Should I make a will online?

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Question:

Since I've had a baby, I've found more ways to procrastinate about making a will. I've been planning on buying will software, but haven't gotten around to ordering it. Can I make a will online? How is this different than going to a lawyer for a will? Is it safe? Can I assign a guardian for my child in case anything happens to me?

Answer:

Yes, most people with moderate estates can make a will online. In some ways, making a will online is very similar to estate planning with the help of a lawyer. For example, with Nolo's online will, you answer interview questions tailored to your situation, get answers to your legal concerns, and in the end receive a legal document tailored to the laws of your state -- just like you would with a lawyer. Your main task will then be to sign the document and have it witnessed. Of course, an online will costs a lot less and takes much less time than going to a lawyer, and you don't have to leave your home or office to do it.

Is it safe to make a will without a lawyer? Yes. Making a will rarely involves complicated legal rules, and most people with simple estates won't need a lawyer to make a will. (To learn more about basic wills, see The Simple Will: No Frills, No Fuss, No Anxiety.)

However, there are certainly some situations that warrant hiring a lawyer. When you make your will online with Nolo, if a situation arises in which you may benefit from the advice of a lawyer or other expert, the program will let you know. (For more information, see Making a Will: Are Lawyers Optional?)

Is your information safe when you make a will online? With Nolo, absolutely. We give security issues the highest priority and take every precaution to ensure the security of our website. See our security statement (click on the "Why you're safe with Nolo" link).

Can you assign a guardian for your child in your will? Yes, a will is the right place to name someone to care for your children if you are unable to. For more information on choosing a guardian, see Guardianship for Your Children.

To make your will right now, in about a half an hour, try out Nolo's Online Will. You'll get guidance at each step, as well as detailed instructions on signing and storing your will.

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