NORMAN — Dear Savvy Senior, Can you recommend some good do-it-yourself resources to help me write my will? At age 62, I want to get my affairs organized, but I hate paying a high-priced attorney fee if I can do it myself.
— Don’t Have Much
If you have a simple, straightforward estate and an uncomplicated family situation, writing your own will — with the help of a good do-it-yourself guide — is a viable alternative to hiring an attorney and is a whole lot cheaper. Here are some good resources to help you get started.
Computer required: There are a number of computer software products and online resources available today that can help you create your own will very easily, and they usually take less than an hour from start to finish. Like tax software, these tools will guide you through a series of questions and will insert your answers into a will for you, but you’ll need a computer to use them. Some good options to check out include:
· Quicken WillMaker Plus 2013: This is a comprehensive estate planning software product that’s very user-friendly. It lets you create customized wills for an unlimited number of people, along with other important documents like financial powers of attorney, health care directives, executor documents, final arrangements and more. And once you’re finished, you can store your documents on your computer and update them as needed, and you can print them out on paper. Available in downloadable or CD format at nolo.com for $43 or $52, this software works only with Windows operating systems and is valid in every state except Louisiana.
· Rocket Lawyer: This is an online resource — available at rocketlawyer.com — that helps you create a will, trust, power of attorney and dozens of other legal documents in every state. They start by offering a free seven-day trial period, so you can actually make one document for free. Or you can become a member for $20 a month, or $120 for their annual “Basic Legal Plan,” and get unlimited access so you can make, store, share and update any documents you want. They even provide annual members free legal reviews of their document and free phone assistance with an attorney.