How much does it cost to make a will?

How Much Does A Will Cost? Our Guide To Using A Will Writing Solicitor | December 2023

Although the will process can seem daunting, particularly when considering the costs associated with making one, understanding the process and the costs can make it less overwhelming.

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Understanding the Importance of a Will

A will is not just a document, it’s a way to ensure your wishes are carried out after your death. It details who will receive your assets, including property, savings and personal possessions. If you have children, the will should specify who will care for them if you pass away whilst they’re still minors. 

Creating a will also lets you choose executors who will carry out these wishes, often a close friend, a family member, or a professional service. Without a valid will, the intestacy laws decide these matters, potentially not aligning with your wishes.

In most cases, a will can also help to minimise inheritance tax, ensuring your beneficiaries receive the maximum benefit. A will also provides clarity and peace of mind for your family members, typically preventing disputes over your estate, and ensuring your loved ones are provided for as you intended.

How much does it cost to make a will?

According to the Office of National Statistics, the average UK household holds assets of £302,500, highlighting the necessity of making a will. Remember that the cost of writing a will can vary, depending on the complexity of your estate and whether you choose to use professional services. If you choose not to engage professional services, you can buy a will-writing kit online or from stationery shops for as little as £10. 

For more support, consider using a will-writing service. Prices for these services can start at around £80. Alternatively, more complex issues, involving things like overseas property or trusts, can rise to several hundred pounds.

Solicitors are typically more expensive, with the cost of making a will with a solicitor starting from around £150. The price can increase to over £1,000 for more complicated estates. Different solicitors will offer different prices, so it’s worth doing research before settling on a certain one. Often people worry about making a will without a solicitor, so remember that in most cases, it is typically not necessary to use a solicitor.

If cost is a concern, some charities offer free will-writing services in the hope that you’ll leave them a legacy in your will, offering a cost-effective way to ensure your will is legally valid.

How to Make a Will

The first step in making a will is deciding who will inherit your estate, which includes all your assets, like property, bank accounts, and personal possessions. You also need to choose who will look after any children under 18 and nominate your executors.

Next, you may want to consider using a solicitor or a professional will writer to help create your will, ensuring that your will is legally valid and that all your wishes are clearly stated. Whilst you can also write your own will, you must make sure it’s signed and witnessed correctly.

Major changes in your life, like moving house, getting married, or having a child, often mean you need to make a new will. Marriage, for example, usually cancels out any previously made wills. Therefore, it is important to set a reminder to review your will every 2-3 years.

It’s also important to keep your will in a safe place, but make sure that your executor needs to know where it is. You could keep it at home, with a solicitor, at a bank, or with a company that offers the storage of wills. 

You can also watch this video on Youtube here.

Cost of Making a Will with a Solicitor 

As mentioned earlier, the cost of making a will with a solicitor starts from around £150 for a single, straightforward will. For more complex estates which involve trusts, overseas properties and business assets, solicitor fees can range from £500 – £5000 or more. Therefore, wills usually cost more as the complexity of the estate increases. 

There are also additional costs to consider. If your solicitor stores your will, they may charge a fee, and if they act as your executor, they can charge a percentage of your estate. This is typically around 1-5%.

It’s important to discuss fees upfront with your solicitor. Whilst some offer a fixed fee, others charge by the hour. Consequently, it’s imperative that you understand what’s included in the cost and ask about any potential extra charges before you commit. 

When it is Advisable to Use a Solicitor

You need to hire a solicitor when the estate is complex, such as when there are significant properties or investments.

A solicitor can help ensure that all of your assets are distributed according to your wishes and in accordance with the law.

In addition to creating a legally solid document, a lawyer can advise you on the optimal tax structure for your will. In addition, they may offer advice on matters such as jointly owned assets, trusts, and the custody of minor children.

Having an expert evaluate your will ensures that it suits your current and future needs and aspirations. A barrister can ensure that any adjustments you make throughout your lifetime adhere to legal requirements.

How Much Does it Cost for a Will and Power of Attorney?

If you make a will on its own, the cost for will writing is about £150.  If you also set up a Power of Attorney at the same time, then the total costs will start from around £350.

However, if you create a Will and both a power of attorney for health and welfare and property and financial affairs, then you will likely get a discount on the overall cost.  Typically you would expect to pay around £500 to £600.

Legalities in the UK for Making a Will

In the UK, there are certain legal requirements for making a will. For instance, it must be made by a person who is 18 or older and of sound mind. It must also be made voluntarily and without pressure from anyone else.

If it is believed that the will was made by someone who was not of sound mind, beneficiaries may contest it once the will maker is deceased. This complicates the will and delays the probate process. 

The will must be in writing and signed by you in the presence of two witnesses, who also sign the will in your presence. The witnesses cannot be people who will benefit from your will or their spouses or civil partners. This is to ensure that the will will carry out your wishes, not the wishes of the beneficiaries. 

