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writing a will

Making a Will and the cost of making a Will online or with a solicitor

Overview of this article

In this article, we will cover:

  • Writing a will
  • Why you should have a will
  • The costs to make a will, either online, or using a will writing professional or solicitor
  • The 8 benefits of having a will
  • How much does it cost to make a Will
  • Joint wills and the costs
  • Make a Will online
  • What happens if you don’t have a will
  • How much does it cost to make a will and power of attorney

What is a Will?

Making a will is one of the most important things that you can do. Each year, 1 in 3 people die without writing a will to protect their assets for their families.

This can make what is already a difficult and distressing time complicated and even more unpleasant, as no set directive is in place to indicate who gets what.

Although it’s often difficult or unpleasant to consider death, it’s very important to make a will – even if you consider yourself to be young and in good health. This way you know that your family are protected and your assets will be distributed in line with your personal wishes.

Why you should have a Will

Over 70% of people in the UK below the age of 64 have not yet drawn up their last will and testament. A greater number of over 65’s possess a will – but still over 40% haven’t yet obtained one. Some people don’t feel they have enough to leave – others prefer not to contemplate the future.

Research from Royal London in 2018 shows that 59% of people don’t have a will or have one that is out of date.  Another way to look at it is to say over 30 million people in the UK do not have a will.

Many believe that it will be easily sorted out after their death. However, this is often not the case.

But in fact neglecting to draw up a will, it can have devastating consequences for your bereaved family – who may even have to apply to the court to gain access to your money to pay for funeral costs, mortgages and other important expenses.

For this reason it’s very important to understand how to make a will, and what could happen if you don’t.

Here is a short video we have produced that helps answer the question as to “what is a will?”

Do you need to create a  Will? 

 

If so, we can help you create one online in 20 minutes.

 

Just click the button below to see how.

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.

Here is a short video that explains what a funeral plan is.

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.

how much does it cost to make a will

How much does it cost to make a Will?

The cost of making a will varies and depends on whether you choose to write a will, online, yourself, or enlist the help of a professional will writer or solicitor. The costs can range from £30 if you do it all online yourself, and it is a simple will, through to £500 if you have a solicitor create it for you and there are some complexities involved.  However,  on average you can expect to pay around £150 – £250.

The cost is influenced by:

  • which will writing services you use,
  • the complexity of your affairs – for instance a person with few belongings and a small family would pay less than someone with multiple assets, many beneficiaries and a large property portfolio.

Although budget is often an issue for individuals looking to create a will, the cost of making a will should not influence your selection.

Instead you should make sure that the will you have drawn up is comprehensive and will be fit for purpose when the time comes for it to be executed.

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 making 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.

How much does it cost to make a Will with a solicitor?

How much it costs to make a will with a solicitor will depend on how complex your affairs are.  However, using a solicitor will usually cost you more than using a will writing professional or doing it yourself online.  Typically Will prices start from £250 upwards.  If you have semi-complicated affairs then it may worthwhile seeking the advice of a solicitor when setting up your will.

If, however, you are comfortable with doing it yourself then this can be done online for about £30 upwards.

How much does it cost to make a Will and Power of Attorney?

If you make a will on its own, and use a professional will writer then that will cost from about £150.  If you also set up a Power of Attorney at the same time, then the total cost will be 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.

Make a Will online

Increasingly, many people are now looking to make a Will online

This is because if you are writing a simple will then this can be the cheapest  and most cost effective way of making your will.   Typically, will prices start around £30 to create your will.  However, you will then either need to store the will yourself or pay an additional amount to have it put in safe storage.

But whilst it’s more cost-effective to take care of writing a simple will yourself, there are some drawbacks. Instead of deciding definitively not to enlist professional help you should carefully consider how you’ll undertake this important task.

Before asking ‘How do I make a will online?’ think about why you are making a will in the first place.

Do you want to protect your assets for family and friends? Is this important for future generations of your family? Are there relatives who you don’t want to benefit from your will? Perhaps you are concerned about Inheritance Tax.

Remember that if the will is ineffective the consequences for your family could be very difficult, and your wishes may not be respected.

You should also remember that you should probably only make a will online yourself if your wishes are very simple and basic. Anything complex should be taken care of by a professional will writer or solicitor

If you do choose to write the simple will yourself, you should firstly familiarise yourself with the process and ensure that you are covering all essential aspects of the will.

You may also want to consider a Living Will which allows you to make some decisions now about your medical treatment when you are older.

what is a Will

What should you include in your Will

When writing your will you will need:

  • a detailed plan setting out who gets what. You should of course consider who you want to benefit from your will financially, but there are other (often more important) aspects to a will.
  • appoint an executor.  This is the person who will carry out your wishes following your death
  • to set out who will take care of children under 18
  • to set out what happens if your beneficiaries die before you do.
  • a witness (the witness cannot be a beneficiary of the will. They must be independent).

