By Sara G. Stephens
A study conducted by Harris Interactive in 2007 revealed that, for the previous three years, 55% of all adult Americans did not have a Last Will & Testament.
We all recognize the importance of a will. Without it, the courts—a bunch of people who know nothing about you, your life, your property or your loved ones—determine the fate of your possessions and your children. You have no say in where your legacy resides.
So why do we put off such a critical task? Like so many other instances of procrastination, the reason usually boils down to either time or money.
Until recently, wills were considered a mysterious product of specialized genius, and therefore best left to the owners of that genius—lawyers. One look at the final document, heavy with legalese and sprinkled with a lot of “herebys” and “heretofores” is enough to send any well-intentioned will-writer running to the nearest law office. And, as we all know, legal services translate to mighty expenses that no one dares challenge.
What people don’t realize is that wills, like most legal documents, are mere templates. Your lawyer’s not thinking up all that impressive verbiage—it’s been laid out, used and re-used for years. All your attorney does is insert your specific property and what you want done with it (your “will”) into the blanks in the template.
Now, you are the one providing all the property information that goes into the blanks. And you’re the one specifying what you want done with it. So what role does the lawyer serve? That’s easy. He provides the template.
Few people realize that this template is available for public use. Nobody has to verify that you passed the bar exam before they’ll let you use it. All you need is access to the Internet and the will to create your will.
“That’s all good and well,” some of you may say. “But who has time for all that? I’d just as soon pay someone to write my will, so I don’t have to think about it.”
For the lucky—and increasingly few—of us who have more money than time, outsourcing the task of data entry might be the route to go. As for the rest of us, who have more time than money, do-it-yourself wills are the no-brainer solution to creating this important document and checking it off our worry lists.
“Okay,” you concede with a sigh. “Guess I’ll have to clear my calendar for the week.” But here’s the next surprise. You can create your Last Will & Testament online, without a lawyer—in ten minutes.
A group of “ordinary people” has done an extraordinary thing: they’ve taken the sacred “Last Will and Testament” template and made it available as a series of simple web forms, accessible to anyone. You answer the questions, and the 10MinuteWill.com software generates a will—all within a matter of minutes.
The company’s mission, “empowering our customers to ensure their final wishes and protect their loved ones, with a reliable, affordable and easy-to-use online tool,” is signed with the tagline “Ordinary People, Exceptional Solution.”
And that’s just what this web service offers.
Easy to Use
The website first prompts you to answer a series of questions, providing step-by-step help along the way. Next you review your answers and approve your work (with unlimited updates and revisions for 90 days provided at no additional cost—try getting that from your lawyer!) The system instantly generates your Last Will and Testament, which you then print and sign. As one user reports, “My will was prepared in less time than it took to have it executed.” What’s next? Print and sign.
There are no hourly rates with this procedure. Users pay a flat rate of $59. There are no hidden fees and no billable hours. You pay the flat rate, answer the questions, submit, and get immediate delivery of your document. You’re done. (With a nod to valiant, non-profit-driven service providers, 10MinuteWill.com even extends a $30 credit to police, firefighters, armed forces and educators).
Being “done” with your will doesn’t involve lying awake at night wondering if the document will hold up in court. If your will is not accepted by a judge or court of sound competence and jurisdiction solely because it was created online, 10MinuteWill.com will pay you $100,000. You’ll almost hope it doesn’t hold up in court (which, of course, it will)!
A Great Gift Idea
And for the person who has everything—except a will—what better present than the gift of peace of mind? You can give the gift of a will to family members, friends, or co-workers, and have it be the one present they’re not waiting in line to return come the new year.
“Your Last Will and Testament is perhaps the most important legal document you will ever sign,” says Mark Bissada, Co-Founder of 10MinuteWill.com. “Without one, the court decides what happens to your assets and your children.”
With that in mind, the question about writing your Last Will & Testament should be a matter of when, not if. And considering how little time it can take, combined with the peace of mind it offers, shouldn’t the “when” be now?
10minutewill.com covers every aspect of writing your Last Will & Testament, including:
- General provisions: family, beneficiaries, property distribution and more
- Advanced provisions: guardianship of your minor children and tax savings
- State-specific provisions: tailored to the requirements of Texas
- Statement of interment: specify your final wishes
- Self-proving affidavit: saves time on proving your will in court
- $100,000 peace of mind guarantee
- Instant processing
- Unlimited revisions for 90 days
- Satisfaction guaranteed or your money back