Will writing solicitors

This page was last updated on 1 November 2020

Will writing solicitors

Making a will is important for you and your family, so it is important that you take the time to ensure this is done correctly.

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.

Topics that you will find covered on this page

What is a will writing solicitor?

Will writing solicitors are professionals who can advise you on what should go in your will. They can write and check over the will to make sure it expresses your wishes.

Can I write a will myself?

You can write a will yourself, though usually, the probate registry will have to approve the will. Even if you do this, you should still get a solicitor to check your will for mistakes and areas that are unclear.

Should I make a will by myself?

Whether this is a good idea depends on the nature of your estate. You are more likely to have errors in your will if you do it yourself. Common errors including the will not being signed, not having enough witnesses, errors in the documents, and ineffective gifts. Using lawyers can prevent wasting time and by not expressing your wishes correctly.

Why would I choose to use a will writing solicitor?

Your will is one of the most significant documents you will make and has huge effects on your family and loved ones after you die. Wills are legal documents, so the details are important.

A solicitor can help you make sure that you get everything you want into your will and that it is drafted to reflect your wishes.

Here is a short video explaining what a Will covers.

When is it important to use a will writing solicitor?

It is especially important to use lawyers where you have a complicated estate or the inheritance arrangement you want to set up is complex. This includes where:

  • You are a business owner and are 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
  • You want to make arrangements for a child or another family member with a disability
  • You intend to create a trust in your will
  • You think your will might be contested by family members left out of the will
  • Your main home is not in the UK

What are the advantages of using a will writing solicitor?

The benefits of using legal services include:

  • Solicitors have experience with wills, so they are less likely to make the type of mistakes that mean wills are not valid. Therefore while there is a fee, using solicitors can end up saving you money.
  • Solicitors are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), so have to fulfil certain standards of care. If you are not happy with the work they have done, you can complain to the firm, and if you are not happy with how your complaint was managed, you can go to the legal ombudsman.
  • Some areas of wills writing, like inheritance tax planning, and setting up trusts are complicated, so it may be best for a solicitor with experience to do this. Solicitors can give you information to help with tax planning decisions.
  • Solicitors can also give you other advice, like tax planning, lasting power of attorney and probate.
  • The office will usually wills storage service generally for free.

Why should I use a solicitor instead of will writing services?

The main reason to choose solicitors over will writing services is that solicitors are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), so if something goes wrong you have more of a recourse.

Further, will writers are unlikely to be legally qualified so they cannot give you the same level of legal advice.

Costs of a will writing solicitor?

The cost of legal advice will vary depending on how complex the estate is and the experience level of the solicitor you choose to get help from. You should search around for local solicitor offices and contact them for a more case-specific quote.

How much does using solicitors for a simple will cost?

A simple will is where the people the money will go to is straightforward and the assets are not complex.  The cost will be somewhere between £144 and £240 including VAT.

"Making a will is important for you and your family, so it is important that you take the time to ensure this is done correctly."

How much does using solicitors for a complex will cost?

The cost of writing a will for example where you have been divorced and have children from the previous marriage will be higher. The cost will usually be between £150 and £300 including VAT.

How much do solicitors for a specialist will cost?

Specialist wills include where there is overseas property involved, or you are setting up a trust in your will. The price for this will start at around £500 including VAT.

How much does a mirror will cost?

Making a will with a partner will usually end up costing more expensive than making a normal will. While the cost will depend on the estate, you are likely to pay somewhere between £250 and £700. Y

ou should contact a solicitor’s office to get legal advice before choosing this option.

Tips on choosing a will writing solicitor?

One of the most important things to do when choosing a solicitor is to search around to get the best price. You should contact multiple solicitor firms to ask questions specific to your estate and see what is on offer. There is often a free initial enquiry.

writing a will

What should I consider when choosing between different law firms?

There are multiple questions to ask in order to ensure you are getting the best deal, such as:

  • If the fixed costs include VAT
  • If the process will actually end up costing you more than you expect, for example, if they do not provide a storage site for your will in their office and therefore you have to find another storage place.
  • The experience people at the firm have in dealing with assets similar to yours, for example, if you need conveyancing help with property abroad
  • Whether the firm has deals available if you use the firm for multiple services, like inheritance tax planning, setting up trusts and setting up an LPA
  • Whether the solicitor’s office is close to your home and if you have a personal relationship with the solicitors, as you will work closely with them

How do I know the solicitors I choose are good quality?

First, you should take care that your solicitor is authorised and regulated by the Solicitor Regulation Authority (SRA). Also, the Law Society of England Wales has a Wills and Inheritance Quality Scheme, so if a law firm is a member of this scheme, this means they have met their standards for wills and probate services.

What should I do before going to a will writing meeting with a solicitor?

Once you have made contact with a solicitor, to save time when you go into the office, and therefore money, you should start planning what you want to go into your will first. You should contact your executors to make sure they are willing to take care of your estate and confirm their full names and addresses.

What information will I need to tell my solicitor for writing a will?

In order for your solicitor to help draw up your will, they will need to be told:

  • All the potential beneficiaries of your will
  • The assets you want the beneficiaries to inherit, like your property, money and physical possessions
  • Who you want your executors to be, i.e. who you want to manage the probate process
  • Wishes like what you want to happen with your funeral
  • The details for your children and family members, including children who are not direct descendants

Can my solicitor also be an executor of my estate?

A solicitor or law firm can also be appointed as an executor of your estate when you die. The advantage of a professional executor is that they are paid to act in your interests and have no personal interest of their own.

When should I review my will?

You should ensure your will is up to date for the following reasons:

  • Every five years
  • When you get married or enter a civil partnership, this will automatically cancel any wills you already have
  • When you get something expensive that you should make provisions in your will for
  • If you get a divorce

Can I get a solicitor for free?

It is worth taking the time to do an online search before you hire a solicitor. Some charities have a free will writing service if you are making a donation, like free Wills Month in England and Wales and Will Aid. Also, some trade unions have free will writing.

Where can I find a solicitor?

The law societies have directories where you can search for solicitors.

England and Wales https://solicitors.lawsociety.org.uk/

Northern Ireland- https://www.lawsoc-ni.org/solicitors

Scotland- https://www.lawscot.org.uk/for-the-public/

What if I don’t think using a will writing solicitor is the right option for me and my family?

There is a range of other options available, including a will writing service, either online or one which will come to your house, or using a DIY will. While these are cheaper, you lose the quality assurance that comes with regulation by the Solicitor Regulation Authority (SRA).

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

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