It seems like you can do anything using online algorithms these days, from banking to therapy. We have come a long way towards a more digital world, and the past year has only accelerated that reality. However, one thing most people don’t consider to be possible for an algorithm to do is take care of legal matters.
This is understandable, as every legal document has so much jargon that reading one – let alone writing one – without a law degree can feel impossible. Therefore, it may surprise you that certain legal documents can be created entirely digitally.
While there are other examples, online will makers have become the most popular algorithm-based legal service. Here’s why.
The simplicity of a will
Most Americans do not have a last will and testament. This is in part due to our collective desire not to think about our own mortality. But it is also largely due to the perceived difficulty and cost of getting it done. Lawyer rates in particular are a huge deterrent.
This has led to a wealth gap when it comes to wills. A far higher proportion of rich people have wills than people who are not as comfortable. Rich people may have more material possessions to be covered in a will, but even those who don’t own expensive property have desires they would like to be carried out after their deaths. This could be the inheritance of family heirlooms or simply instructions for the funeral.
The thing is that a will is an incredibly simple document. You can write your desire on a napkin that you sign in front of two witnesses – and that will qualify (although evidence shows that handwritten wills are disputed more often)! Online will makers go further than this, using an algorithm to word your will in such a way that it is clear and that there are no loopholes.
Considering the fact that some online will makers are free – and the expensive ones will cost no more than $50 – this makes a legal will an incredibly accessible document.
Are there specific will makers that do a particularly good job? The onlinewillmakers.com guide says that there are more than fifteen companies that can be trusted.
The best free online will makers
Let’s start by discussing the free online will makers. As with just about everything in life, you get what you pay for. That does not mean that free online will makers won’t do the job. However, if you want a personal touch or for a legal expert to look your document over, a free option is not going to scratch that itch.
DoYourOwnWill is the free online will maker of choice. Its software is expertly designed and it can handle more complex instructions. It also provides documents for power of attorney, and has a comprehensive FAQ to help you with your will. There is no customer support, but that is expected with a free option.
Other free options, while better than nothing, do not quite cover as much ground, and won’t suit you if your requirements are not perfectly simple.
The best paid online will makers
According to the onlinewillmakers.com guide, the best paid online will maker is eForms. You can get a comprehensive will made by eForms for a once-off fee of $45, and they have subscription options for anyone looking for other types of legal documents. It is worth considering, as for $39 a month, you can get access to lease agreements, power of attorney documents, eviction notices, and more. The downside of the subscription model is that you are no longer able to edit your documents once you have canceled.
US Legal Forms is also highly rated, and you can get access for just $8 a month. This is well worth considering as a long term option, as you are getting unlimited access to tens of thousands of legal documents for less than the price of a meal out.
These are just some of the options available in 2021. The fact that there are over 15 totally digital online will makers shows just how much the industry is flourishing. If you don’t have a will yet, you should definitely take a look. Even the simplest last will and testament could save your loved ones a lot of strife.