Making a Will

More than 60% of the UK don't have a Will

Without a Will your family DO NOT automatically get to decide what happens to your children and your 'estate' (hard earned cash) may just pass straight to the Government

BUT there are LOADS of ways to get your Will written for FREE

March is FREE WILLS MONTH (as is October), November is WILL AID and there are other ways to save for the rest of the year

 

Need to know

Why write a Will?

  • A Will is a legal document that ensures your wishes are carried out after death
  • Your Will can state who you want your child's legal guardian to be and how you would like them to be bought up. It also guarantees your money passes to your children and is, if necessary, looked after by an adult of your choosing
  • Your partner WILL NOT automatically receive everything unless you have legally arranged this, especially if you are not married

Where to make a Will (paid options)

  • If your Will is straight forward you can DIY by buying a pack from WH Smith (from £9.99) or downloading one from sites like Which? (from £57)
  • You will need a witness for you DIY Will who is not benefiting from what you've written
  • A professional Will will cost around £200 for a couple (agree the price upfront)
  • Whilst a professionally written Will is more expensive it may be better for complicated Wills. A solicitor is also insured if they make a mistake
  • When choosing a Will writer check they are a member of the Society of Will Writers
  • You can find free templates here and here
 

How to get your Will for FREE

  • March and October are free Wills month, look out for special promotions
  • All year round - check with your union, your employer or your favourite charity to see if they offer a will writing service

Rocket Lawyer


Why we like it:

  • get a FREE 7 day trial with Rocket Lawyer
  • write your Will with legal advice
  • an extra 14 days to cancel without getting charged after 7 day trial ends

Watch out:

  • plans are £25 a month after trial

Free Wills Month


Why we like it:

  • free Wills for the over 55s in March and October
  • solicitors draw up simple wills for free
  • scheme supported by charities including UNICEF and British Heart Foundation
  • call in March but book appointment for later
  • easy postcode search

Watch out:

  • appointments are limited, once they are gone the campaign will end
  • it's not obligatory, but choosing to leave something to the chosen charity is expected

The Stroke Association


Why we like it:

  • it’s free
  • available to anyone over 18
  • easy to use
  • available all year round
  • uses local solicitors

Watch out:

  • you have to take a voucher to a local solicitor
  • although there’s no pressure to donate, you may feel you have to

How to get your Will for LESS

  • Novermber is Will Aid where solicitors employed by charities write Wills for donation to the Will Aid charities

Will Aid


Why we like it:

  • you can have our will professionally written
  • Will Aid will put you in touch with a local Solicitor involved in the scheme
  • donate what you can afford
  • all proceeds go to charity

Watch out:

  • suggested donation £95 for a single, £150 for a double
  • November only

Lawpack


Why we like it:

  • simple kit
  • download different versions for the whole of the UK or just Scotland
  • simple to use

Watch out:

  • costs £9.99

unbiased.co.uk


Why we like it:

  • allows you to search for local solicitors in your area
  • independent
  • provides background information

Watch out:

  • cannot make a Will direct through them
  • solicitors will charge a fee

Macmillan Will Writing Discounts


Why we like it:

  • gives you a code to get discount at selected will writing services
  • well known will writing services including Which
  • register your will for free

Watch out:

  • only works for the services mentioned
  • you don't have to give a donation but you may feel obliged to
  • some services are still expensive with the discount

Which? Legal Service


Why we like it:

  • simple online template
  • checked by solicitors
  • well-known brand

Watch out:

  • costs range from £57 to £179

Wills.org.uk


Why we like it:

  • easy to use
  • do it online
  • great value
  • members of the Society or Willwriters
  • Couples will works as buy one get one free- pay for one Single Will and get the second to make a Couples Will free

Watch out:

  • £9.97 for a single will
  • Have to email sales@internetwill.co.uk with COUPLES-WILL as the subject to claim free Couples Will

The inside track

  • If you're writing your Will you may also want to check your life insurance to find out what happens to this after your death
  • Keep your Will in a safe place and make sure your loved ones know where. If you used a solicitor they will also keep a copy for you
  • You can easily change or re-write your Will when needed
  • You must choose two people to act as Executors to your Will (DO ask them first). They will be responsible for administering your estate
  • If you don't have a next of kin to ask to be your executor, consider a close friend. NEVER use a Professional Executor as they will take as much as 1.5%  of the value of the estate as well as an hourly rate
  • The first £325,000 of your estate will go straight to those named in your will (and to pay off debts), anything more will be charged Inheritance Tax (IHT) of 40%. If you have a fortune of £400,000 the Government will take 40% of £75,000 (£30,000!)
  • If you think you will be effected by IHT we recommend that you speak to a solicitor
  • Most debts you leave will be paid off by the money you have left. You can insure your mortgage to protect your savings and your home in the event of your death

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