If you step through the service at LegalWills.co.uk, you can create a legal Will for £24.95. However, if you use the following discount code, you’ll get twenty percent off. You can have a legal Will in your hands in about twenty minutes for less than twenty quid. Everybody needs a Last Will and Testament, so what on earth would stop anybody from doing this?
In reality though, we know that the price of the service at LegalWills.co.uk is not your barrier to preparing a Will.
Here’s some things that may be going through your mind that could stop you from writing your legal Will right now.
1. I don’t need a Will yet. I don’t really have anything to leave.
There are a few reasons why your wealth today does not determine the need for a legal Will. There is much more to a Will than distributing your possessions and money. It includes important appointments like your Executor and Trustee, as well as guardians for children. Without a Will there may be bickering over who exactly is going to take care of everything now that you are gone. Writing your Will ensures that everybody knows their responsibilities.
But even if you only focus on your wealth, it still makes sense to prepare a Will. Firstly, it is highly unlikely that you are going to die today and your Will probably won’t come into effect until some hopefully distant time in the future. You may at that point have accumulated some assets to be distributed.
Furthermore, you actually have no idea how much your “estate” will be worth even if you die penniless. According to this solicitor, if you have a Will in place, your estate can continue a compensation claim for any pain and suffering caused through an accident.
If the deceased made a will before he died he will have an estate. He will have appointed executors to carry on his wishes in the event of his death. In such circumstances a claim for pain and suffering before death of the deceased will not die – the estate can continue the claim. if no will was made this type of claim would die.
Beyond your financial wealth, a Will has also become a place for you to describe the handling of your digital assets. This could include everything from your photo collection on Flickr, your domain names, and even revenue generating accounts like your Adsense revenues, YouTube channel, and Blog. You will also be able to name a person to take responsibility for your email and other social accounts like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter so that they are handled in a dignified way.
2. I’m too young to write a Will.
You are right, you are probably not going to be dying any time soon. And when I say “probably” I mean statistically unlikely. In fact, there are regularly published tables that will allow you to view demographic data like the one below;
This table shows that if you are 50 years old, you have a one in 279 chance of dying this year….the odds are in your favour of making it through to next year !
If you wish to go a little more granular and take into account behavioural differences, there is an excellent online tool that allows you to calculate your chances of dying within the next 5 years (hint: if you drive a car, smoke, or have stress in your life, you have significantly increased your chances)
But a Will is not written in contemplation of dying. It amuses me when I tell people that I work in the business of helping people prepare their Will. “Oooh, that’s a bit morbid isn’t it?” Actually, it’s no more morbid than having a pension or insurance policy. Your Will is part of your financial plan which is updated throughout your life.[tweetthis]Even if you don’t think you are going to die any time soon. You still need a Will[/tweetthis]
3. I’ll wait until my life settles down a bit and then write a Will.
There is a common misconception that you write your legal Will once in your life so you have to pick the exact best time of your life when it makes sense to prepare the document. It’s natural to feel this way when it costs several hundreds of pounds to prepare a Will with a solicitor, and several hundreds more to update it. But at LegalWills.co.uk we encourage you to prepare your Will right now, and then update it throughout your life as circumstances change (we don’t charge you for each update). If your relationship status changes, then login to your account, make the change, and print off a new Will. It simply needs to be signed in the presence of two witnesses in order to create a new up-to-date legal Will. Want to change your Executor/Trustee? it would take literally 5 minutes using an online service like ours and you can do it as often as you need to.
Having a legal Will in place is part of responsible financial management, it should be in amongst your important papers – just in case. Hopefully it won’t be needed for another fifty years, but have it, keep it somewhere safe, and update it whenever a change of circumstance deems it necessary.
4. I’m a bit busy today, but I should have a bit more time next week.
This one is easy to understand when the preparation of a legal Will required you to book an appointment with a solicitor who would in all likelihood work during “office hours” which unfortunately exactly matched your own work hours. It would have required co-ordination with other family members and the booking of half a day off work.
Fortunately, the convenience of the Internet has helped us all. In the same way as you can now avoid a day at the shopping centre by browsing Amazon, you can now prepare your own legal Will from the comfort of your home before you go to bed this evening.
But you don’t need to do it all in one sitting either. There will be questions in our service that may need some consideration, particularly the key appointments. If you have young children and need to name a personal guardian for those children, it’s a very good idea to discuss it with your chosen appointments before you finalise it in your Will. If it’s in your legal Will, you have protected your children and other family members from an acrimonious legal battle.
If your life really is frantic (see point 2 about stress, mortality and digging an early grave!) then by all means wait a couple of days. But the process really can take as little as 20 minutes, and the feeling of relief and satisfaction once your legal Will has been completed is overwhelming…trust me.
Sooooo easy to create your will. I’ve been putting it off for decades, but it only took a few minutes to complete at LegalWills.co.uk. Highly recommend you use their services.
Actual feedback from a real customer!
5. Everybody knows what will happen to all of my things. So I don’t even need a legal Will.
If you die without a legal Will it doesn’t really matter how your friends and family plan to distribute your possessions and your estate, they actually don’t have any say in the matter. The distribution of your estate and your possessions is determined by the government’s flow chart.
