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Muslim Online Wills Are Now Available in the USA: What to Expect and Which Are The Best

posted on: Jul 13, 2021

Under the Sharia, Muslims with wealth are duty-bound to write a will. Whether it’s Islamic wills online or Islamic-focused legal companies, the existence of these highlights that a secular will is not Sharia-compliant. Because of this fact, Islamic wills are a separate, distinct legal product that Muslims must seek out.

“It is the duty of a Muslim who has anything to bequeath not to let two nights pass without writing a Will about it.” – Sahih al-Bukhari. The Quran explicitly highlights the importance of Islamic will creation.

The reason behind this non-compliance centers mostly around inheritance. That, under Islamic laws, inheritance is not law of the land. However, the precise ways in which to ensure compliance can be rather complicated and nuanced. For this reason, it’s important for Muslims to create their wills with legal companies specializing in Islamic will creation.

What are online will makers?

Whether you’re creating an Islamic will or a secular one, we often run into the matter of cost and time. Whilst prices are nothing astronomical, there is an alternative to spending several hundred bucks on a will created in the presence of a legal expert.

Online wills are a phenomenon that is exploding in popularity right now. The aim of an online will is exactly how it sounds – to complete a will digitally. And, as you can imagine, this comes at a huge discount.

Generally, online wills range from $20 to $100, depending on how comprehensive the service (attorney support, future revisions etc). However, almost all companies claim a will can be created in under an hour.

An example of how this is possible is to LegalZoom or Nolo, two leaders within secular will making. They have clean, easy-to-use websites in which users can fill in the jargon-free will forms that are provided to create a legitimate legally binding will document. It’s almost like filling out a survey from the user’s perspective, yet the entire document is automatically produced at the end.

Of course, this technology didn’t go unnoticed by Muslims looking for Sharia-compliant wills. Like many sub-niches of online will makers, Islamic wills were suddenly readily available online. All of the same benefits apply, plus the additional benefit of the wills being Sharia-compliant.

Are online wills legitimate?

Online wills can appear controversial due to their cheapness, and that it relies on automation without the assistance of a real lawyer. However, lawyers are certainly behind the creation of these online blueprints/software, so the end-product has been verified.

Online wills are legitimate and hold up according to the law – mostly because there are very few laws or requirements that make a will legitimate in the first place. However, there are some caveats to this.

First and foremost, an online will is limited to being a fixed document with fixed questions – it cannot handle unique complexity. So, users should steer clear of online wills if they have a very large, complicated estate with complex family relations. However, this issue is somewhat self-policing, because those with complex, large estates are people who will deem $400 on a traditional will as being more worth the money. 

It’s also worth mentioning that if you have any threat of controversy around your will, it may be best to go to a traditional lawyer. For example, a distant son who may feel like he is entitled to a certain possession, or perhaps the completion of a will at the early stages of dementia, might be two ways in which a will could become disputed. 

Whilst an online will is legitimate, it may not hold up to a dispute in court as well as one created by, and in the presence of, an experienced lawyer.

Best online Islamic will makers

There are various Islamic will-making companies online that comply with Sharia, but the two best are considered to be Shariawiz and MyWassiyah. 

Shariawiz 

Shariawiz is a US-based Estate Planning company that is geared towards Muslim Americans. The company takes a holistic approach to Islamic wills by first and foremost offering a place to learn about them. With the help of a blog and comprehensive FAQ section on the website, potential customers can stop by for free and understand a tonne about Islamic estate planning.

Despite being a new company, Shariawiz has earned a lot of trust from its customers, with high scoring reviews on both the App Store and the internet in general. 

The Islamic will on offer outlines the assets within your estate and denotes explicitly your expectations of how those assets will be distributed to your heirs. Of course, wills from Shariawiz are compliant with Sharia law.

Pricing:

  • Living will – $59
  • Living trust – $499
  • Last will and testament – $199
  • Financial Power of Attorney – $39

One key benefit that customers can receive from purchasing a will at Shariawiz is unlimited will updates for life. This is very useful because as our estates change, we need to update what needs to be distributed where. Whilst other companies offer revisions too, many will charge more for this service.

Shariawiz is endorsed by Islamic Relief and offers a comprehensive Islamic Trust. The biggest flaw of the company is that they have no live chat support, which would be useful for customers who want help with filling in their will or need an issue to be resolved quickly. 

MyWassiyah

MyWassiyah is another successful company that creates Islamic wills. With a similar focus on Islam, you can ensure your legal services from here will be 100% Sharia-compliant. The company lacks the educational element that helped Shariawiz stand out, but the website is extremely easy to navigate and use – plus, there is a promise that the will creation will be finished in under 20 minutes.

Pricing:

  • Last will and testament – $75
  • Marital property agreement – $45
  • Will and marital property package – $99

As we can see, MyWassiya offers fewer products than Shariawiz, but does however offer something different: marital property agreements. This is also known as a Transmutation Agreement, and can guarantee assets are distributed per Sharia for community property states.

Regardless of if you compare the last will and testament of each, or take into account the MyWassiya will package, MyWassiya comes out considerably cheaper in both scenarios.

However, you will not receive quite the same level of service as Shariawiz. For example, there are no lifetime free revisions, there are fewer will-related documents to choose from, and there’s also limited support. So, whilst this is a cheap option, you’re getting the bare minimum in terms of service. Still, the will produced will nonetheless be legitimate, so it depends on the customer’s needs.

Conclusion

As we have seen in many industries, technology is helping cut costs of services which are then reflected onto the customer. Whilst technology has had a big impact on accessibility and convenience, its frightening ability to make personnel redundant means that the cost of sale decreases for companies – slashing the price they can offer it to the customers.

Of course, some products require an element of service. Whether it’s good customer service at a restaurant (you’re not just paying for the food ingredients on the table), the same can be said with wills. Fortunately, it’s not a straight choice between going to a lawyer or buying an automated will – there is an in-between. 

Some online will-making companies will offer slightly more expensive online wills, but will revise them by a professional lawyer at the end of its completion. Or, they will be available over the phone for any questions. Thus, you’re receiving a service in between the modern and traditional service, which means paying somewhere in-between the two as well.

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