Writing a Will Without a Lawyer?

June 30, 2009

pen to paper titles "Last Will...."I am looking into making a will. Has anyone had experience with wills, without a lawyer. I'm referring to alternatives such as online wills and forms at Staples, etc. Thanks and God bless.


By Betty R.Bazzle from Summerville, SC


July 1, 20090 found this helpful

I have a few tips that they told Mom when she did her will at the lawyers office.. First. If you have someone you do NOT want to get anything, LEAVE them $1.00. (one dollar) That proves that you DID consider them, and you have tended to them, and thus they can`t contest the will. Secondly, Make sure you get two witness and have it notarized. Don`t put it in the safety deposit box. They seal it (safety deposit box) when someone dies and without the WILL no one can open it.

I hope this helps some. Oh you need to take the two witness to the Notary and have them sign it there. They are notarizing that indeed the person who signed it, IS who they say they are, and that they signed this piece of paper.. (your will). They will be required to show ID.


Peace and blessings from Texas <>< Jan

July 1, 20090 found this helpful

Go to
It is an online site for wills, power of Attorney's etc. Excellent service, very cheap and they will walk you through the process with laws according to your state.

July 2, 20090 found this helpful

If you do not want to leave a person anything in your will just state that fact. ie. Mike Jackson's will just coming to light does just that when he states he does not want to leave his exwife anything. So leaving a dollar in a will and they can't contest it is bogus. A relative or someone close to you can contest a will if they have reason to. Here is all that was in President Cal Coolidge's will. A man known for his few words, Coolidge's entire will was only 23 words long: "Not unmindful of my son, I give all of my estate, both real and personal, to my wife, Grace Coolidge, in fee simple."


Every state is different in how a will is written. There are attorney who will do this work for no or little charge for people who can not afford an attorney to write a will. I would check out these attorneys from the ALA in your state or contact your local government officials to get the names of attorneys that do this work.

July 2, 20090 found this helpful

My in-laws recently followed my husband and I to a lawyer when we had business to attend. They asked a question if a handwritten will was legal and the lawyer told them yes if it was notorized by a certified notary republic and witnessed. Hope this helps since they didn't have to have any special document. Just write it out on paper. Grannygirl


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July 2, 20090 found this helpful

From experience Go to a lawyer, they can tell you things you have not even thought of. Laws are different in different states. You also need to have the will somewhere that no one can get it and get rid of it.


Unfortunately a death brings out greed in some people even in people you would not thank.Don't say it will not happen in my family I have seen it happen in families that said the same thing.

July 2, 20090 found this helpful

My husband and I both just had wills made recently and it only cost $125.00. I had tried to find what I needed online but it was confusing because of different rules for different states. Plus, he keeps a copy as well in case something happens.


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July 2, 20090 found this helpful

Don't wills also need to be filed with the county you live in? If you don't know how to do that, all of the rest of your effort is for nothing.

July 2, 20090 found this helpful

It is certainly worth a try to do your will without an attorney. First, if you do not have a lot of complications, as in things for one person, specific jewelry, or items that might be hard to describe clearly, to another person, then go for it. My husband and I did ours, in spite of my having 7 grown children from my first marriage, (my 2nd husband died), and we went through our local information, court house, etc.


We got the forms, and information on the dos and don'ts in filling it out, also from the same site. We did it, had it Notarized with uninterested, unknown to us, witnesses, after they saw our identifying papers. Any filing, we were told, was not necessary at this point. We live in the Mobile, Alabama area, so check your laws first.


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July 2, 20090 found this helpful

My hubby had an older will done by a lawyer. When he wanted to change his - and I wanted to write mine - we simply copied the phrasing of the old will in the new.
Of course we had his notarized; it's in the small safe in our home. Mine is still in electronic limbo, unfortunately. I've really got to print the thing and get to the notary!


Oh yes... one word about notaries. Our credit union and most financial institutions will gladly notarize papers for their customers without charging a penny.

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Here are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community.

October 10, 2010

What are the best "free" or "low cost" will templates on the internet? Or, to ask another way, what are the best and most affordable approaches to writing my own simple will? Thanks!

By VBartlett


October 11, 20100 found this helpful

Ii would not put any faith in those do it your self wills. State laws vary in every state when it comes to wills. Do it yourself wills are easily broken in court with a skill attorney. Best if you hire an attorney. You should be able to find an inexpensive attorney.

October 12, 20100 found this helpful

Try I always hear it advertised on the radio station that I listen to (Glenn Beck) and he is pretty reputable.


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October 13, 20100 found this helpful

Legalzoom and Nolo are both good sites for a simple will. You enter the state you live in at the beginning so all state laws are addressed. They hold up well in court; but if you expect your will to end up in court with family squabbling etc. you should have an attorney put it together. Let him know there may be some dispute. Otherwise the internet sites are great. I cant say the radio talk show screamers make me feel good about any choice, but I have used both these sites and they have been great.


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October 13, 20100 found this helpful

I think that handwritten wills are less apt to be overturned than ones from a template. If it is all in your own handwriting and signed, I think it is valid everywhere. However, I would not fool around with this. I would go to a lawyer as there may be legalities that you have not considered. Perhaps consult the internet for ideas on what you have to consider, get your thoughts together, and then visit the lawyer for the final document.

October 14, 20100 found this helpful

If you truly want some hands-on, by all means, look into an on web or template will; but even then, see a trusted attorney. Period.

August 10, 20150 found this helpful

I opted to hire a lawyer. Cost was a flat fee of $500 which included all the questions I could think up. There are so many more aspects to leaving a will than just who will get what. You should designate a Power of Attorney, with permission, to look after your finances/estate in case you become mentally infirm. When it comes to a will don't make any assumptions that it will be carried out as you wished it to be unless the phrasing is 100%.

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