A will is an important legal document which clearly states who is going to inherit your assets and possessions when you die. Whilst not compulsory, creating a will means your valuables are allocated appropriately and given to the recipient who you believe deserves them most.

A will is typically organised when people enter their 20s and 30s and start to own assets such as a car, house or valuable items.

Reasons for having a will include:

  • Unmarried partners will not be able to inherit from each other unless a will has been arrange, which may have financial implications for the future
  • If you have children, having a will allows you to make arrangements in the event of either parent dying
  • Distribution of money, possessions and property may be allocated differently without a will

How to make a will

It is possible to create your own will, or seek help from a solicitor or a will-writing service. This tends to depend on the complexity of your affairs as having multiple estates and numerous recipients will add more detail to the will.

Creating your own will

If you do decide to write your own will, the original version must be signed by witnesses to ensure it is valid. Your will needs to have an executor who will be responsible for giving each recipient their rightful inheritance. The executor is typically a close family member, spouse or friend and they must know where the will has been placed and if there are any amendments later on known as a 'codicil' and if the deceased has arranged a small message known as a 'letter of wishes.'

Solicitors

A solicitor can write the will on your behalf and simplify all the items that you are passing on. The solicitor can also act as your executor, handle your affairs and the distribute the inheritance to each party accordingly.

Reasons to hire a solicitor are because:

  • You have assets such as overseas property
  • You have complicated family circumstances
  • You have an estate that requires inheritance tax

Will-writers

If you want to make a will with professional guidance, you could use a will-writing service as a less expensive option to solicitors. It is important to ensure they’re a member of a recognised trade body such as the Society of Will Writers or the Institute of Professional Will Writers.

How much does a will cost?

On average, a simple will costs from £80 to £600 depending on your circumstances and the services you require. Additional fees may apply for joint-wills or based on the complexity of your case.

Information extracted from Perfect Funeral Plans.