5 On Your Side

Advice for online wills

Posted June 12, 2020 1:38 p.m. EDT
Updated June 12, 2020 5:19 p.m. EDT

— One industry seeing an uptick in the pandemic -- those that handle wills and end-of-life preparations.

A will is daunting to think about, but it's a must-do.

5 On Your Side's Monica Laliberte explains the extra steps needed if you're doing them online.

Person using laptop

"Online wills can be completed in an hour, for about $100 where it might cost you around $1000 if you were to go to a lawyer," said Ryan Felton with Consumer Reports.

Companies like LegalZoom and Nolo's Quicken Will Maker offer basic online wills starting around $89.

Know, many DIY legal docs are one size fits all, and not surprisingly don't actually fit everyone.

In some cases, ambiguity could lead to a court battle to settle the estate.

Still, some kind of will may be better than nothing.

"Now, if you die without a will, state laws will determine who gets what and where your kids will go. If you choose to make a will online, you will eventually need witnesses, and depending on your state, a notary public," said Felton.

Once completed, be sure to let those named in it, know where to find the document.

Beyond a will, you can find other end-of-life documents online, including an advance directive, which spells out the medical care you want.

Another form appoints a health care proxy, a person you choose to make medical decisions if you can't speak for yourself.

You can find these forms at the AARP, the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization and Prepare for Your Care websites.

These two links can help with the questions you need to answer about end-of-life care and about choosing the person you want as your health care proxy.

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