How Much Does it Cost to Make a Will?
One of the things that put people off making a Will is not knowing what their options are for making their Will and how much it costs.
This article looks at the different options and costs available to you including making a Will Online. (DIY) make your own Will and using a Professional Will Writing Company or Solicitor.
(DIY) Make Your Own Will
If your affairs are Very straightforward with no complications then a (DIY) Will may be the answer provided you follow all the instructions Very carefully.
There are a number of different types of (DIY) Will Kits available on the market from retailers like Amazon & WH Smiths, there are also a lot of On-line templates being offered as a Will writing solution. These Will Kits and Templates tend to retail between £9.99 and £14.99.
Do It Yourself Wills Are Not Suitable If:-
- You wish to pass your assets is very specific.
- You are concerned about your home being sold to pay for care fees.
- Someone who is unable to care for themselves is financially dependent on you.
- You have children from a previous marriage.
- Your permanent home is not in the UK and/or you are not a British citizen.
- You have property overseas.
- You own a business.
- You need to set up a Trust
- You want to reduce or avoid inheritance tax.
- You have young children, who will need a Guardian and Child Trust.
Think carefully before using a DIY Will Kit, most people are not prepared to write their own Will in case they leave out something important or in case their intentions are misinterpreted leading to family feuds after they die. One simple mistake could mean your wishes are not carried out and you won’t be around to rectify the problem.
Making a Will Online
If your wishes are straightforward and you are concerned about keeping the cost of making a Will down, then making your Will Online could be for you.
There are lots of companies offering an online Will Service and costs tend to start at around £25. This option has benefits over a (DIY) Will because in most cases the On-line software used to generate your Will is solicitor approved and covered by things like money back guarantees and professional indemnity insurance.
Buyer beware though not all these services are equal, makes sure the provider is a member of a self-regulatory body such as the Estate Planners Network, the Society of Will Writers or the Institute of Professional Will Writers. Make sure you’re offered a money back guarantee and a fixed fee service.
Ideally, you should be looking to use a company that offers instant delivery/download of your Will documents.
Online Wills are not suitable if:
- You own property outside of England and Wales
- You intend to leave England and Wales on a permanent basis
- You have business or farming interests
- You wish to leave any land, building, time-share or intellectual property as a separate gift
- You wish to leave anything of value to a person who has a learning disability
- You wish to leave anything of value to a person who is dependent on means-tested benefits
- The value of your estate exceeds the current Inheritance Tax threshold
- If you are married or in a civil partnership, or widowed, your joint estate exceeds twice the current Inheritance Tax threshold
Using a Professional Will Writer
An option more commonly chosen nowadays is to use a Specialist Will Writer who specialises only in the area of Will Writing and Estate Planning. Professional Will Writers offer a much more personal service, often being able to provide consultations at the clients’ home and at their convenience.
Although as mentioned above there are some cheaper options we all know that the cheapest option is not always the best. When it comes to making your Will you ideally only want to do it once and having it professionally drafted and written is paramount to avoid any costly mistakes for your family and future generations.
Make sure the company you choose offers a fixed fee service, holds professional indemnity insurance and is a member of one of the self-regulatory organisations mentioned above.
You can have a simple will created by a professional Will Writer for around £110, in comparison the same service is likely to cost around £250 with a solicitor and you will probably have to visit them.
Using a Solicitor
Family solicitors tend to deal with a wide range of client matters, for example, employment law, house conveyancing, divorce matters, civil injunctions etc. Whilst they can also produce Wills and Trusts they cannot all be expected to specialise in these areas so pick one that specialises in Will Writing.
Cost wise the Solicitor may charge by the hour or may offer a fixed fee option, recently a client told me that a solicitor had quoted them £250 for a simple single Will, this sounds about right.
When considering using a Solicitor versus a professional Will Writer there Will be no difference in the final legal document that is created, this is because the majority of Will Writers and Solicitors now use the same professionally approved legal software.