Will DIY Kit: How to Prepare Your Own Legal Will

Will DIY Kit

Will DIY Kit

Creating a legal will is a crucial step in ensuring your assets are distributed according to your wishes after your passing. While many people turn to attorneys to draft their wills, a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) kit can be a cost-effective and convenient alternative.

In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the process of preparing your own legal will using a DIY kit. We'll cover everything from the benefits of using such a kit to the step-by-step instructions and important considerations.

Also learn our post about What Does DIY Mean

Understanding the Importance of a Legal Will

Before we delve into the nitty-gritty of creating a legal will using a DIY kit, it's essential to grasp the significance of having a will. A legal will serves multiple purposes, each of which is essential for your peace of mind and the well-being of your loved ones.

Asset Distribution

A legal will serves as your blueprint for the distribution of your assets and property upon your passing. It ensures that your hard-earned assets are distributed in the manner you desire, leaving no room for uncertainty or dispute among your heirs. This aspect of a will can be particularly vital if you have specific wishes about who should inherit what, such as sentimental items or family heirlooms.

Guardianship for Minor Children

If you have minor children, a will allows you to designate a guardian for them in case both parents pass away. This provision ensures that your children will be cared for by someone you trust, and it can be a deeply comforting thought for parents.

Executor Appointment

The appointment of an executor is another critical function of a legal will. Your executor is responsible for managing your estate, paying any outstanding debts, and ensuring your wishes are carried out. This person should be someone you have absolute faith in, as they will play a pivotal role in executing your final wishes.

Special Bequests

In addition to the distribution of your primary assets, a will also allows you to make special bequests. These can include leaving specific items or monetary gifts to individuals, charities, or organizations that hold significance in your life. Whether it's a cherished family heirloom or a charitable donation close to your heart, these bequests can help you leave a meaningful legacy.

Minimizing Confusion

Perhaps one of the less discussed but equally important aspects of a will is its ability to minimize confusion and stress for your family during a challenging time. A well-drafted will provides clear instructions on how to proceed, reducing the burden on your loved ones who are already dealing with grief and loss.

Will DIY Kit

Advantages of Using a Will DIY Kit

Many individuals are drawn to the idea of using a DIY kit to create their wills due to the numerous advantages it offers. Let's explore these benefits in more detail to help you understand why a DIY kit might be the right choice for you.


One of the most significant advantages of opting for a DIY will kit is its cost-effectiveness. Hiring an attorney to draft your will can be quite expensive, and the fees can vary widely depending on your location and the complexity of your estate. In contrast, DIY kits are often available at a fraction of the cost, making estate planning accessible to a broader range of people.


DIY kits are designed to be user-friendly and convenient. They provide step-by-step instructions and templates that can simplify the often complex process of will creation. This convenience is especially beneficial for those who may not have the time or inclination to engage in lengthy legal consultations.


Creating your will at home using a DIY kit offers a level of privacy that might be appealing to many individuals. You can draft your will in the comfort of your own space without the need to disclose your financial matters to a third party. This aspect can be particularly valuable for those who are private about their finances or sensitive family matters.


Preparing your own will using a DIY kit can also be an educational experience. It allows you to delve into the legal aspects of estate planning and gain a deeper understanding of how wills work. This knowledge can be empowering and enable you to make more informed decisions about your estate.


Perhaps one of the most compelling reasons to consider a DIY will kit is the level of control it affords you. With a DIY kit, you have full control over the content of your will. You can ensure that your specific wishes are documented, leaving nothing to chance.


DIY kits often provide templates that you can customize to suit your unique needs and circumstances. This flexibility allows you to create a will that reflects your individual situation, whether you have a straightforward estate or more complex requirements.

Selecting the Right Will DIY Kit

Choosing the right DIY kit is a critical first step in the process of creating your own legal will. To ensure the legality and effectiveness of your will, consider the following factors when selecting a kit:


The reputation of the DIY kit provider is a crucial consideration. Research different providers and choose one with a solid track record and a history of helping individuals successfully create their wills. Look for online reviews and testimonials to gauge user satisfaction.


A good DIY kit should be comprehensive, covering all the necessary aspects of will creation. It should include templates and instructions for common elements such as guardianship, executor appointment, and asset distribution. Make sure the kit you choose addresses the specific legal requirements of your jurisdiction.


User-friendliness is a key factor in selecting the right DIY kit. The kit should provide clear, easy-to-follow instructions, making the process of creating your will straightforward and accessible, even if you have no prior legal experience.

Customer Support

Check whether the DIY kit provider offers customer support or access to legal experts. Having access to knowledgeable professionals can be invaluable if you have questions or encounter challenges during the process. Ensure that you can easily reach out for assistance if needed.


