Lauren Cobello » Budgeting » Budget Tips and Tricks » How to Make a Will for Free
It’s not something most of us like to think about as far as making end of life plans. This year seemed to bring to the forefront the idea of, “What would happen if. . . “ So what would happen if something happened and you weren’t able to care for your children, pets, home, adult dependants? You need to have a will in place for those occasions. It doesn’t always necessarily mean in the event of your death, but it could mean in the event of an illness or accident when you can’t make your own decisions around things important to you. I want you to know how to make a will for free, so you don’t need to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on an attorney to do it.
As a mom, not having a will for many years used to stress me out. What would happen to my kids? Who would take care of them? What say could I have in different things? Life Insurance is another topic that is easy to avoid, but it has to come up, and I do share my thoughts in my post How Much Life Insurance Do I Need? Maybe you feel the same way. One attorney quoted me at least $350 to help me with a will.
I used LegalShield to create my own will. You can get a free account through my direct link. They offer affordable legal advice to anyone. In New York State, where I live, it’s $25 a month. If you sign up for their membership, the will is a free bonus with the monthly membership.
The Will Packet is eight pages long, but it’s straightforward to fill out. The questionnaire reviews information like your children, who their guardians or alternate guardians might be, a trustee to manage your property, how your assets would be distributed, etc.
If at any time you need legal advice while filling out the questionnaire, remember you’ve signed up for LegalShield in your area. So you have an assigned lawyer in your area you can contact as part of your membership.
What’s I absolutely love about LegalShield as well is they can help you look over any documents that you’ve gotten before you sign them.
So, for example, if your child has an IEP and you want to put directives m in your will regarding their education, you will add the document from their school district that you need to sign to say what their education needs to be. LegalShield will review all the forms before you add any supplemental documents and provisions to your will. There are so many different options to be aware of, and it’s so valuable to have an attorney with you as guidance.
The will packet can be filled out through an app on your phone or tablet, but you can also print it out and mail it in. In about 10 days they have your official will returned to your home for $25.
I consider LegalShield almost like legal insurance because it allows you to have a lawyer in your pocket at any time for any question you might have. You can consult them on such a variety of topics. While it’s great to make a will for free, I consider all of the membership perks that you get worth so much more than the $25 monthly fee.
While you might be thinking of buying the membership, getting the free will, and canceling your contract, I totally understand. That was my initial thought too. But the more I thought about it, and it made sense for us to have an attorney “on call.” I highly recommend that you keep this membership. If you get a speeding ticket, if you have kids at driving age, if you have any landlord or rental applications, pretty much anything that you need a lawyer for, you will have at your disposal for that monthly membership, $25 a month.
Just to give you a quick example: My husband had a very old ding on his credit score, which was a mistake. We called our lawyer through LegalShield, told them about it, and they sent a letter to that creditor. Now it’s taken off of his credit score, so his score went like sky-high. Absolutely worth more than $25.
If you would like more information about wills, how to set them up, what needs to be included and other topics like getting out of debt, budgeting, and saving money, I would love to invite you over to my online community, The Financial Renovation. I help people get out of debt and learn how to budget. Right now, the course, 21 videos, is only $39.