Commonly Asked Questions About Writing a Will Online

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Thanks to technology, we can do more things online these days. From ordering dinner to purchasing a car, e-commerce is at a record high. So, it should be no surprise that more and more people are creating their Will online. You may have some questions about writing an online Will. We’re here to answer them.

What is a Will?

A Will, commonly known as a Last Will and Testament, is a legal document where you, known as the testator, can outline your last wishes as to how you want your estate distributed after you die. You name the beneficiaries to whom you want to leave your assets and choose an executor to oversee the Will. You can also appoint a guardian for your minor children if something happens to you.

Is an Online Will Legal?

Yes, it is! As long as it complies with your state’s laws, an online Will is a legal binding document. Gentreo will help you write a Will that’s specific to your state.

Related: The Process of Writing an Online Will with Gentreo

What Makes a Will Legal? Although a Will doesn’t take effect until you pass away, you must ensure that it is made official once it is created. As mentioned, each state has its own laws related to Wills, but the general requirements are the testator:

  • Must be 18 years old
  • Be of sound mind
  • Sign the Will
  • Have at least two people witness you sign the Will
  • Have the Will notarized by a Notary Public

Can I Write My Own Will?

Yes. But many find it is easier to follow the Gentreo process of writing your own Will online so that it is not only valid but makes your wishes clear. We will ask you a series of questions including:

  1. Are you married?
  2. Do you have minor children?
  3. What specific property/assets do you want to leave?
  4. Who are your beneficiaries (people, charities, etc.)?
  5. Who do you want as your executor?

Related: Everything You Need to Know About Your Last Will and Testament

Can I Create a Will Without a Lawyer?

Contrary to belief, you do not need a lawyer to create a Will. Gentreo’s online estate plans were designed by attorneys, so you can be sure that your documents are legally binding. Most lawyers charge several thousand dollars to draft a Will. At Gentreo, you can create your custom plan for a fraction of what a lawyer would charge.

How Do I Write My Own Online Will?

In your Will you:

  • Include your full legal name and address
  • Name an executor
  • Designate beneficiaries
  • List assets 
  • Be specific as to who gets what
  • Name a guardian for your minor children
  • Execute it per your state’s law which generally means signing it in front of witnesses and a notary

Once you have completed your Will, it should be stored in a secure, accessible digital vault so it’s easy to update if you need to, and everyone knows where to find it if something happens.

Related: Tips for Writing Your Online Will

What is Considered an Estate in a Will?

An estate is basically everything you own, the total of your assets – your house, real property, bank/investment accounts, valuables, cars, boats, etc. No matter how little or how much you own, you have an estate.

Who is the Executor or Personal Representative of a Will?

The executor – also known as the personal representative – is the person you appoint to oversee your Will after you die. This person can be anyone of your choice, a family member, or a friend, but they must be at least 18 years old. You should also choose someone who is trustworthy, detail oriented and organized.

What Does the Personal Representative of a Will Do?

The executor – also known as your personal representative – is responsible for carrying out the terms of the Will as you instructed, managing the probate process, distributing the assets to the beneficiaries you named, and paying off any debts and taxes.

Related: Choosing an Executor for My Will

What is a Beneficiary of a Will?

This is the person, organization, or charity you name in the Will that is to receive some or all of your assets after you pass away. It’s your choice to select beneficiaries and what you want to leave them.

What is a Codicil to a Will?

This is a supplement to a Will where you can make a change without having to rewrite the entire document. It allows you to amend, qualify, revoke, or limit provisions. With Gentreo there is no need for a codicil because you can update your Will at any time as long as you are a member.

What are the Considerations for Married People Creating a Will?

Married couples share just about everything like a home, bank account, and pets. Typically, when one spouse dies, the estate goes to the surviving spouse. However, it is best that each spouse has their own Will. You can still name the same guardian for your minor children and bequeath the same assets to your children as you would in a joint Will, but separate documents allow for easier amending or including one’s specific wishes, particularly if there are individually owned assets. 

Related: How to Update Your Estate Plan When You Get Married

Can My Husband Create a Will Without My Knowledge?

A spouse can legally create a Will without the other’s knowledge or consent. However, some states have spousal rights laws where estates are considered jointly owned through marriage and the surviving spouse is entitled to inherit at least a percentage of those assets.

Where Do I Get My Will Witnessed and Notarized?

Once your Will is completed, it must be witnessed and notarized to make it valid. There are many notary publics conveniently located around the country. You can find them at most banks, town or city halls, and real estate offices. There are even mobile notary publics that will come to you. Since the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak, some states have allowed remote notarization.

Let Gentreo Help You Create Your Will and Estate Planning Documents

A Will is the foundation of a comprehensive estate plan: other essential  documents to protect you, your family and your pets. Include a Power of Attorney, Health Care Proxy,  and Pet Power of Attorney. Depending upon the size of your estate and your goals you may also want to create a living trust and/or a Pet Trust. At Gentreo, we can help you write a custom and affordable estate plan. It’s easier than you think!

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