Before making your final decision, read reviews and testimonials from other users who have used the DIY kit you're considering. Real-life experiences and feedback can provide valuable insights into the effectiveness and ease of use of a particular kit.

Step-by-Step Guide to Preparing Your Legal Will

Now that you understand the importance of a legal will and the advantages of using a DIY kit, let's dive into a detailed step-by-step guide to help you prepare your own legal will with confidence.

Gathering Essential Information

Before you can begin drafting your will, you'll need to gather essential information and make important decisions. Here's what you should consider:

  • Full Legal Name and Contact Information: Begin by providing your full legal name and contact information. This information should be accurate and up-to-date.
  • Information about Your Assets: Compile a detailed list of your assets, including real estate, bank accounts, investments, personal property, and any other valuable possessions. Be thorough in documenting your assets to ensure that nothing is overlooked.
  • Names and Contact Information of Beneficiaries: Identify the names and contact information of the individuals or organizations that will inherit your assets. It's crucial to be specific in your instructions to avoid ambiguity.
  • Guardianship for Minor Children: If you have minor children, consider who you would like to designate as their guardian in case both parents are unable to care for them. Discuss this responsibility with the chosen guardian to ensure their willingness to take on the role.
  • Names of Alternate Executors: While you may have a primary choice for an executor, it's a good practice to identify alternate executors in case your primary choice is unable or unwilling to fulfill the role. This ensures that your estate will still be managed effectively.

Designating an Executor

The executor of your will plays a central role in carrying out your final wishes. Selecting the right person for this role is of utmost importance. Here's how to designate an executor:

  • Trust and Responsibility: Choose someone you trust implicitly to act in your best interests and carry out your instructions faithfully. Your executor should be someone who is responsible, organized, and capable of handling financial matters.
  • Open Communication: Before naming someone as your executor, it's essential to have an open and honest conversation with them. Discuss your intentions, the responsibilities involved, and ensure they are willing to take on this role. It's a significant responsibility that should not be taken lightly.
  • Full Legal Name and Contact Information: In your will, provide the full legal name and contact information of your chosen executor. This information will help ensure that the correct individual assumes the role when the time comes.

Identifying Beneficiaries and Assets

Your will should clearly identify who will inherit your assets and property. Take the time to be specific and detailed about your wishes:

  • Specific Beneficiaries: List the names and relationships of your beneficiaries. Specify what each beneficiary will receive, whether it's a percentage of your estate, specific items, or monetary amounts. Clarity in your instructions is essential to prevent misunderstandings.
  • Distribution of Assets: Indicate how you want your assets to be distributed among your beneficiaries. You may want to distribute your assets equally, allocate specific items to certain individuals, or follow any other distribution plan that aligns with your wishes.

Creating Specific Bequests

In addition to the general distribution of your assets, you may have specific bequests you wish to make. These can include leaving cherished items or financial gifts to individuals, charities, or organizations. Here's how to create specific bequests in your will:

  • Detailed Descriptions: Provide detailed descriptions of the items you wish to bequeath, including any identifying information such as serial numbers or distinctive features. Be as specific as possible to avoid confusion.
  • Beneficiaries and Amounts: Clearly state the names of the beneficiaries who will receive the specific bequests and the exact amount or description of what they will inherit. Double-check these details for accuracy.
  • Contingencies: Consider including contingencies in your will to address situations where the designated beneficiary is no longer alive or unable to inherit the bequest. You can specify alternate beneficiaries or instructions for such circumstances.

Addressing Guardianship for Minor Children

If you have minor children, one of the most critical aspects of your will is designating a guardian to care for them in the event of your passing. Here's how to address this important responsibility:

  • Considerations for Choosing a Guardian: Selecting the right guardian for your children requires careful consideration. Think about who would provide a stable and loving home, share your values, and be willing to take on the role of a caregiver.
  • Legal Documentation: In your will, clearly state the full legal name and contact information of the chosen guardian. This documentation is essential to ensure that your wishes are honored by the court.
  • Open Communication: Before naming someone as the guardian, have a candid conversation with them about your intentions. Discuss your expectations, and the responsibilities involved, and ensure that they are willing to assume this significant role.

Including Residuary Provisions

A well-drafted will includes a residuary clause, which covers any assets that haven't been specifically mentioned in the will. Here's how to include residuary provisions:

  • Catch-All Provision: In the residuary clause, include a catch-all provision that specifies how any remaining assets should be distributed. You might choose to distribute them among your primary beneficiaries or designate a particular charity or organization as the recipient.
  • Specific Instructions: If you have specific wishes for how any remaining assets should be distributed, provide those instructions in the residuary clause. For example, you could state that any remaining funds should be used for a particular charitable cause or to benefit a specific individual.

