One thing I have learned in my 8 years as a Will Writer is that everybody’s circumstances are different. Any Will is valid as long as it is written and signed in accordance with the criteria in section 9 of the Wills Act 1837, but this does not necessarily mean that the Will meets the needs of you and your family.
So, should you save money and do it yourself, or use a cheap form or online service?
- You could buy a DIY kit from a high street retailer or online. Whilst that might seem like a simple and cost-effective solution it can cause issues in itself – and not just with legality. For example, if your estate is large or complex, it’s important that all areas of this are covered or if you wish to put a Trust into your Will to protect vulnerable family members this again will need a professional’s help.
- There are also some firms out there that offer to create your Will for free, but generally this is in return for them acting as executors for your estate after your death and that will incur a servicing fee which could be anything between 1-10% of the value of your estate so their costs are recouped that way.
- If you have no family or friends who could act as executors for you, it is important that you seek professional advice about the costs and responsibilities of a professional executor.
However, if you don’t feel comfortable doing it yourself or you do have a more complex estate; or indeed you want a one off charge rather than fees later on then you could choose to use the services of a Will Writer or Solicitor. If you do decide to use a Will Writer the most important thing to find out is whether they are a member of the Society of Will Writers or Institute of Professional Willwriters.
The Society (SWW) is a non-profit, self-regulatory organisation which seeks to protect the public and practitioners. They vet all practitioners with stringent membership requirements, promote continuous professional development for all of their members (in order to keep up with legal changes). A membership of the SWW is an assurance of the bearer’s expertise and competence.
If you want to read more about the SWW and their charter you do so by going through to the SWW website HERE
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