More than half of the people in the United Kingdom don’t have a will.

In many cases, they haven’t created one because they assume it is an expensive or unnecessary process.

But how much does a will actually cost?

This article will identify the most common methods for creating a will and how much each method costs.

How is a will written?

There are multiple options for writing a will.

The option you choose should be based upon your budget, the complexity of your will, and the types of assets that you own.

1) Write your will yourself

The most affordable option for creating a will is to write one yourself.

At a minimum, your will should describe:

  •   Who you want to benefit from your assets
  •   Who should look after your children if they are under the age of 18
  •   Who will execute your will
  •   What happens if the people listed in your will die before you do

To be a valid will, you must be 18 or over, writing the will voluntarily, and being of sound mind.

You must sign the will in the presence of two witnesses who are not beneficiaries of the will, and have the witnesses sign it also.

The will should then be stored in a safe location with a solicitor, at a bank, with a will storage company, or with the London Probate Service.

Unfortunately, people who write their own will often make mistakes which leads to the will being disputed.

Common mistakes include:

  •   Not having the will witnessed correctly
  •   Failing to store the will in a safe location
  •   Not including all of your assets in the will
  •   Failing to nominate an executor
  •   Failing to account for beneficiaries dying
  •   Making changes to the will that are not signed and witnessed
  •   Not understanding rules relating to marriage, divorce, or civil partnerships
  •   Not understanding court rules that allow for dependents who are not adequately provided for to contest the will

There are also some circumstances where creating your own will may be a bad idea.

Consider using a solicitor if you:

  •   Own one or more businesses or many properties
  •   Want to leave assets to someone who is unable to care for themselves (a child, a senior or a person with a disability)
  •   Own some assets that are located overseas
  •   Share a property with someone who is not a husband, wife, or civil partner
  •   Expect several family members to make a claim on your estate

How much does it cost?

Creating your own will is free, but great care should be taken to ensure it is valid and well written.

The only potential cost associated with writing your own will is paying for a secure location to store it.

2) Hire a solicitor to write your will

Hiring a solicitor will ensure that your will is correctly written and witnessed.

Solicitors are better equipped at constructing wills for complex estates with many types of assets and multiple beneficiaries.

If you have a business, foreign assets, children, or a large estate, using a solicitor is usually a safer option compared to writing your own will.

When you use a solicitor to write a will, there are also more legal protections available if something goes wrong.

How much does it cost?

The complexity of the will determines how much it will cost.

If a solicitor has to spend many hours writing a detailed will with special rules, hundreds of assets, and many beneficiaries, it can be quite time consuming.

In most cases, a simple will costs between £144 and £240.

For more complex wills, expect to pay between to £150 and £300.

If you have extensive business dealings, trusts, and overseas property, it can be from £500 up to thousands of pounds.

3) Use a trade union or will-writing firm

If you are a member of a trade union, you may be able to access a free will-writing service.

Contact your trade union to see if they provide this service.

If they do, you will be able to make an appointment with a union solicitor to write and witness the will.

There are also will-writing services available.

These services can create a will at a cheaper rate than a solicitor.

However, aren’t regulated like a solicitor is and they may not be able to store your will securely like a solicitor can.

If you decide to use a will-writing firm, make sure you use one that is a member of the Institute of Professional Will Writers.

This organisation has a rigorous code of practice that is endorsed by the Trading Standards Institute Consumer Codes Approval Scheme (CCAS).

How much does it cost?

Most trade unions will offer their will writing service for free.

Will writing firms tend to be cheaper than solicitors, but you can still expect to pay anywhere between £90 and £500 (including VAT) depending on the complexity of your will.

Thanks for reading How Much Does It Cost To Write A Will?

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