So it wouldn’t matter if your family had all agreed that they would all share everything equally. There is no scenario according to intestate law in the UK that could make this happen.[tweetthis]Even if your family has agreed to share everything. Without a Will it won’t happen.[/tweetthis]
6. My family will be able to agree on everything. It doesn’t need to be written down.
In a related note, it is astonishing how often loving and co-operative families can be torn apart by a dispute over a loved-one’s estate. Siblings who have happily shared everything their whole lives, end up in court suing each other over the handling of a parent’s possessions, it really can become bitter. You have a choice, you can trust that your family members and loved ones will happily resolve everything (and run the risk that there will be a major fracture in family relationships) or you can spend the 20 minutes and £20 to write your legal Will and avoid the prospect completely.
7. If I write a legal Will now, I’m going to have to update it next year anyway, so I’ll wait.
One of the problems with going to a solicitor to prepare a Will is that it can be out of date by the time you get home. There are many reasons why you would need to update your Will, not just for changes in your circumstances, but changes to anybody mentioned in your Will. Supposing you have named an Executor/Trustee but when you get home they tell you they have had second thoughts and they might not be up for the task. Would you then book another appointment with a solicitor to update the Will? You may have named your sister as the guardian of your children, but she phones you with the exciting news that she is now expecting triplets. She may no longer be the best option.
There is never a point in your life when everybody’s situation reaches complete stasis. There is illness, changes of financial fortune, relationship changes, and even your interpersonal relationships may change. Supposing a person or organisation comes into your life and you want to acknowledge them with a bequest in your Will?
The good news is, at LegalWills.co.uk, you don’t have to wait. You write your Will today so that you have one, and then update it in the future whenever circumstances change.
I am expecting a baby in September, should I write my Will now or wait until the baby arrives? If I write it now, should I include the baby or not?
This is a great question that we receive frequently. It doesn’t feel right to include “my daughter Emily” in your Will when Emily hasn’t been born yet. But after Emily is born the last thing you want to be doing it writing your Will; you’ll have other priorities. And you don’t want to be without a Will for the next few months either.
Some solicitors will include the term “all surviving children” as a way of future-proofing a Will, but it doesn’t work particularly well as you have to name guardians and set up trusts for each individual child. It’s really a poor workaround.
Our answer is always to write the Will today, and then, when you have a chance after the baby is born, quickly login to your account, add the new child, name a guardian, set up a trust, and print off your new Will. It shouldn’t take more than ten minutes.
8. I’ve already written everything down on a piece of paper. I’ve heard that’s as good as writing a legal Will.
Legally it is possible to handwrite a Will on a piece of paper. This is called a holographic Will and allows the courts to respect the wishes of somebody who for whatever reason did not have the tools or capability to prepare a proper Will. But there is a difference between passing the minimum set of requirements for a legal Will, and preparing a well-drafted legal document that can actually serve your Executor and Trustee.
A Will created at LegalWills.co.uk includes over twenty clauses and outlines key appointments, estate distribution, alternate plans and scenario, guardianship clauses, trusts for minors, and powers to the Executor. If you read one of our completed Wills you quickly realise that it is impossible for a layperson to prepare a well drafted Will. Even your local solicitor with years of legal training would never attempt to write a legal Will starting with a blank piece of paper. They rely on established legal “precedents” (paragraphs that have appeared in Wills over the years that are known to work). We use these same legal precedents to ensure that you final Will is going to work.
9. I’ve heard it’s a complicated process. I need to do a little more research.
Writing a legal Will is really not complicated. You are naming key appointments, and distributing your estate. A legal Will is full of arcane legal language, but you are not required to know all of these terms. If you use the service at LegalWills.co.uk we will guide you through the process step-by-step.
Of course, there can be skillful financial plans that can reduce your tax burden (although the most recent budget raised the Inheritance Tax Threshold to £1 Million). But this is part of your financial planning and shouldn’t be an obstacle to preparing a Will.
10. A fully legal Will for less than 20 pounds. It can’t be very good. I think I’ll use a solicitor.
How much should a Will cost? You can download them for free from the internet, or you can pay £800 for a solicitor to prepare one.
We would be the first to accept that a free downloaded form from the internet would be a poor choice. If the form requires you to fill in the blanks, there is a very high likelihood that you would make a mistake. It would not allow you to cover backup scenarios, it would probably not adequately create trusts for children, it is probably not kept up to date with law changes (the estate laws changed just last year in the UK). We previously wrote about the inadequacies of blank form Will kits.
But what value do you get from an £800 Will? When you walk into a solicitor’s office they will likely give you a form to complete which includes your family situation, key appointments, and your plans for distributing your estate. If you require legal advice, then a solicitor can provide this. However, if your intentions are straightforward, then you probably do not need legal advice to prepare a Will.
Believe it or not, your situation is not likely to be unique. The vast majority of people want to leave their entire estate to their spouse with perhaps a few specific bequests to named beneficiaries. If something were to happen to both you and your spouse at the same time, then everything would be shared between your children.
A solicitor would take this guidance, enter it into some software, and a compiled legal Will would be generated. Which is exactly what we do. We actually use the same software but make it available to you, directly. Which is why a legal Will prepared using our service for £25 will be word-for-word identical to a Will prepared by a solicitor for £800.
So, do yourself a favour and write your legal Will today. You won’t believe how satisfied you will feel once it is done.
He has over 19 years of experience helping people to write their Will and other estate planning documents. He has been interviewed by many of the major news media outlets and has contributed to articles in most leading publications. He has also contributed to a number of financial planning books.
Throughout his career, Tim has written extensively on the subject of Will writing and estate planning.
Latest posts by Tim Hewson (see all)
- Writing a Will for the non-nuclear family - June 19, 2019
- Dying without a Will – When does it make sense? - May 16, 2019
- Probate in the UK; What is probate, and what does it cost? - May 9, 2019