I wrote my will for free using Fabric, and getting my printer to work was the hardest part

The author is not pictured. Geber86/Getty Images

As an adult, there are many things I know I should do regularly: exercise, floss, check my credit report, have a will. Some of those are successful (hello, gym membership), while others are pushed to the side again and again while I complain about having to adult.

However, at 30, adulting is largely unavoidable. I have two kids and two mortgages, so some adulting to-do’s have gone from “I’ll get around to that” to “seriously, Kelly, get it together.” I’ve realised that if I’m not properly prepared and protected when it comes to finances, I’m putting my whole family at risk.

Earlier this year, I finally purchased life insurance after delaying for years. It made me feel so much more secure knowing that my husband and daughters would be able to grieve without financial strain if I died. With life insurance taken care of, there was one thing outstanding that I needed to get done: a will.

The five-minute will maker

I’ve been meaning to make a will for a solid two years. I had even opened up Fabric’s website and read its promises about an easy will-building service that would take just five minutes to use. And yet, I closed the tab, unable or unwilling to jump into making a will.

So when I had the chance to write about Fabric, I decided it was time. As a journalist, I live and die by deadlines, so I knew that having a story assigned would force me to complete a will.

Of course, like a good journalist, I also push my deadlines almost to the breaking point before meeting them. So, on a recent Sunday night as my husband and I were driving home from a movie, I realised with a panic that we hadn’t had a conversation about the will that weekend. Shoot.

I opened up Fabric and set up an account as my husband drove. If the site promised I would make a will in five minutes, this would be the ultimate test.

A snow storm, a car ride, a will

As I set up the account with Fabric, the rain that had been coming down turned to heavy snow. Our 1 year old was asleep in the backseat, and our 5 year old was waiting for us to pick her up.

Really, the stakes could not have been any more clear: there’s nothing like driving through a treacherous New Hampshire snowstorm to make the idea of your demise seem perfectly plausible. This will was getting done – today.

Ready to write your will? Fabric makes it easy »

Fabric uses a questionnaire to draft your will. The first step was easy. If I die, I leave everything to my husband. Simple.

From there, it got much more complicated: What if we both die? Who should raise our kids? Who should manage the money we leave them? My husband and I balked. But, there were deadlines to meet.

“We need to stop putting this off just because there’s no perfect answer,” I told him. “Having an imperfect plan is better than having no plan.”

He agreed. We decided that my sister would be guardian of our children, while his father would manage their money. We had had lengthier conversations about this before, so we were just formalising what we already knew was our best option.

The instant will

Using Fabric’s prompts made writing a will super simple. We were done within 10 minutes. I thought I would need lots of information, like a list of my assets and debts, but in reality I only needed to know who I wanted to give my children and assets to if I should die. There were also a few questions about end-of-life wishes, like funeral services and what to do with remains.

After you complete the prompts, Fabric emails you a copy of your will. I got a copy of my husband’s as well, since the service offers you the option to make a mirror will for your spouse.

All we had to do to make the wills legally binding is print them off and sign them in front of two witnesses. Truly, getting my printer to work was the most difficult part of the process.

The process was so simple that I questioned it. Fabric says its wills are drafted by lawyers, and they contain plenty of legalese. Although you don’t have to get it notarized, that can make the document even more credible if it were ever questioned.

Would my five-minute will hold up in court? Probably, since everything in it is very straight forward. If I had a more complex legal or financial situation I would probably want a second opinion, just to be safe.

Making the will was so simple that I wondered why I had put it off for so long. Next time I’m driving icy winter roads, I’ll be a little more calm, knowing that if the worst were to happen, my family is protected.

Protecting your family takes just a few minutes with Fabric. Write your will for free today »