elderly couple signing will

How much does it cost to write a will?

author: Sarah Neate

By Sarah Neate

In England, the cost of writing a will varies depending on the type you want and the solicitors firm you intend to use.

What is a will?

A will is a legal document detailing how someone’s assets get distributed after they die. It also outlines who should take responsibility for managing the distribution of these assets as well.

People sometimes assume that wills are only for wealthy people, but this isn’t the case. Everyone should have a will to ensure that anything they own goes to the right people.

A will also allows you to state the person or people you’d like to take care of your children in the event of your death. Without one, the decision would be up to the courts to decide.

How much does it cost?

Free or low-cost wills

Some charities will have free-will writing schemes that provide you with a solicitor written will in return for a donation – although the donation isn’t mandatory.

Free Wills Month brings charities together to provide those aged 55 and over with a simple will or updated simple will for free. Their next campaign is scheduled for October 2021.  

There are also some services where you can build a will for a low cost (around £100). These services allow you to use digital tools to start putting your will together. You can find out more about these services here.

A simple will

A simple will is the most basic form of will that lets you document how you’d like your assets distributed after you die. You’ll be required to nominate a representative or an executor to ensure that what you requested happens. If you have children, you’d also be able to select a person to become their legal guardian.

A simple will can cost between £114 and £240. Try a Will comparison website to find the cheapest deal.

A complex will

A complex will is usually needed in more complicated situations and requires a lot more information than a simple will.

A complex will is usually needed when a couple has been divorced and has children together. Or when someone has had multiple marriages with multiple children. You might also benefit from a complex will if you have a large extended family.

A complex will might be the right one for you if:

  • you have an ex-partner who could complicate your estate
  • your assets are valuable enough that estate taxes will apply
  • you own a business
  • you want to set up a trust so your children will receive an amount of money when they turn a certain age
  • you need to set up a trust for a child with a disability or an ageing parent

A complex will can cost between £150 and £300.

A mirror will

This type of will is designed for those who want the same things. For example, this could be a married couple who want to divide their shared assets for their children. You don't need to be married or in a civil partnership to have a mirror will.

With a mirror will, each partner receives their document. Even though the documents ‘mirror’ each other, there’s still room to include personal decisions such as funeral arrangements.

With this type of will, either party can change their will at any time without informing the other person. If the other person they've 'mirrored' their will with dies first, they can still make changes to it.

It’s often cheaper to draw up a mirror will than it costs to draw up two separate wills. A mirror will can cost between £150 and £250.

Do I need to use a solicitor?

You don’t need to use a solicitor - you can draw up your own will if you'd prefer. However, there are lots of benefits to using a solicitor, such as:

  • if anything goes wrong with your will, you’re protected
  • a solicitor will help to minimise the risks of any mistakes on your will
  • any complicated sections will be explained to you and dealt with by your solicitor
  • a solicitor will store your will safely for you in a fireproof safe
  • they’ll put your best interests first and guide you through any decisions you need to make.

If you decide to use a solicitor, make sure you investigate the potential solicitor's fees involved. Do your research to make sure that you're getting the right will for you. 

To find out where the place is to put your money, read on here.

Disclaimer: All information and links are correct at the time of publishing.

author: Sarah Neate

By Sarah Neate

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elderly couple signing will elderly couple signing will