Stage two of my financial overhaul is writing a will
An important part of your finances is to ensure that you have a will. This is something I have recently sorted, should have sorted earlier, but its now done.
I do not know why I have been burying my head in the financial sand for so long and not writing a will. My dad died without leaving a will, this caused much distress to the family. And who knows if the outcome of probate was what he wanted.
This situation seems to have made me avoid the whole subject of wills and not write one. Until now. And do you know what? It takes a few minutes using a simple online service from Beyond.Life. Why did I not sort this out sooner? Hey, its now done and if you are reading this nodding your head, get your will sorted out ASAP. Don’t be like my dad and leave a grieving family with no way to pay for the funeral or any idea of how to split the money.
Writing a Will is Daunting
The idea of making your will can be daunting, but the peace of mind is well worth the effort. With a will, you can be sure your money, assets and property will all go to the right people when you die. Without one, your personal finances will be hard to untangle. And an estate without a will is often a nasty family argument waiting to happen.
So, once you’ve resolved to make your will, what’s the best way to save while doing it? Let’s take a look.
How much does it usually cost to make a will?
If you go to a solicitor, you can expect to pay £150 to £250 for a simple will. If you have wishes, a specialist will might cost upwards of £500 – depending of course on exactly how complicated you need it to be.
But you don’t need to head straight to the nearest solicitor to make a will. In fact, as I’ll explain below, there are better (and cheaper) ways.
How do I save money when making my will?
The temptation once you’ve decided to make a will is to simply dive in and make an appointment. But a little savvy forethought can give you a far better deal. Here are some tips:
Don’t just go to the nearest place. Do some research into the different options. As well as solicitors, there are professional will writers and even online will services now. You’ll want to be looking at quotes AND reviews, too – sometimes cheapest isn’t always best.
You can save a lot of money by making your will online these days. Beyond.life, who promise to help you make a legally binding will in 15 minutes, charge just £90 for a single will and £135 for a couple’s will.
The site asks you simple questions about what you want, and then turns your answers into a valid will with all the right legal jargon. All you need to do is print and sign.
- A legally binding will
- Checked by their in-house legal experts
- Live support while you make your will
- Registration with Certainty, the National Will Register (usually worth £30)
If you’d like to test it out, you can try the service for free, only paying when you download. Start making your will here.
Think about the future
According to the government, you should update your will every 5 years or whenever a major event in your life happens. So, when you’re choosing who to write your will with, be sure to look into the cost of any future updates, as well.
For a codicil to a will, which is an extension to your existing will that changes just a few of your wishes, solicitors usually charge £50 to £70. A completely new will from a solicitor costs around £150 to £500. It’s worth comparing solicitors to see if they can offer a discount on your next will.
Other services do things a little differently. At Beyond, for example, you can subscribe to get unlimited will updates and storage for £10 a year. This can be handy if you’re at a stage in your life where the changes are coming thick and fast – like when children or grandchildren start to come along.
Consider a couple’s will
If you’re in a committed long-term relationship, you and your partner can save quite a bit by making your wills together. A couple’s will (actually two wills) is usually less than two single wills. That’s because the will maker can usually use a lot of the same details in both wills.
A standard couple’s will might leave everything to whichever partner survives the other, or their children if they’ve both passed away. It can also be used to explain who should look after your kids if you both die at the same time. But the two wills can be completely different if you like!
Choose your executors wisely
A lot of will writing services and solicitors suggest that they should also be the executor of the estate. This can be a good idea – for example, saving your family the stress and bother of sorting out your estate – but the service does come at a cost. So:
- Before you choose a professional to be your executor, check what they usually charge for settling an estate. Some businesses take a hefty 5% percentage of your savings!
- Choose a family member or friend to be an executor as well. This makes it easier for your family to not use the professional if they don’t want to.
Whoever you choose to make your will, the important thing is to get it done. You might be surprised by how quick and easy it can be. And while you’re at it, why not get your pension sorted, too, I have written all my pension mess here. Something I sorted out three years ago.
This is a collaborative post with Beyond.life, if you click on the links to set up a will I will receive a small fee for referring you. This in no way affects the price you pay for your will.