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Making a Will

One of the most common mistakes in will making is not getting it signed and witnessed properly, making the will invalid. A valid will should be signed in the presence of two witnesses, also signing it in your presence.

Another common error is not considering all your assets. To be comprehensive and fool-proof, you must include every asset if you wish the will. 

Also, you mustn’t forget to update your will after any major change in your life, such as marriage, divorce, having a child, or moving house. 

Ambiguity can lead to disputes among several family members after your death, so it is always best to ensure that your will is clear and comprehensive.

Making a Will Online in the UK

If you do not wish to utilise traditional will-making pathways, it is possible to make a will online. These services have become increasingly popular and can be a cost-effective solution, with prices starting from as little as £20.

Whilst these services guide you through the process and ensure that you cover all the necessary points, they’re usually best for simple estates. More complex situations should be resolved with help from a professional. 

Making a will online also means that you can do it at your own pace, from the comfort of your home. However, it is important to remember that even an online will needs to be printed out and signed and witnessed correctly to be legally valid. 

The Price Range of Will Writing Services

The price of a will varies greatly depending on the complexity of your estate and the service you choose, ranging from free to several hundred pounds. Free will writing services are typically offered by charities hoping you’ll leave them a legacy in your will. Although these options may be cost-effective, they may not be suitable for complex estates or situations.

Alternatively, you may want to consider using professional will writers, the cost of which can range from £100 to £500. Professional will-writing services typically cost £100-£500. This price often includes advice and guidance, guaranteeing that your will is legally valid and aligns with your specific wishes. You should always make sure that the will writer is a member of a recognised professional body, such as the Law Society.

For complex estates, you may need more specialised services, perhaps including advice on inheritance tax and probate services. Unsurprisingly, these services are typically more expensive. However, they can ensure that your estate is handled in the most tax-efficient way and that your will is executed accurately, which is extremely beneficial. 

The Cost of Making a Joint Will

You can also choose to make a joint will. This is where you create your will as a couple, usually as husband and wife, although this is not mandatory.

The cost of writing a will as a couple is slightly higher than the cost of a single will.  A joint Will will normally require the support of a will writing professional or solicitor, as these are often more complex than a single will.

The cost of making a joint Will is more likely to be between £250 and £700, which again will depend on the complexity of your affairs.

Considerations for Civil Partners and Overseas Properties

Civil partners often have the same rights and responsibilities as married couples when it comes to wills. Therefore, if you die without a will, your civil partner will typically inherit all your assets under the intestacy rules. However, it’s always best to make a will to ensure your wishes are carried out.

If you have a permanent home or property overseas, the situation can be more complex. Different countries have different rules about inheritance and wills, and in some cases, the law of the country where the property is located may apply, not UK law. 

"If you're using a solicitor to write your will, ensure they are a member of the Law Society, as this guarantees they meet the required standards and are regulated by a professional body"

The Role of the Probate Service and the Law Society

The probate service is involved in administering someone’s estate after they die. They ensure that the will is valid, the property is distributed according to the will, and any outstanding debts or taxes are paid. If your estate is complex, you may need to use probate services. The cost of writing your will may include probate fees.

The Law Society represents solicitors in England and Wales, providing advice and services to solicitors and promoting the highest professional standards. If you’re using a solicitor to write your will, ensure they are a member of the Law Society, as this guarantees they meet the required standards and are regulated by a professional body. 

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What is the cheapest way to make a will?

There are a few things to bear in mind as you search for the best affordable will-writing solution. Investigating the possibilities of cheap will writing is one option. A cheap will is often a straightforward will that includes all necessary provisions. Another strategy is to use online will writing services to find the cheapest way to do a will.

These platforms frequently provide inexpensive choices and can help you navigate the process using ready-made templates. However, it’s crucial to use caution and make sure the business you select is reliable and legitimate in your country.

Even though the cheapest will writing service could sound alluring, it’s important to take your estate’s complexity and potential legal repercussions into account. 

In some situations, it may be wise to get advice from an expert to make sure your will truly expresses your preferences and complies with all legal requirements, such as a local will writer or solicitor.

They can offer individualised counsel and direction, which might be worthwhile as a financial investment to guarantee legality and efficacy when you are finding a cheap way to make a will. The most affordable will-writing method ultimately depends on your individual requirements, tastes, and the complexity of your estate.

What is a simple will?

A simple will is a basic legal document that outlines your wishes for the distribution of your assets after your passing. It typically covers straightforward scenarios and does not involve complex estate planning or provisions. 

A simple will may include designating beneficiaries, appointing an executor to carry out your wishes, and specifying how your assets should be distributed. The average cost of making a will that is simple can vary depending on various factors such as location and the services of legal professionals. 

However, generally speaking, the costs of a will that is simple is often more affordable compared to more complex estate planning documents. Many attorneys or will writing services offer cost-effective packages or flat fees for preparing simple wills. However, be aware that will writing service costs vary from provider to provider.

