How much does it cost to write a will?
Making a will is one of the most important legal arrangements you can make, yet it does not cost as much as people may think. In fact, the cost of making a will is next to nothing in comparison to having the peace of mind that your intentions are clear and legally valid. By having your paperwork and arrangements in place you have done everything you can to make your family’s life a little easier at an emotional time.
There are a number of free options for writing a will that are available online, and in some cases they can suffice; but with a free will you don’t get the benefit of professional advice that will make sure it covers all necessary legal aspects and is as tax efficient as possible.
It is possible to prepare your own ‘Homemade Will’, but be careful, there are strict legal requirements that you must comply with. For example, if the Will is incorrectly attested (signed and witnessed) it will most likely be invalid and therefore not enforceable. Other issues can include incorrect wording, lack of legal powers, wishes and gifts that cannot legally be included in a Will, lack of guardians, lack of understanding of the law applicable to jointly owned assets, and lack of understanding of inheritance tax and estate planning.
Another ‘Free’ option is having the Will prepared by your bank. Some banks offer free Wills to their customers, often as part of a premium account package. If you decide to use this service it is important to be aware of possible future hidden costs as the bank will often appoint themselves as executor, for which they will charge a percentage of your estate after you die (likely to run into thousands of pounds). This is a job that can often be done by family members at no cost or by a professional of your family’s choosing allowing them to compare quotes before deciding.
Typically the banks will send a questionnaire for the customer to complete and return on which they will base your Will. In some simple cases this can suffice, however the drawback of not getting face to face professional advice when writing your will is that, if not legally in order, the executors or solicitors may need to ‘unpick’ the Will when the time comes. This will result in on-going additional costly charges and a delay in your wishes being carried out; the burden of which will fall upon your surviving family members.
When properly prepared a Will can completely protect your estate, or at least limit your liability, from the following; a vulnerable beneficiary (bankrupt, disabled, divorcing etc.), residential care costs, inheritance tax, or where there are children from a previous relationship. One or more of these apply to most families, and so everyone should seek professional advice.
Aside from the free options, there are many different levels of a Will depending on the complexity of your wishes and estate; and the price of drawing up your will obviously reflects this. However, a Will can cost less than £100 and provides a great deal of safeguards for the future. Most Will Writers will also offer discounts to couples who are making joint wills.
At Fitzgibbons and Co Ltd we offer a free home visit to all our clients (within the local area). By taking the time to fully understand your requirements we are able to prepare a legally binding Will that fulfils your wishes and protects your loved ones. This attention to customer service also allows us to provide the bespoke advice required to meet your needs. You can read more about our will writing service here – http://www.thewillwritingservice.co.uk/services/will-writing-service/
This information applies to the law of England and Wales only. It is not intended to be legal advice, nor a substitute for seeking appropriate professional advice about the disposal of your assets.