What is a Simple Will?

The low percentage of adults in the US who have a Will in place is one of the most startling statistics of recent years. Sadly, and surprisingly, the ratio still stands at 30% with a Will and 70% without one. Most believe they do not have enough possessions to pass down and are not worth making a will.

However, a Simple will can be a practical solution if you believe you possess too little to leave behind. As the name suggests, a Simple will is the most basic form of a Will or Testament. Let us delve deeper into how to create a simple will and its functions.

Explaining: Simple will

One of the most fundamental aspects of estate planning is writing a Will. A Simple Will allows you to legally specify your wishes and instructions about distributing your assets among your family members or next kin after your demise.

The fact that simple wills are best for someone with modest or uncomplicated estates sets them apart from their other, more thorough equivalents. For instance, if you are young and have significantly fewer assets to leave behind, you can opt for a Simple Will rather than selecting a complicated one.

Consider a scenario where a married couple wishes to leave their assets to one another or, if they pass away together, to their children in equal portions. Additionally, they want to designate a personal guardian for their minor children. In such cases, drafting a Simple Will for married couple is enough without hiring an expensive attorney.

It will identify who will inherit your assets upon your passing, i.e., your beneficiaries. If your first named beneficiaries pass away before you, it should name substitute beneficiaries who will get your acquisitions.

It’s also important to understand that a simple Will must go through the probate process after your demise. Therefore, before your heirs receive their inheritance, your estate must go through legal procedures and tax regulations.

Furthermore, if you become incapacitated and require immediate medical care, it cannot specify your future healthcare decisions.

What Makes a Simple Will Valid?

Many decide against making a Will because they fear it won’t be upheld. Simple Wills are brief and have simple instructions. You can consider creating one yourself. However, be mindful that each state has its own sets of rules and regulations for what must be in a will to be legally valid. Below are a few points that ensure the validity of a Simple Will.
  • Age of the testator
It would be best if you were of legal age when drafting the will. Typically, one is considered of legal age when they turn 18. Its purpose is to ensure that a person is capable enough of making decisions regarding the distribution of their assets upon death. It also assures that you are not manipulated by someone seeking to gain profit.
  • Mental Capacity
The testator of a simple will must be of sound mind for it to be valid. It typically implies that the testator must be conscious and aware of their actions. Some laws further stipulate that the testator must realize the distribution of assets specified in the document. The phrase “of sound mind” is frequently used when determining legal competence. It indicates that the testator can comprehend the gravity of their wishes and actions.
  • Signatures, Witnesses, and Notarization
Make your will legal after writing it. Sign all the documents and take the signatures of your witnesses too. Typically it requires one or two witnesses, but the number may vary depending on the state. Some states require the witnesses to be someone who will not inherit your assets. Simple will don’t require notarization to be valid, but going the extra mile and involving a notary public may prove beneficial in the long run. For example, during the probate process, it may confirm the validity of your will.

What to include in simple will?

Although Simple Wills are pretty straightforward, there are certain elements you should include in them. Below is a list of things to specify when drafting a simple will.
  • Include your asset distribution
Make a list of your assets. No matter how modest or grand sets of assets you possess, it is essential to make a list of them. Once done with your checklist, write down their distribution and inheritance as precisely as possible. Specific instructions leave no space for ambiguity and any possible friction among family members. For example, If you have no living relatives and wish to donate all your assets to a charity. You may want your spouse and children to inherit the assets. Or you wish to donate a portion of your inheritance to charity and the rest to your surviving family member. Be specific about how much of your assets should go to whom.
  • Name an executor of your estate
You must include an Executor of your estate when you write a simple will. The person you choose to serve as your Executor must be competent to handle the duties such as directing attorneys to secure a grant of probate and distributing the estate’s assets to the beneficiaries. Typically, the husband and wife name one another as executors. The responsibility to manage the estate’s distribution falls on the Executor of your Will. Mainly an executor helps to fulfill your specified wishes upon your death. The courts will name an Executor on your behalf if you don’t do so yourself before you pass away.
  • Add beneficiaries
The second most vital aspect is to include a beneficiary in your will. When you name a beneficiary, you ensure that the right person will receive your assets. Someone with a simple will often designate their surviving spouse or adult children as their beneficiary. You can also choose a secondary beneficiary or specify if a particular asset should only go to a specific person.
  • Name a legal guardian for your minor children
Thinking about leaving your children can be difficult. But if you have minor children and if something were to happen to you, it is vital to include a legal guardian for them. You can name a legal guardian to look after small children in the case of your passing using a simple will. In the case that both parents pass away before the children reach adulthood, you could, for instance, name another relative to look after the minor children. You may appoint a close friend or relative to act as guardian if the surviving parent is deemed legally unfit or is not present in their lives.

How much does a simple will cost?

A simple will cost depends entirely on the medium you choose to create it. You may select a Simple will free service online or seek professional help. Below is a list of different ways of drafting a will and its cost.

  • Writing a Simple Will yourself

The traditional Do-It-Yourself process is a better option when making a simple will for single people. Due to the low cost, do-it-yourself kits to draft and file a legally enforceable Will have become more popular.

It may be the best choice for you if you don’t have many intricate issues with your final wishes, your assets are modest, and you don’t have any children. Kits are available for a much lower price, so you can draft your will whenever convenient without having to shell out a fortune.

Lastly, ensure that you grasp everything the kit includes, including the legalese. You should sign them after you understand them fully. It is also good to note if these documents align with your state regulations.

You can also write simple wills by hand. It is known as a “holographic will.” Even though it might seem like the most convenient choice, this is not encouraged as holographic wills might be challenging to prove in court during probate.

  • Using online Template and Software 

Purchasing or downloading a simple will pdf or other format templates is another cost-effective option to create your own will. It’s convenient because you can finish your will by filling in the gaps.

You can also use online software services to create simple wills. However, it can be more expensive since it includes instructions on how to fill out the form correctly and what all the complicated legal terminology means in addition to the template.

  • Hiring an estate attorney 

An attorney can help you through the legal process and ensure your will is correctly drafted and error-free. People frequently believe that they must engage an attorney to create a will. However, it would help if you understood that this option might cost you a fortune.

Getting an attorney to prepare a simple will might run anywhere from $100 per hour to $400 or more. Additionally, any adjustments you want may cost you money. These charges may vary depending on where you live.

Simple wills can be written for considerably less money, making them inexpensive for most people. Usually, you may fill out templates online with the relevant data. While it is not essential, you can also hire professionals, which might be substantially more expensive.


Lastly, as the old saying goes, “something is better than nothing,” fits right when you consider drafting a Simple will. With modest wealth, you may decide it is not worth creating a will. You may have something of emotional value that you wish to leave to your child.

Simple Wills help to pass down your asset in such instances too. Creating a simple free will or creating it with the help of a professional may save your child and spouse in struggling times upon your death.

Now that you understand the importance of a simple will in your estate planning, you should also take care of your simple digital assets. We at Clocr provide you with services like Social Media Will, Digital Estate, Digital Vault, and many more.

With our service of Social Media Will, you can express your wishes regarding your social handles safely and securely and choose who can access them after your demise. Join Clocr today to leave an unforgettable digital legacy.