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Do Your Own Will review

Do Your Own Will is a genuinely free will-preparation service, with no hidden fees or surprise charges.

Do Your Own Will Review
(Image: © Do Your Own Will)

Our Verdict

This website creates a basic version of a last will and testament in a matter of minutes for free, but there is very little in the way of support or legal help, so it is mostly only appropriate for very straightforward cases.

For

  • Genuinely free service
  • Straightforward to use

Against

  • No legal support offered

Do Your Own Will is a program developed by Trial Data Inc., a company founded in Seattle in 1999. The program has been developed as a free will-preparation solution that is supported by advertisements, and to date the company claims that more than nine million people have used their services.  

Unlike some of the ‘free trials’ that a few of the company’s competitors offer (where the preparation of the will is free but then there is a charge for actually transferring and downloading it - U.S. Legal Wills and Willing both do this), the process is 100% free, and no credit card information is necessary. The drawback is that it’s something of a stripped down service, and many of the resources offered by paid subscriptions are not present, though the site is not entirely devoid of assistance. 

How much does Do Your Own Will cost?

  • Do Your Own Will is a free service 
  • Makes its money via advertising revenue

Many will-preparation software companies offer a free trial, but this does not typically result in a legally binding will for free. Often, once the will has been prepared, to actually get a downloadable copy and secure a will that is usable, there will be a document or subscription charge. This is not the case with Do Your Own Will, and users can jump straight into preparing their own will without the need to give any credit card or banking details. 

As you progress, advertisements appear on the screen, and that is how the company generates revenue. Seeing as Trial Data Inc are not a law firm, these adverts are usually for ways to consult an attorney. Do Your Own Will claims to provide the only truly free estate-planning documents in the United States. 

Do Your Own Will review: Products

Do Your Own Will isn’t really the same as its peers, as there isn’t really a product per se. The process takes place on the company’s website and produces a legally binding last will and testament. The website doesn’t offer any legal support or ways to ask questions about the creation of the will (hence the adverts for companies that can provide such services that run along the bottom of the questionnaire). In terms of usability and intuitiveness, there’s a simplicity to the process on Do Your Own Will that many people will take to, but what users are not buying is a full-service subscription to a team of attorneys that will answer any questions that arise, unlike, say, Rocket Lawyer

In terms of the product, such as it is, then, there isn’t really too much to describe. The company does recommend that wills created by Do Your Own Will are only really suitable for people under the age of 65, and with assets of less than $5 million. If your assets total more than that, then you can likely afford an attorney to prepare your will for you. The website also has free processes to create a Living Will and a Durable Power of Attorney.

Do Your Own Will review: Easy online document creation

Do Your Own Will is one of the most stripped-down products on the market, and it’s probably the easiest way to create a basic last will and testament. However, this only works for very straightforward wills, and again, there is no online support or other resources to fall back on. The document creation itself, though, is very simple.

Do Your Own Will review: Instant document downloads

A last will and testament that is legally binding in all 50 US states is available to download as soon as users have finished the interview process. No credit card details are necessary and the will is stored in a user account in case it needs to be amended.

(Image credit: Do Your Own Will)

Although Do Your Own Will does not offer any customer support or consultation help from teams of attorneys, it does have a blog. This is available for anybody to read, and it does outline some of the basic facts and requirements involved in will-preparation. 

Do Your Own Will review: Usability and user reviews

Creating a Last Will and Testament with Do Your Own Will reality could not be easier. Within a couple of clicks, you’re at the beginning of the process and the program is asking you for basic details to get started. There are very few options on the front page other than browsing the documents that are available to be created, the help blog or getting straight into creating a Last Will and Testament. If you elect to begin the process, you can dive straight into it. 

Three screens take you through some multiple choice questions just to ascertain your general circumstances (and best work the algorithm for the advertisements, perhaps), and these are enough to create a legally binding last will and testament. When the process is finished, the will is available to instantly download in either .docx or .pdf format. The entire process takes around three minutes. There are various options for people with children or those who want to leave various gifts to people other than the main beneficiary, but in general it’s a streamlined, efficient way to make a very basic will. Sadly the programme does not have a spellcheck, though it does have links to click through to have any legal terms explained in more detail. 

Neither Trial Data Inc nor Do Your Own Will are accredited by the Better Business Bureau, but the company is very upfront about what the end product is, and what it does and does not provide. 

Should you choose Do Your Own Will?

Do Your Own Will is a free service and it produces a very basic but nevertheless legally binding last will and testament. It will suit a very straightforward situation where all of a user’s estate is being left to one person (with space for some gifts to other parties), and there isn’t a complicated portfolio of shares or property to divvy out among several people. Granted there is very little in the way of help and there is no legal support whatsoever, but if a user just needs a workable will within minutes, without having to pay for any services, then this website offers little to be critical about.