How much does it cost to make a will?
For many, planning for their death is not the most exciting thing to do. However, this is a crucial step in modern times as there are plenty of critical decisions that need to be made. A few of the examples include beneficiaries for your accounts, power of attorney appointments, and death planning. The need for having a will becomes even more important if the kids are still young. But for many, the topic quickly turns into – how much does it cost to make a will? This article is going to cover the answer to that question and more.
Many assume that creating a will is a simple process. The prevalent idea is that it will only require a few minutes to designate who gets what. However, this is far from accurate. Aside from the crucial decisions, you will also need to be careful about the wordings.
If you have plenty of assets, more than one child or grandchildren and business, then you will need to make careful decisions for your will. By doing so, you will make it a lot easier for the loved ones you leave behind.
To make it easier for you or bring down the cost a bit, you’d want to list all of your assets. This includes your house, valuables, vehicles, savings accounts, checking accounts, life insurance policies, and certificates of deposits. Also, you can start making a list of your dependents and who gets what. If you have special considerations, you can also list that down. This may include which minor will inherit what asset, how the asset will be split, or what you want to happen with your house once you leave.
From there, you have two ways of proceeding. You can hire a lawyer to draft the will, or you can do it yourself. However, even if you proceed with the lawyer route, you will still have to make critical decisions. That part can’t be delegated.
Cost Of A Will
The cost of the will vary. The final price tag will mostly depend on the will’s complexity and your exact location in the UK.
- Simple Will – this may cost from £140 to £240.
- Complex Will – this may range from £150 to £300. If you are divorced and have children, then you will likely need a complex will.
- Specialist Will – this will typically include tax planning, properties outside the country and/or trust. For such, you can expect to pay at least £500.
According to The Legal Services Board, there’s a lot of potential savings to be found if you shop around. If you find one at a reasonable price, try to ask other firms if they can beat the current best price.
Do It Yourself
There are already do-it-yourself kits that specifically cater to creating a will. However, you still have to do a few extra steps to make it legally enforceable. Since you will be doing most of the legwork, the cost will be very minimal. These kits may be as cheap as £15. Another advantage of DIY-ing your will is that you can make changes or updates without paying a relatively expensive fee.
While DIY kits sound enticing because of the cost, you must understand everything, including the legal language. Like everything else, you don’t want to put your signature on something you don’t fully understand. Another thing to consider is if the DIY kit is legally enforceable in your area, as it may go against the local rules and guidelines.
Also, keep in mind that DIY kits are generic and most likely won’t address every situation. It’s not a big deal if you want your will to be simple. However, if you want to take it to the next level, hiring a professional may be the best option. In this context, it could be a solicitor or lawyer.
Hiring A Professional
If you have many beneficiaries, dependents, and assets, you will likely need the help of a professional. While you are still the one who decides everything about what happens to your assets, a professional can guide you through the process. Mostly, you say what you want to do, and the professional will translate that into legal language and ensure there are no legal mistakes. Having an error-free will is one major advantage of hiring the help of a professional.
Essential Things To Keep In Mind
Perhaps the most crucial thing to bear in mind is that the will-writing services are not regulated. This is a common mistake to make as most people assume all legal services are regulated. Because of the unregulated nature of will-writing, that means there are plenty of avenues to get it. However, the protection if something goes wrong can vary widely, and it mostly depends on who’s writing it.
Generally, if a solicitor or lawyer writes the will, you will have a lot more protections in place. A non-professional may be cheaper, but the safeguards are minimal.
Another vital thing to consider is where to keep your will. Of course, you’d want it safe and sound. If you choose to store it personally, you must inform the executor where to find your will.
If you choose a professional to write your will, you’ll have the option of letting them store it for you for free (mostly) while you get a copy.
If you choose a non-professional will-writing service, they can store it for you for a fee. However, there’s still a risk. If the service goes out of business, you’ll risk losing the will if you don’t have a copy.
Another option is to store it with a Probate Service, which is common in Wales and England. You’ll have to pay a fee to avail of such service.
Wrapping It All Up
While writing a will may be a grim topic for many, but it’s best that everyone should do it at one point. This is especially true if you have plenty of assets. The cost of writing a will may vary depending on several factors. The more complicated it is, the more it’s going to cost. Who provides the will writing service will also have a significant impact on the final price tag. You can have it written through DIY kits. Such a route is not a bad idea if you understand the legal language, and your situation is not complicated. However, if you have plenty of assets and beneficiaries, then hiring a professional may be the best choice as it provides protection and severely minimizes errors.