The price you’ll pay to create your last will and testament can be anywhere from $0 to $1500+.
Price varies depending on a few factors:
- How you create your will
- Whether you are completing a standalone will or a will package
- Whether your will is state-specific
How you create your will
You can create your will by yourself, online with the help of an online will maker, or by engaging an estate planning attorney to do it for you.
Creating a will by yourself is free and easy if you follow these 3 Basic Steps to Creating Your Own Will. Make sure that you research and comply with your state’s requirements to making your will valid, including picking good witnesses and conducting a proper signing ceremony.
Online will makers charge between $0 to $300 for their will drafting services. We have a deeper comparison of free online will makers in a separate article, but the bottom line comes down to “you get what you pay for.” Paid online will makers charge between $39 to $300+, with variance in that range typically dictated by three things:
- the level of customer support offered – no support, customer support, or 1:1 review with a licensed attorney
- whether you are purchasing a document template that you’ll complete ‘offline’ or receiving completed or mostly completed documents created during a quiz-like experience; and
- other factors internal to the paid provider offering the will drafting solution.
Check out our comparison of paid online will makers for more information on these drivers and a comparison of a few of the major players.
Expect to pay between $300 - $1500+ if you are engaging an estate planning attorney to make your will for you. In our article covering the cost to make your will with an attorney, we describe how prevailing rates within your local market, whether you pay an hourly vs. fixed fee, and the relative complexity of your will or will package can impact the price you’ll pay to make a will with an attorney. We also reveal the secrets to how attorney-prepared wills are priced.
Whether you complete a standalone will or broader estate planning package
A will is only one of the estate planning documents that you need as part of an effective estate plan.
The vast majority of estate planning attorneys encourage their clients to create not just a will but also a financial power of attorney and an advance health care directive, which may include a living will and/or medical power of attorney. Since these documents are essential elements of an effective estate plan, estate planning attorneys typically include all these documents in the price of preparing a will. Some (but not all) paid online will makers do the same, whereas free online will makers generally offer just the will document itself. If you use a free online will maker to draft your will, you may need to pay for these other essential documents separately or cobble them together from other sources.
If you have pets, in addition to a standard will package, you may also want to create a Pet Estate Plan to make sure that your pets are well cared for no matter what. Although there are other ways to include pets in an estate plan, a Pet Estate Plan, free to create on Just In Case Estates, is the best value and among the most effective strategies.
If you want maximum privacy and control over distributions made in your estate plan, you have a high net worth, hold property in multiple states, and/or want a faster estate administration, you may be interested in creating a revocable living trust. In this case, the will you need is not a ‘regular’ last will and testament, but rather what is known as a Pour Over Will that works in tandem with your revocable living trust instrument. Free online will makers tend not to offer this product, and therefore if you’re thinking about a revocable living trust, you will likely want to work with one of the paid online estate planning platforms or an estate planning attorney.
Whether your will is state-specific
Most free online will makers use a generic template that is not specific to your state’s requirements. Don’t be fooled by free online will makers that offer a “New York Last Will & Testament” and a “California Last Will & Testament” that on the surface appear to be different, when all they’ve really done is changed the title and used the exact same form.
State law governs the valid creation, execution, and administration of wills, and therefore you want to make sure that the form you use complies with relevant state statutes and signing requirements. That’s exactly what you’ll find with Just In Case Estates, where all our will packages are customized and guaranteed to be state-specific and legally valid.