Welcome to the WillMaker Will

Congratulations on getting started on your will--it's easy with WillMaker. We'll ask you a series of simple questions and design a will for you based on your answers. You should be able to finish your will in less than an hour, without hiring a lawyer.

You'll have help and guidance every step of the way. As you go through the interview, try clicking the blue question mark icons. Doing so will open up Helpful Information on the right side of the screen answering many questions about making your will. And those topics will lead to more in-depth help, if you need it. Take your time to understand the questions and to consider your answers--after all, WillMaker doesn't charge by the hour.

What You'll Need to Complete Your Will

It will be easier to make your will if you've gathered some information first:

  • a rough inventory of your property (but if you plan to leave everything to one or a few people, you can skip this)
  • a list of beneficiaries -- that is, the people who will get your property
  • a list of alternate beneficiaries -- the people who will inherit your property if your first-choice beneficiary dies before you
  • if you have young children, a list of your first and second choices for guardian
  • your children's birthdates
  • a list of your first and second choices for executor
  • information about debts that you want to forgive, including the date you lent the money and the amount you want to forgive

Who May Use This Will

You must be at least 18 years old and of sound mind to make a will. Being of sound mind means that you understand what property you own and to whom you want to leave it.

This will is designed to be used by most U.S. citizens and permanent residents, including U.S. residents living abroad.

However, this will is not appropriate for residents of Louisiana or the American territories.

What You Can Do With Your Will

In your will, you can:

  • leave property to family or friends
  • name a guardian to care for your young children
  • appoint an adult to manage property you leave to young people
  • name an executor
  • name alternates in case your first choices don't survive you
  • forgive debts others owe you, and
  • specify how your debts and taxes will be paid.

What You Can't Do With Your Will

There are a number of tasks that you cannot carry out with this will.

Some of them are not legally smart and some would simply make the program too complicated. For example, you cannot:

  • leave property under the condition that a person must act in a certain way or live in a certain place
  • name an organization or a trust as the beneficiary of your will
  • leave property to your pet
  • write one will jointly with another person, or
  • include detailed explanations about why you have decided to leave property in a particular way.

Help Using WillMaker

WillMaker provides answers to your questions at every step of the will-making process. Here's how to get more information about:

  • Specific Interview Questions. If you need help answering a specific question during the will interview, read the help topics on the right side of the screen.
  • Legal Information. WillMaker Legal Manual provides answers to most general questions you have about making your will WillMaker. For example, you can get information about what your will can and can't do and about what to consider when you're naming personal guardians for your children.
  • General Estate Planning Guidance. Nolo (the legal information provider that brings you WillMaker) has lots and lots (and lots!) of free legal information about wills, trusts, probate, and most other estate planning topics in Nolo.com's Wills, Trusts & Probate section.

Finalizing Your Will

After completing our interview, purchasing the will, and printing your document, you and your witnesses must sign your will document to make it legal. Detailed instructions print with your will.

When you print your will after purchasing it, the pdf download will include:

  • Your will document, with signing instructions
  • Self-proving affidavit (most states), with signing instructions
  • A letter for your executor (and one for your alternate) that explains what being an executor is and provides a list of all of the people you've mentioned in your will

A Will as Part of Your Estate Plan

Making a will is a good, reliable way to leave your property when you die. In addition to making your will, you may also want to learn more about other aspects of estate planning -- such as estate taxes, probate, living wills, and health care directives. Visit the Wills, Trusts & Probate section of Nolo.com to explore these topics in detail.

Talking with a Lawyer

WillMaker's will is a great estate planning solution for many people because it's convenient, fast, inexpensive, and covers most situations. But we can only provide general information about whether or not this will might work for you. If you want legal advice about your specific circumstances, you should contact an estate planning attorney.

Finding a lawyer who best suits your needs usually requires patience, willingness to do some footwork, and the ability to comparison shop.

Read more about Working With An Estate Planning Attorney and about Whether You May Need More than a Will.