Writing a will doesn’t have to be expensive or stressful. Find out how to do it quickly and cheaply and maybe even for free.
It’s something many of us don’t think of, but making a will is important in making sure your wishes are followed and your family is saved a lot of stress.
As I approach 40 (a little quicker than I hoped) I’m surprised and saddened by the number of colleagues and friends whose lives have been taken from us far too soon. Because of this, it spurred me into finding out about writing a will. And I hate to spend money, so I looked into writing a will for free.
Do it yourself. For free.
Perhaps not as widely known as it should be, you could complete a will yourself.
Writing your own will is fairly simple. You will need to write out:
Who you want to benefit.
Who will look after any children under the age of 18.
The executor of your will (the person to make sure your wishes are carried out).
And what happens if the people who benefit from your will die before you.
You will then need to keep your will somewhere safe. This can be with:
A company that stores wills.
The London Probate Service.
So, need for legal advice?
Well, this depends. It is best to get legal advice if your will isn’t straightforward. For example, if you have family members that don’t get on and are likely to argue over the inheritance or various assets dotted around the place, it may be best to consult a solicitor or a professional will writing service.
Where to look for a professional will
If you work for a company, check with your employer. Some will offer a free will-writing service with a legal firm. This is also true of some unions. PCS, one of the largest trade unions in the UK provide a free service courtesy of BBH legal.
It’s a fairly simple process of you being sent some forms, you fill them out and returning them. If there are any problems, they will usually give you a ring to confirm details. Some firms will allow you to complete the form-filling online.
A local solicitor will usually draft up a will for you. They may charge more, but you can sit down with them and discuss any needs or problems face-to-face.
There are plenty of online companies that offer will-writing kits. They aren’t expensive (usually within the region of £100-£200), but they are generally not as efficient when dealing with any queries you might have.
Free Wills Month
Every year, March and October is known as Free Wills Month. If you’re aged 55+, then you qualify for a free solicitor-drafted will.
All you need to do is visit the Free Wills Month website and complete a form. You will then be given the nearest solicitors to you who are participating in the scheme. Again, this is for this simpler wills, so if yours is complex, you may be asked to pay a contribution.
To find out more about writing a will for free, visit the government website.