My wife and I hand wrote Wills several years ago before we had any children or assets for that matter. With the birth of our second girl two weeks ago, we decided that it was definitely time to update our Wills. We decided to try LegalZoom.com this time to make sure that we didn’t miss anything. There are three packages available, shown below. The big difference between the packages is whether or not you believe you’ll need to make revisions in the next 30 days or over the next year. Also, the Premium package gets it to you faster. We selected the Standard option.
What I liked
- Straightforward questionnaire – You simply fill out a questionnaire, review your answers, and then make your purchase. Meaning, you can complete the whole process before making the purchase decision. You will have to setup an account though.
- Helpful information – On several of the questions, I wasn’t real sure how to answer. LegalZoom offers additional information via a Help button on every question. Also, you can see on several questions how other people responded. If you find yourself completely confused, you can call a 1-800 number.
- Free revisions for 30 days – Apparently I married myself, at least according to my Will. I entered my name when I should have entered my wife’s name on one field in the questionnaire making me my own executor. Luckily, the cheapest option allows for free revisions for the first 30 days.
- Advanced clauses and provisions – As I was taking the questionnaire, I had the option to include certain clauses and make provisions that I had never heard of, which I greatly appreciated. For example, I included a clause that says my executor isn’t liable if they make an honest mistake. I also setup a provision that gives my wife the option to setup a Credit Shelter Trust if she so chooses. If my wife and I died in a common disaster, then I have a provision for a Testamentary Trust that manages everything left to my girls until they graduate from a four year college or turn 25 (you set the restrictions).
What I didn’t like
- Lost my information – If you don’t have time to finish the questionnaire, then you can save it and return later. Great feature, but it lost some of my work multiple times. Usually it was just some names, which wasn’t a big deal. But I had written several paragraphs that outlined specific instructions to my heirs that was lost and had to be rewritten. I was a bit frustrated.
- Hard to pick up where I left off – When returning to complete my Will via My Account, I found that clicking “Finish Your Order” didn’t return me to where I had left off but rather returned me to page one of the questionnaire and I had to advance myself through the questionnaire to where I had left off. Though, I found that if I navigated to the homepage first and clicked the link to complete my Will, it usually took me to the right spot. Very odd and annoying.
We paid $69 for the first Will and $59 for the second one (total $130.95). I’m glad that we used LegalZoom. We spent far less than we would have spent with a lawyer, but I still have the peace of mind that it was prepared correctly and according to my state’s laws. Also, the process was simple and quick. So what you’re really paying for is time and peace of mind. If you don’t already have a Will or need to revise yours, DO IT! Don’t leave loved ones with a mess if you die, it’s just rude. I liked and recommend LegalZoom, but whether you use them or not, get your Will in place.