It is recommended to shop around, obtain quotes, and compare prices to find a suitable and affordable option that meets your needs. Keep in mind that if your situation involves more intricate estate planning, it may require additional legal expertise and could impact the cost. 

Consulting with a legal professional can provide you with an accurate estimate of the cost for a simple will based on your specific circumstances.

The Consequences of Dying Without a Will

If you die without a will, you die “intestate”, meaning that the intestacy rules decide how your estate is distributed. These rules may not align with your wishes, and your assets may not go to the people you want them to. Consequently, it is of the utmost importance that you make a will whilst you are alive and of sound mind. 

If you’re not married or in a civil partnership, your partner is not legally entitled to any of your estate if you die without a will. This can cause financial hardship and distress at an already difficult time.

Dying without a will can also cause disputes among family members. This is because without clear instructions, your loved ones may argue over who gets what. This can lead to lasting damage to relationships at a time when people should be supporting each other. The process of writing a will not only ensures that your assets are distributed in a way that you approve of, it also decreases the possibility of emotional distress. 

The 8 benefits of having a Will

There are 8 key benefits that you (and your family) will receive by having a will.

1. Have an executor

By not having a Will, it means that you cannot name an executor of your will.  This means that someone that has to be appointed to administer your affairs.

2. Protect your children

If you have children, it is likely you want to name someone to act as the guardian.   If you don’t have anyone named, then the government may get involved and your wishes may not be followed.

3. Choose your burial preference

Do you have a preference between a burial or a cremation?   If so, the Will is the opportunity to have your wishes set out.  In addition, if you have a cremation you can set out where you would like your ashes scattered.

Either way, we would always recommend that you think about a pre-paid funeral plan to ease the cost of your funeral.  You can read more about your funeral plans here.

4. Giving your children what you want

You may have some thoughts about how you want your assets split between your children.  A will ensures that these wishes are met.

5. Protecting your assets

If the unthinkable happens and some dreadful event leads to all your family passing away in a single event, you could find that your assets go to a person in your family that you do not even know.  A will protects against this and also allows you to think about whether you may want your money passed to a charity.

6. Protecting your grandchildren

Would you like your estate to go to your grandchildren if their parents predecease you? Only a will can properly set out what is to happen in the event a family member was to die.

7. Protecting your family business

A family business or heirloom may not be able to stay in your family if you were to die, and it may be necessary to liquidate the assets.

When there is something of significant value like a business, it is so important to plan ahead to avoid potential conflicts.

8. Your beneficiaries

Without a will, you are unable to exclude or include beneficiaries.


1. What are the average will writing costs in the UK?

Will costs significantly vary. For a simple will, you might only pay around £100 to £200 if you hire professional willwriters. 

If your estate is complex and includes all the assets you’ve acquired over your lifetime, such as overseas properties or numerous investments, the cost can go up to several hundred pounds. 

Therefore, you should decide on a service based on the complexity of your estate, your own confidence in the law, and whether it is financially feasible. 

2. Do I need to include all the assets in my will?  

It’s essential to include all the assets in your will, not only including property and bank accounts but also personal possessions, investments, insurance policies and even digital assets. Leaving out an asset may lead to disputes among family members. 

Professional willwriters recommend making a comprehensive list of your assets while preparing your will, reducing the chances of accidentally leaving anything out.

3. How does a registered charity number relate to making a will?

A registered charity number comes into play, depending on whether you want to leave money to a charity in your will. To ensure that the money goes to a legitimate organisation, you should verify the charity’s registered number. Leaving money to charity is a noble act and can also have inheritance tax benefits. Although, it is always best to consult a professional if you are considering this option. And as always, make sure that the will is stored in a safe place. 

4. Can a will be changed after it is written?

Yes, the same way it was created, a will can be changed at a later date. For instance, if you experience significant life changes, or acquire new assets, you might need to change your will. Consequently, it’s your responsibility to ensure your will is up to date and reflects your current wishes. If any changes are required, it is best to consult with professional willwriters, ensuring that the changes are legally valid.

5. Can I specify other wishes in my will, apart from asset distribution?

Yes, your will can include wishes other than asset distribution. For instance, you can specify your funeral arrangements, or leave money to a charity. Furthermore, you can also appoint guardians for your minor children.

Whilst your will is a legal document, its main purpose is to ensure that your wishes are carried out after your death. It is essential that these wishes must be lawful and feasible. In case of uncertainty, it is best to consult a professional will writer or solicitor. 

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Rachel Barnes

Rachel is one of our fantastic writer’s, with a background in finance, complemented by her expertise in content creation.

Her strong financial acumen and knowledge, combined with a deep appreciation for art and humanities, gives her work a distinct edge, producing content that is both informative and insightful. With her broad-ranging experience, Rachel stands as an invaluable asset and writing compelling narratives.

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