Click here to read more about living wills and discretionary trust wills, which are different types of Wills you can have.  It’s important that you understand exactly what type of will you want and the fees for doing so.

Do you need to create a  Will? 

 

If so, we can help you create one online in 20 minutes.

 

Just click the button below to see how.

Will writing solicitors – How do I find one?

You can find ‘Will writing solicitors near me” by using our directory, which lists will writers in your area.

There are a number of reasons why it’s often better to invest in will writing solicitors or will writing professional instead of drawing up a will yourself.

Mostly using a will writing solicitor or will writing professional will give you the peace of mind you need, ensuring that your assets will be fairly divided and distributed as per your wishes after your death. But certain individuals need will writing services – usually those with more complicated circumstances.

These include individuals and couples who may need to pay Inheritance Tax, business owners, those with overseas assets or property and anyone with a complex family situation (children from previous marriages, vulnerable relatives etc).

Will writing solicitors also store your will safely and securely for you, so you don’t need to worry about it going missing or astray when the time comes.

You can click here to find a directory of professional will writers that can support you in you your area.

 

If you are dealing with bereavement and considering the Will of a loved one.   You should read our guide that sets out the steps to dealing with bereavement.

What happens if you die without a Will in the UK?

If you die without leaving a will then this can cause some issues for your surviving family.

Of the tens of thousands in the UK who die intestate (without a will), many leave behind families who simply don’t have a right to access their funds. This could be because they were not married to their partner, or the will they had drawn up wasn’t legally valid.

One myth regarding death intestate is the belief that the government will take a significant portion of your funds. When an individual dies intestate their estate is subject to the Rules of Intestacy.

These guidelines dictate who gets your assets, and how much each party receives. Under the Rules of Intestacy only married or civil partners (and on occasion other close relatives) are entitled to benefit financially from your estate.

This means that well over ten thousand people in the UK alone could have benefited if they had known how to make a will, and had understood the importance of it.

When you die the person that deals with your estate will apply for probate.  You can read more about the costs of probate in your article here.

Making a Will in Scotland

If you are a Scottish resident slightly different rules and processes for making a will apply to you.

Although the same Inheritance Tax threshold applies (and the processes and preparation involved are identical) there are certain legal differences you’ll need to take into account when making a will (Scotland only).

  • When making a will in Scotland you are not allowed to disinherit your spouse or descendants completely. Any children you have will be entitled to a third of your movable estate (everything except land and buildings). Your spouse will be entitled to another third.
  • Making a will in Scotland is open to anyone over the age of twelve.
  • When making a will in Scotland, including younger relatives, consider that they will be able by law to take their inheritance aged 16. If you do not wish for this to happen you’ll need to set up a trust fund and specify the age at which they’ll be eligible to access the money you leave to them.

For more information on making a will in Scotland you can take a look at these useful references:

What happens if you need to change your Will

It is advisable to review your will periodically to ensure that it is still up to date and valid. You should also review your will following any major changes or life events such as marriage, divorce, the birth of a new child or the death of a beneficiary.

You can make minor alterations to your will – such as names or certain property, using what is known as a codicil.

Any codicils should be overseen by a solicitor and kept with a copy of your original will – as if they are lost this could raise questions over your will upon your death.

If you’re significantly changing your will or are altering more than several parts it’s best to write a new will. This will incur a fresh cost, but it’s better to ensure that it is correct and up to date.

How much does it cost to make a Will and Power of Attorney

Inheritance tax

It is however important to remember that estates worth over £325,000 are subject to Inheritance Tax. Inheritance Tax is applicable for property, possessions and any other financial assets.

Inheritance Tax is set at 40%, with funds coming from your estate rather than the pocket of your recipients.

Professional solicitors specialising in will writing can help you to ensure that as little of your estate as possible is lost to Inheritance Tax – which is another crucial benefit of enlisting professional assistance with your will.

You should also factor in the cost of your funeral and other essential expenses upon your death.

In this section we cover how to make a will in the UK. Yet aside from explaining how to make a will, we’ll also be touching on the other aspects which can be problematic or confusing for anyone embarking on drawing up a will for themselves or with their partner in the UK.

There are steps that you can take to avoid paying inheritance.  The key thing is estate planning and thinking about what you want to happen to your assets and money.  Here is a useful article on avoiding inheritance tax and there’s a useful video below.

Do you need to create a  Will? 

 

If so, we can help you create one online in 20 minutes.

 

Just click the button below to see how.


A directory of professional will writers

Have you created a Lasting Power of Attorney?

Another important area you should consider is to produce a Lasting Power of Attorney.

Here is our section on what it is and why it is important.

Here is our directory of will writing professionals you can approach.

Manage your finances with a Pre-paid Funeral Plan

Whilst its a difficult subject to think about, increasingly pre-paid funeral plans are becoming popular.  You can access a link to providers here.

Make your will online in 20 minutes.  Click the button to see how!