A Macabre Sign Of The Times: Online Wills Skyrocket As COVID-19 Spreads

According to online will sales, Americans are thinking a lot about death lately.

Ever since the coronavirus pandemic hit, companies offering “e-wills” have seen a massive uptick in business. Amazingly, some online will firms have reported between 50 – 100 percent increased traffic to their websites. And, as weird as it might sound, that might not be a bad sign.

Consider for a moment that just over 35 percent of Americans currently have a last will & testament. Companies that offer online wills believe their unique business model can encourage more Americans to compose this important document before the unthinkable happens.

One undeniable draw for online wills is they are cheaper than visiting a traditional law firm. Of course, online wills are also easy to access, especially if people are currently under a lockdown mandate.

But it’s more than accessibility and affordability that’s driving traffic to online will websites. Most business experts believe there are significant psychological factors involved in these increased e-will sales.

As news of COVID-19 deaths continues to dominate the headlines, it’s understandable people would be interested in the security offered by online wills. Plus, many clients say they feel more comfortable filling out a will at home rather than talking with a total stranger.

Although online wills have many positives, these documents aren’t right for everybody.

Obviously, the more assets you have, the higher the chance you will make an error when filling out your online will. Unfortunately, it’s still fairly common for family and friends to contest online wills due to technical issues.

According to Attorney Rania Combs, eighty percent of people who fill in blank forms to create legal documents do so incorrectly.

Although it usually costs more to work with a law firm, clients can rest assured attorneys have proofread their essential documents before making them official. The added insurance of working with a lawyer could save your loved ones a great of emotional hardship down the line.

Another potential drawback with online wills is they sometimes don’t reflect specialized legal codes in different states. Clients should know there’s no such thing as a “common will” across the USA. Every state has unique codes, so your will needs to meet these standards to be considered valid in a court of law.

Be sure to research whether the company you’re interested in automatically updates its online templates to meet different state requirements. You should also review your state’s legal policies and call your company’s customer service line before finalizing your online will.

Firms offering wills online due to COVID-19

In the wake of COVID-19 and due to demand, many attorneys are now offering wills online.

For more information on the benefits and drawbacks of making an online will, be sure to read this webpage put together by AARP.

Lee McFarland

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I write about current events which affect attorneys.