Will writing service

Will writing service

This page was last updated on 1 October 2021

Will Writing Service In 2021

Making a will is an important way to ensure your wishes are carried out after your death, and your children and loved ones inherit what you want them to. Using a will writing service is likely to save you money when making your will. However, there are advantages and disadvantages to these services, so it is important you know what you are getting, and if this is worth the money.

Topics that you will find covered on this page

You can listen to an audio recording of this page below.


 

Should I get a will?

Most people in England and Wales do not have a will in place. Wills are very important documents, as they allow you to set out how you want your property and assets to be distributed after you die.

What will happen if I do not have a will?

In England and Wales, if you die without having a will, intestacy rules apply. These rules are unlikely to reflect your wishes, except possibly for married couples with small estates who want to leave everything to each other.

How do I write my will?

There are three main options when it comes to writing wills. These are using a solicitor who specialises in wills and probate, using a professional will writer or making your own will.

Here is a short video explaining more about what a will should cover.

What are will writing services?

Will writing services are a cheaper option than using a solicitor to draft your will. This is where you pay a fee for a professional to help draft your will or use an online or postal service.

Many businesses offer will writing services, including banks and charities.

How do a will writing services work?

Will writing services can work in two main ways:

  • You book an appointment with a will writer so they come to visit your home and talk to you face-to-face about your personal situation
  • You can use an online service where you answer questions about your will on a website. The service will then send you a draft so you and your witnesses can sign it. There may be a phone helpline where you can talk to a specialist to get advice about your will.

Can I make a will by myself?

You can take full responsibility for your will if you have a simple estate. Some businesses offer DIY packs to help you do this. However, for peace of mind, it is best to still get legal advice from a solicitor before making your will.

Is writing your own will legal?

Technically, as long as your will is signed and witnessed by two adults, then it is valid in England Wales.

However, while this is legal making a will alone is not normally a good idea, as a will is a very important legal document so you should make sure you have gotten the formalities and language right.

What do I need in a will for it to be valid?

To be legally valid, a will must be:

  • Made by someone over the age of 18 who has the mental capacity
  • Made without undue pressure on that person
  • In writing
  • The person signed the will in the presence of two witnesses
  • The witnesses also sign the will in the presence of the person whose will it is

You should also make sure your will is dated.

Why would I not write my will myself?

While it may be free, the main reason not to do your own will is that it is more likely you will not get the legal form of your will right, which might mean that it is not valid.

You could also make mistakes as to the content of your will, which may mean your family members and loved ones either do not get what you wanted them to, or the probate process will be much harder work for your executors.

Why do people use will writing services?

A will service may be the best option for you if your estate is relatively simple. If you just want a bit more advice and do not think you need a legal professional’s help, this can be a cheaper alternative to hiring a solicitor.

What are the advantages of a will writing service?

There are a number of advantages to using will writing services, including:

  • You make sure your will is done right so it is valid
  • The price is usually less than a solicitor
  • There is a range of companies available, so you can choose one that is best suited to your needs, including having the will writer come visit your home.
  • The convenience of an online service
  • Some do have indemnity insurance and so you have some protection available

"Will writing services are a cheaper option than using a solicitor to draft your will. This is where you pay a fee for a professional to help draft your will or use an online or postal service."

What are the disadvantages of a will writing service?

You should be cautious when using these services because:

  • Unlike for solicitors, will writers are less regulated, and you cannot complain to the legal ombudsman if things go wrong
  • They may not be able to store your will
  • Will writers are not normally legally qualified, so their legal advice will not be as reliable.

Why are wills writing services cheaper than a solicitor?

When you use solicitors, the price will reflect their years of training and knowledge of the law. If you have a complicated estate, your money will be well spent as you will need this knowledge. For a less complicated estate, you may not need this legal advice, so a will service may be sufficient.

wills writing

When do I need to use a solicitor to write my will?

If your estate is complex, then you may need to use a solicitor rather than a will writing service. Specific situations in England Wales include where:

  • You own a business and are planning on passing the business on in your will
  • You share your property with someone you are not married to or in a civil partnership with
  • Your estate is worth over the inheritance tax threshold (£325,000 for an individual)
  • Some of your assets are abroad, such as a second home
  • You have children from a previous marriage who you want to inherit
  • You want to make arrangements for children or loved ones with a disability who needs care
  • You intend to create a trust in your will, such as for your children or your partner
  • You think your will might be contested by family members left out of the will
  • Your main home is not in the UK

How much is a will writing service?

Many online will services are under £100, with some as low as £25. There will be an additional charge for couples to set up mirror wills. You may find there are additional charges on top of the main fee, like paying every year for updates.

Can I write a will online?

Many will s services are online. You will have to answer some simple questions, then the service will review the will before sending it to you to sign it with two witnesses. Many services have online updates offers for if you want to change your will.

Should I make my will online?

This is a matter of personal preference, however, it can be a simple and easy way to make a will and get a review from an expert. If you do not want to do this online, you can also contact a specialist over the phone, who will then type up the document and send it to you.

How do I update my will?

