Getting a lawyer to draw up your Will may be a more expensive way to do it initially. But if it’s done properly, using a lawyer can save a lot of stress for those you leave behind, as well as giving you far more peace of mind.
What is the cost of making a will?
The answer varies depending on how complex your affairs are and if the firm is based in a city. The costs of drawing up a will by a lawyer for:
a simple will - can cost from around £150 depending upon the service and assistance you require.
a complex will – can cost from around £350 to £500. It may be more complex if you have multiple gifts, properties, care for vulnerable or you have been divorced and have children
a specialist will – that involves trusts or oversea properties, or you want tax planning advice – expect to pay a minimum of £500 to £600 upwards.
a mirror will – costs are usually less than doing them individually and are worth considering if you and a spouse or partner want substantively the same (mirror) wills.
Why use a lawyer?
Seriously consider using a lawyer to write your will if:
Your family position is complicated – perhaps you have children with a previous partner, or you want to make special arrangements for children or a family member with a disability.
You have assets overseas like a holiday home.
You run a business and you expect it to form a part of your estate.
You’ll have to pay Inheritance Tax – this is paid on estates valued at over £325,000 for an individual or up to £650,000 for a married couple.
Think about what you want to leave and who you want to leave it to in your will before you go to your lawyer – it will save you time and money.
You’re protected if something goes wrong. Lawyers are regulated. If you have any problems you can make a complaint to the lawyer’s firm. If the lawyer’s firm doesn’t deal with your complaint properly then you can go to the Legal Ombudsman.
You can be more confident there are no mistakes. Common problems with wills, like using the wrong witnesses or forgetting to have it signed, could mean it’s not valid when you die. Using a lawyer should minimise the risk of things like this happening.
The complicated bits are done for you. The law surrounding inheritances (including Inheritance Tax and trusts) is complicated. Lawyers will be familiar with the law and will be able to help you make the most effective choices.
Your will is stored safely. If a lawyer helps you write your will, they’ll usually store the original for you in a fireproof safe free of charge.
What to expect from your lawyer
Your lawyer should:
explain your options to help you make decisions about your will
give advice that’s confidential and puts your best interests first
write and check your will according to your instructions.
Lawyers as executors
You can choose to appoint the lawyer or law firm who draws up your will as your executor.
This means they will handle the arrangements for your estate when you die.
Always ask how you’ll be charged – some lawyers will take a percentage of your estate to meet the bills. Others will charge for their time.
Using lawyers for free through charities
There are a number of charities that provide a will writing service for free – but the charity might expect or encourage you to make a donation.
There are also several schemes that let you have a will drawn up by a lawyer free of charge or for a suggested donation.
Before you see a lawyer
Save time by thinking about what you want your will to contain before your visit your lawyer.
For help and advice with Estate Planning including Lasting Powers of Attorney, Wills, Trusts and Probate; call our team on 0203 488 7503, 01992 236 110 or contact us by email at email@example.com or via our website www.walshwestcca.com.