIY will writing. However, there is no reason why utilizing the finest online will creator (opens in new tab) should not result in a legitimate will provided you adhere to the requirements and properly write your views down.

Are online wills legal?

As long as it complies with all state regulations, your online wills that you generate online will be lawful and equally legitimate as one that is made by a lawyer (opens in new tab). This necessitates learning the laws unique to the state in which you reside.

Despite this, there are a few fundamental principles that govern practically all wills, even those created online.

Looking to know if online wills are legal

Intent: 

The testator, the person who creates the will, must have the intention that it serves as their final will and testament and will be used to distribute their property after death.

‘Of sound mind’ 

In general, the requirement that the individual drafting your online wills be “of sound mind” necessitates that they be at least 18 years old and comprehend that they are doing so. Additionally, they will be aware of the assets they must disperse and the meaning of a bequest.

Executed without fraud, duress, undue influence, or error: 

This guarantees that the individual producing their will is doing so willingly and has not been forced or fooled into making it or to distribute their property in a certain manner.

Signed and dated: 

This calls for the testator to sign and date the will in the presence of two impartial adult witnesses who can attest to the testator’s identity and mental condition (some states require three witnesses). Disinterested implies that the witnesses cannot get anything from the will.

How to make your online wills online legally

The goal of writing the wording of your last will and testament may be accomplished in a variety of ways when creating your online wills online, including via websites or software that you download.

You will often be given step-by-step instructions to make sure you follow the procedure correctly and produce a valid will. Typically, the following information will be needed:

  • Who should serve as executor 
  • Your name and address 
  • Relationship status and spouse’s name (if applicable) 
  • The names and ages of any children 
  • A list or description of your assets 
  • Specific bequests 
  • Plans for the distribution of any residual assets

The website or program you used should enable you to print a tangible copy of your freshly produced will in advance of the further procedures necessary to make your will legally enforceable, supposing you follow all the instructions as specified.

The procedures to complete your online wills’s legality

Your signature and at least two other witnesses’ signatures are required for the will you have drafted to be legally binding. However, it must be remembered that different states often have varied laws governing witnesses, including who may testify, how many must testify, and how the witnessing process should be conducted. They may not be regarded as lawful and may be rejected in court if they are not followed.

Although notarization of your online wills is not needed by law (opens in new tab), it is advised to make it much simpler for your loved ones and beneficiaries to prove the will in the future. But as you would anticipate, each state has its own standards for notarization.

Looking to know if online wills are legal

Thankfully, will-writing tools often include guidelines that will help you on what to do to make your online wills lawful dependent on where you live. This is because they are aware of the changes in rules across states.

Finding someone or a place to keep your will secure once it has been signed and witnessed is necessary. Always retain a copy in your personal records that may be quickly located after your passing, and the majority of individuals additionally provide a copy to a beneficiary or someone they trust from their family. Others file it in their neighbourhood court or leave a copy with their attorney.

Use an online will sparingly when

While creating your online wills online is often sufficient for individuals with simple demands and a smaller estate, its do-it-yourself nature may fall short if you have a significant amount of fortune to distribute and a more complicated set of bequeathal criteria. This may be the case, in example, if you have a lot of properties to your name, run a company, or have tax concerns (opens in new tab).

In this situation, it may be prudent to seek the assistance of an experienced estate planning lawyer and employ a service that can provide guidance that is personalized for you. Naturally, you will pay more, but it will be money well spent to ensure that nothing is missed and every conceivable circumstance is taken into account.

What else ought to be weighed?

Even if creating a legitimate will is not usually a subject you want to think about, it is the rational course to follow if you want to make things a little simpler for your loved ones in the event of the worst scenario. The greatest life insurance (opens in new tab), which can ensure that your family is financially taken care of upon your passing, and last expenditure insurance (opens in new tab), which will cover the expenses related to your funeral and burial, may both provide you similar peace of mind.

Final thoughts

The internet has made will-writing easier than ever before. Many people still have concerns regarding the legality of online wills, and they want assurance that the will they create will be adequate to guarantee that their last wishes are carried out as they intend. Given the recent rise (opens in new tab) in DIY will writing, these are not unreasonable questions to have.