How much does a will cost?
$100 - $250 average cost
How much does it cost to write a will?
On average it costs $100–$250 to write a will that is legally valid. When you establish a will, you essentially create a legal document that clearly outlines your wishes in regards to property, assets, and the legal care of minor children in the event that you pass away.
When you establish a will, you essentially create a legal document that clearly outlines your wishes in regards to property, assets, and the legal care of minor children in the event that you pass away. Regardless of financial status, everyone should have a will.
The following options will allow you to plan ahead without needing to spend thousands of dollars.
Option #1: Write Your Will Yourself
Writing your own will is the least expensive option. To do so, you can use free samples available online. You could also follow another relative's will to help you create your own. However, it is important to note that if you are unaware of your state probate laws, writing your own will could end up being one of the most costly decisions you make.
If you lack the required knowledge and do not write your will correctly, it could be ruled invalid during probate. If you're unfamiliar with the term probate, this is simply the judicial process where a will is proven valid in a court of law. This means that if your will is ruled invalid for whatever reason, the court could divide your assets and your desired beneficiaries could be left without anything.
Option #2: DIY Forms
There are pre-made forms available both online and offline, some of which are available at no cost. Although this is not the same as hiring a professional, you will benefit from structured guidance. A professional pre-made form will also meet your state probate guidelines. In that sense, this can be a great no-frills approach.
In terms of cost, these forms start at around $10 to $20 for the most basic will. However, if you would like a more complete will, you can expect to pay an average of around $100 to $500. This will depend on the complexity of the will itself and your personal circumstances.
Option #3: Use a Will-Making Software Program
There is will-making software available if you would like greater control when creating your will. This is an ideal option as will-making software costs only slightly more than a pre-made form. Best of all, once you invest in this type of software, you can make changes or even start a new will at a later date.
This type of software costs an average of $100 to $250 (so, in many cases, the price of this software is on par with a quality pre-made form). You can also purchase an older version for as little as $20 to $50. Just remember, laws change. Be mindful of this when purchasing out-of-date software programs.
Option #4: Hire an Attorney
Although many think that this option would be extremely pricey, it is actually a lot more reasonable than many presume. In terms of a simple estate, a basic can cost at little as $100 to $120. For this price, an attorney would write your will before completing a final review.
Of course, the more complex your assets are, the more this service will cost. For example, if you own an estate with significant assets, you can expect to pay closer to $5,000. Although this may seem expensive, you are not just receiving your will for this price. You are essentially paying for a qualified expert who will ensure that your estate is protected following your death.