It is important to update your will to ensure it is still legal and reflects your wishes. Different wills writing services will deal with updates differently. Some offer a subscription where you pay each year so you can make reviews and updates, and others may have a fixed fee.

will writing specialist

How do I store my will?

Unlike solicitors, most will writing companies do not have free will storage. There are a number of options for storage include:

  • Your bank
  • A special wills storage company
  • Probate Service

 

It is your responsibility to make sure you tell either an executor, a close friend or a family member where your will is stored so they can find it after your death.

This is because, for example, if the bank has your will, in England and Wales only your executor can see the will, and it is difficult for people to prove they are the executor without the will.

Can my bank write my will for me?

Lots of banks have will writing services, will storage facilities, and can give you advice on estate planning. The fees are often high for this service, so you should contact your bank and compare this with other options.

What do I need to do before using a will writer?

If you are meeting a will writer in person, having information together first will save time with them, and therefore money. Otherwise, if you are doing your will online, you will need certain information before you can get started. This includes:

  • A list of all the assets in your estate, including your home, savings, your pension funds, investments, and personal possessions
  • A list of all your debts, including your mortgage and any loans
  • Who you want the beneficiaries of your estate to be, including specific gifts to specific people, for example, your children or partner
  • What you want to happen if any of your beneficiaries die before you do
  • Whether you want to make a donation to charity, and which charity
  • Instructions for your funeral and possibly money to pay for it
  • Who your executors will be

How do I choose a will writer?

There are a number of factors to consider when you choose the best will writer for you, including:

  • The price. It is a good idea to search around and compare different prices and what is included
  • Get reviews from friends and people you trust
  • The services they have available, such as making mirror wills for you and your partner
  • Whether a particular business has expertise in an area, for example, overseas property
  • If you are would like a face-to-face will writer,  whether they are local to your home or are willing to visit your home

How are will writers accredited?

The key difference between solicitors and a will writers is that a will writer is not authorised and regulated by the Solicitor Regulation Authority (SRA).

However, for wills writers, you can see if they are members of the Institute of Professional Will Writers, the Society of Will Writers, or the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners.

If they are a member of one of the first two groups, they will have indemnity insurance, be required to follow a code of practice, and will have regularly updated training.

What does a TSI logo mean?

This means the wills writers have been approved by the Trading Standards Institute Consumer Codes Approval Scheme.

This means they have signed up to make their contracts clear, having a clear complaint process, and an Alternate Dispute Resolution Scheme.

How do I search for a will writer?

The Society of Will Writers and Institute of Professional Will Writers both have a list that you can use to find a professional will writer.

Society of Will Writers- https://www.willwriters.com/listing/

Institute of Professional Will Writers-

https://www.ipw.org.uk/membership-directory/

Can I get free will writing?

Charities may offer free will writing in exchange for a donation, for example, the Stroke Association, Free Wills Month, and the Wills Association. Trade Unions may offer members free wills.

Article author

Katy Davies

I am a keen reader and writer and have been helping to write and produce the legal content for the site since the launch.   I studied for a law degree at Manchester University and I use that theoretical experience, as well as my practical experience as a solicitor, to help produce legal content which I hope you find helpful.

Outside of work, I love the snow and am a keen snowboarder.  Most winters you will see me trying to get away for long weekends to the slopes in Switzerland or France.

Email – katy@helpandadvice.co.uk

LinkedIn – Connect with me

More Information On Writing Wills

What Are Will Writing Services?

Making a will is an important way to ensure your wishes are carried out after your death, and your children and loved ones inherit what you want them to.

Finding Will Writing Solicitors

Solicitors can help you draft your will so that it saves you money in inheritance tax and so the people you want to inherit your assets do so.

How Much Does A Will Cost?

The majority of people in the UK do not have a will. Making a will is one of the most important things you can do to protect your wishes after you pass away.

How To Avoid Inheritance Tax

Inheritance tax is a tax that is paid to the government on an estate after a person dies. However, you can legally reduce what you pay.

What Are Online Wills

An online will is quite simply whenever you make your will through a website. The type of services you get can vary, from a digital tool to draft your will, to an expert who reviews your will.

Getting Your Estate In Order

Estate planning involves considering what to do with a person’s money and assets after they are deceased.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you write a will?

There are three main options when it comes to writing wills. These are using a solicitor who specialises in wills and probate, using a professional will writer or making your own will.

What are will writing services?

Will writing services are a cheaper option than using a solicitor to draft your will. This is where you pay a fee for a professional to help draft your will or use an online or postal service.

Many businesses offer will writing services, including banks and charities.

How do a will writing services work?

Will writing services can work in two main ways:

  • You book an appointment with a will writer so they come to visit your home and talk to you face-to-face about your personal situation

  • You can use an online service where you answer questions about your will on a website. The service will then send you a draft so you and your witnesses can sign it. There may be a phone helpline where you can talk to a specialist to get advice about your will.

Is writing your own will legal?

Technically, as long as your will is signed and witnessed by two adults, then it is valid in England Wales.

However, while this is legal making a will alone is not normally a good idea, as a will is a very important legal document so you should make sure you have gotten the formalities and language right.

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