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Wills Online - Are They Safe?

05th October 2009
By Wills in Legal
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In the last ten years, the number and variety of sites that allow users to write a will online has expanded massively. As people become more confident in using computers and more trusting in websites generally, the range of legal services that can be purchased online has grown to a point where it is now recognised as an "industry within an industry".

Some of the earliest websites that created wills online were general document creation websites, which allowed visitors to create any number of legal documents for a relevant charge. These template websites are still around and going strong today.

The second generation of will writing websites were more specialised and focus entirely on wills, probate and related legal fields.

When choosing a will writing website it is vitally important that you should choose one that is targeted to your legal system. A will that is legally valid in Scotland, for example, may not meet the requirements set forth by the judiciary in England and Wales (in Scotland one can make a will from the age of 12 and the guardianship laws mean that, unless otherwise specified, an inheritance can be claimed at the age of 16). Again, the legal system in the USA is distinct, meaning that a will from an English website would not be sufficient in an American court and vice versa.

There are two main reasons that you may choose to make a will online rather than visiting a solicitor: convenience and value. A typical English solicitor may charge upwards of GBP200 to create a simple document that could be purchased from a website for a fraction of the price. One would also have to schedule the appointment with the solicitor at a time that suited them. With online will writing, you can create the document at any hour of the day or night. Many websites even allow you to save your progress and return to finish writing your will at a later date.

When choosing an online will service, make sure you do your research beforehand. Some websites enjoy a very good reputation while others do not. Hints that a service may be of a good standard include how long the site has been active for and whether you find complaints on relevant forums. Sites like MoneySavingExpert are a good place to start (for UK users) as they contain lots of advice from genuinely helpful contributors.

If you want to be sure that your possessions are distributed according to your wishes upon your death, making a will is the only way to guarantee it. Making a will online is a quick and easy way to make this happen.
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