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Budget-Friendly Will Writing Services: Quality at an Affordable Price

When a loved one passes away, heirs may argue over their share of the estate. That fight could be costly for heirs and could delay the disbursement of assets. But a well-drafted will can help avoid disputes and reduce the amount that heirs may have to pay in taxes.

Creating a will can be expensive, but many online services are affordable and offer easy-to-use tools to help you complete your documents. Some charge a one-time fee to create and download your documents, while others require an annual or monthly subscription to access and update forms. Some online services also bundle conversations with a lawyer into an annual package.

An attorney’s hourly rate can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars, so an online will maker can be a more affordable option. Most services that provide online will making software and remote legal advice charge between $40 and $100.

Some online services, like Properwills, let you complete your documents affordable will writers with software alone, while other providers include remote legal assistance. For example, Properwills offers a step-by-step questionnaire that takes less than 15 minutes to complete and includes a written document reviewed by a licensed attorney. They can also have your Will ready in under 48 hours and can deliver it to you for free.

Other online will makers, such as Nolo’s Quicken WillMaker & Trust program for PCs, charge $99 to $209 and include a range of key estate planning documents, including a last will and testament, financial power of attorney, healthcare directive, living trust and transfer-on-death deed for your home. The program’s software is straightforward and easy to use, but it has a couple of drawbacks: It’s not available for mobile devices and its documents are not valid in Louisiana.

Nolo started publishing DIY legal guides in 1971 and has branched out into online services. Its Quicken WillMaker & Trust software tools are a popular choice and include a comprehensive set of estate documents. Their PC software has a few drawbacks, however: You must download the program to your computer and it does not have a mobile app. Its estate planning documents are also not valid in Louisiana.

Another competitor, LegalZoom, has a simple pricing structure that includes flat fees for self-guided or attorney-supported services. Its bundled packages of a last will and testament, financial power and a living will start at $179. LegalZoom’s prices are higher than those of other online will-making services, but it offers a more extensive legal service than most.

Other online services, such as LegalZoom and Nolo’s EstateSimple, offer a conversation with an attorney in addition to a will-making program. This can be helpful for people who want to talk through complicated issues or those with special needs. The cost of this service is additional to the cost of the will-making program and varies by state. In some cases, the attorney will charge a flat fee for the 30-minute call, while in other states, the amount of time charged is determined by the amount of complexity of the case.