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Is an Online Will Legal in Wisconsin?

Attorney Thomas B. Burton answers a reader question about whether an Online Will is legal in Wisconsin. Attorney Burton discusses the legal ways to create an #OnlineWill in Wisconsin using an online Will making service and also discusses a free online Will available from the Wisconsin Legislature in the Wisconsin statutes.

Transcript of Video: Is an Online Will Legal in Wisconsin?

Okay welcome back this is attorney

Thomas B Burton and today's question

comes from Beloit Wisconsin down near

the Illinois border and the writer asks

the following is it legal in Wisconsin

to do an online will we would like to

fill out a basic will my husband and I

are both 59 with this coronavirus we

felt we should get on that so yes I

salute you I think it's a great idea for

everyone to have a will put a plan in

place their plan for what they have want

to happen to their assets versus the

plan the legislature has written in the

statutes and so the great thing about

creating a will is you get to make all

the decisions about who will be your

personal representative who are the

heirs how do you want your estate handled

and how do you want it distributed in

Wisconsin you can create a legally valid

will using an online service so to

answer your question I would say an

online will meaning one purely online

would not be valid we need to have a

paper will so you can't just create it

in the cloud and store it but you can

create a will online using an online

service and then print out the final

document and prepare and sign and date

it in front of two disinterested

witnesses so the key here is that you

can't do it all online it has to be

reduced to paper at the end and you have

to observe those will formalities which

is you sign the will in front of two

disinterested witnesses not related by

blood or marriage and that's what you

need to make a valid will so but in

terms of actually drafting it up there

are online services you can use to do

this now I always caution folks I feel I

could use one of those online

will makers and make a perfectly valid

legal will in Wisconsin but that's

because I am a lawyer and I understand

the questions it's asking me and why it's

asking me those questions I haven't

gotten through one of these lately but I

do think it's harder when you aren't

trained in this area to know why the

online program is asking you a certain

question if you watch some of my other

videos you'll see some questions related

to this and part of the benefit to

working with a lawyer is we can have

that conversation give-and-take and I

can ask you well what are you really

trying to accomplish here and then I

help you design a plan to meet those

goals whereas the program can't ask you

a follow-up question like that so you

can do the online will the other thing I

would tell you is if you don't have the

funds to hire a lawyer

the legislature has created a basic will

in the Wisconsin Statutes you can go to

the statutes just Google that was got

some basic will and you could print that

out and sign it and it has all the

statutory language right in there so if

you didn't want to attempt the online

will maker you could do that or I always

recommend if you can afford it working

with a qualified estate planning

attorney many attorneys do flat fee

rates on estate planning like I do so

that you can know the cost upfront and

in fact at my office right now we're

doing drive-thru will signings during

the social distancing part of

coronavirus because we know it's on a

lot of people's minds so again I don't

want to discourage you at all great job

working on this and you can use one of

these programs I would just make sure

it's a reputable one and that your Will

conforms with Wisconsin Statutes and

again make sure you observe the right

formalities signing and dating the will

in front of two disinterested witnesses

to make sure when you're all done you

have a legally valid document that will

hold up in court so great question and

thank you for asking.

© 2020 Burton Law LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Transcript and captions provided for ease of access for the hearing impaired.

For questions about this topic, or to suggest a topic for a future blog post, please contact the office.

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