Adding Special Conditions

Your will may need to include special conditions or requirements for beneficiaries. These conditions can help ensure that your assets are used in a way that aligns with your values and intentions:

  • Age Restrictions: Consider setting age restrictions for beneficiaries who are minors or young adults. You can specify that they receive their inheritance at a certain age when you believe they will be financially responsible.
  • Conditions for Receiving an Inheritance: You may have specific conditions that must be met for a beneficiary to receive their inheritance. For instance, you could require that a beneficiary graduate from college or attain a certain milestone before inheriting assets.

Appointing Witnesses

To ensure the legal validity of your will, you'll need witnesses to sign it. The number of witnesses and their qualifications can vary depending on your jurisdiction's laws. Here's how to appoint witnesses in your will:

  • Legal Requirements: Check the legal requirements for witnesses in your jurisdiction. Typically, witnesses should not be beneficiaries named in the will, and they should be of legal age. Some jurisdictions may require two witnesses, while others may require three.
  • Witnesses' Responsibilities: Inform the chosen witnesses about their responsibilities. They will need to sign the will in your presence and in the presence of each other to verify that the document is authentic.
  • Full Legal Names: In your will, provide the full legal names of the witnesses and ensure that they understand their role and responsibilities. Their signatures serve as evidence that you executed the will willingly and without undue influence.

Reviewing and Signing the Will

Before finalizing your will, it's crucial to thoroughly review it to ensure that it accurately reflects your wishes. After reviewing, you'll need to sign it in accordance with your jurisdiction's laws. Here's how to review and sign your will:

  • Review for Accuracy: Carefully review every section of your will to confirm that it accurately reflects your intentions. Check names, beneficiaries, asset distribution, and any special conditions or bequests.
  • Seek Legal Advice: While a DIY kit can guide you through the process, if you have any concerns about the legal validity or complexity of your will, consider seeking legal advice at this stage. An attorney can provide valuable insights and ensure that your document complies with all relevant laws.
  • Signing in the Presence of Witnesses: To make your will legally valid, you will need to sign it in the presence of witnesses. Follow your jurisdiction's requirements regarding the number of witnesses and their qualifications.
  • Witnesses' Signatures: Once you've signed your will, ask your witnesses to sign it as well. Ensure that all signatures are completed in accordance with your jurisdiction's laws.
  • Notarization (If Required): In some jurisdictions, wills may need to be notarized to be legally valid. Check whether notarization is required in your area and, if so, have the document notarized by a licensed notary public.

Ensuring Legal Validity

Creating a DIY legal will is an empowering and cost-effective way to plan for the future, but it's essential to ensure its legal validity. The legal requirements for wills can vary by jurisdiction, so it's crucial to follow your local laws to ensure that your will holds up in court.

Consult Your DIY Kit's Instructions

Your chosen DIY kit should provide detailed instructions tailored to the legal requirements of your jurisdiction. Carefully follow these instructions to ensure your will complies with local laws. Common legal requirements include the number of witnesses, their qualifications, and the need for notarization.


The role of witnesses in validating your will cannot be overstated. In most jurisdictions, wills require the presence of witnesses during the signing process. Here are some additional considerations regarding witnesses:

Witness Qualifications

Ensure that your chosen witnesses meet the legal qualifications outlined in your jurisdiction's laws. In many places, witnesses must be of legal age and mentally competent. They should also be individuals who are not beneficiaries named in the will.

Witness Signatures

Witnesses play a crucial role in verifying the authenticity of your will. Their signatures indicate that they were present when you signed the document and can attest to its validity. Ensure that all witnesses sign in accordance with the legal requirements of your jurisdiction.


Depending on your jurisdiction, you may need to have your will notarized for it to be legally valid. Notarization involves having a licensed notary public verify your identity and witness your signature on the document. Notarized wills are often considered self-proving in court, which can simplify the probate process.

Consult Local Laws

To determine whether notarization is required in your area, consult your local laws or your DIY kit's instructions. If notarization is necessary, locate a licensed notary public and arrange for them to witness and notarize your will.

Legal Professionals

Consulting with an attorney experienced in estate planning can provide peace of mind. They can review your will, offer insights, and ensure that it complies with all relevant laws. While legal advice is optional, it can be valuable in ensuring that your wishes are carried out as intended.


Preparing your own legal will using a DIY kit can be a cost-effective and convenient option for many individuals. By following the steps outlined in this comprehensive guide and selecting the right DIY kit, you can create a legally valid will that reflects your wishes.

Remember to periodically review and update your will to ensure it remains relevant and aligned with your life circumstances. And, when in doubt or facing complexities, consult with legal professionals to ensure your estate planning is comprehensive and legally sound.


Written by Just DIY

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