The Will kit: 20 ways that a blank form Will kit could lead to disaster

Why do I need to pay to create a Will using your service, when I can get a free one downloaded from the internet, or buy a blank Will kit from WHSmith for a couple of pounds.

We get this question a lot, and it is sometimes difficult for people to fully understand the difference between using an online Will writing services like the one at LegalWills.co.uk compared to using a blank Will kit.

To illustrate the difference, we have highlighted just 20 ways in which using a blank Will kit can lead to a disaster. Because, ironically, the simpler the Will kit, the more difficult it is to write a well drafted Will. You may find it interesting that these were culled from an initial list of 45!!

1. You don’t check where the Will kit came from and who created it.

Blank Will Kit

Before you download a free Will kit template, stop and think about who actually prepared the template. Nowadays anybody can set up a professional looking legal website for free using WordPress in about 2 hours. Continue reading

The cost of a funeral: Guest Post

This is a guest post written by Juliette Kay

One of the biggest expenses that you may occur in life is one that you’ll never actually have to pay for—but your family will. It’s your funeral expenses, and the true cost of a funeral may surprise you. Here’s a rough breakdown of what you might expect to pay for various funeral options.

cost of a funeral

The average funeral, according to the 2014 Sun Life Direct Cost of Dying Reportcan cost as much as £3,590. Adding in discretionary funeral costs, and expenses associated with the administration of the deceased’s estate, the final total can rise to more than £8,000. Continue reading

Will writing: the regulation of the profession.

There has been a great deal of discussion recently regarding the regulating of Will writing as a profession. On first glance it would seem strange that anybody can simply call themselves a “Will writer” and offer their services to prepare people’s Wills. So much so that the industry became quite competitive and aggressive, and we started to get accosted Continue reading

Can you use a sample Will to write your own Will?

Most people know that they need a Will, but many are put off by the cost of going to a solicitor, and the inconvenience of booking an appointment. Unfortunately, this leads people to resort to some poorly judged approaches to preparing their own Will – we are often asked if we can provide somebody with a sample Will, from which they can draft their own Last Will and Testament.

Sample Will

There are a few steps to this process and trouble at each step of the way;

Locating a sample Will

For the people who don’t contact us asking for a sample Will, most will simply Google the search term “sample Will” in the hope that they can find a template Continue reading

Writing a Will: why there is nothing to fear

Many people try to lead you into thinking that writing a Will is so complicated that only a qualified solicitor with years of training should attempt it. You have probably been told that attempting to write your own Will is only going to lead to misery for your loved ones. One of the most common scare-tactics is to compare writing a Will with performing surgery on yourself !

We have explained in the past that writing a Will is neither so complicated that it needs a professional, but nor is it so easy that you could just write one on a blank piece of paper. It is somewhere in between, and it is this mid-ground that LegalWills.co.uk tries to fill with its interactive online Will service.

So what makes a Will a Will?

The answer to this question hasn’t changed Continue reading

Writing your Will: 10 key steps to getting it done right.

We’ve been offering a service to help you prepare your own Will for 14 years now. To us, the task couldn’t be simpler. But as with anything that you only do a few times in your life, the process can seem intimidating. So we’d like to breakdown the steps involved in writing your Will. Hopefully after reading these pointers, you will feel less anxious and ready to finally cross this very important item off your To Do list.

Preparation

There are some important decisions to make before you start the process of writing your Will. Some of these require consultation with friends and family members. At LegalWills.co.uk we do not expect you to complete your Will in one sitting, but if you can discuss some of these decisions Continue reading

What’s the problem with blank Will forms? They don’t work !

We always position our service as a happy mid-ground between expensive solicitor fees and the blank Will forms that you can download from the internet or buy from WHSmiths. The finished product of using an interactive online Will service is usually identical to a Last Will and Testament prepared by a solicitor. After all, a solicitor doesn’t write a Will starting with a blank sheet of paper, they use what are known as “Will precedents” or clauses that are historically established, and are known to work. Most solicitors actually use “Parker’s modern Will precedents” and this is the exact same reference book used by LegalWills.co.uk.

Will forms

We’ve adapted the established Last Will and Testament clauses into an interactive online Will service. So how does the end result compare Continue reading

12 reasons to use an Online Will service instead of a DIY Will Kit

I’d like to start by defining some terms. An Online Will service allows you to step through an interactive interview on the internet, at the end of which a document is generated. This document should then be printed and signed in the presence of two witnesses to create a legal Last Will and Testament. There is no such thing as an “online Will” – any digitally stored or scanned document is not legally admissible to probate. A document created through an online Will service still needs to be printed and signed to make it legal.

A DIY Will Kit is a blank form kit that you might buy from Amazon, or WHSmiths. It is generally a form with some typed clauses and white spaces for you to handwrite your details. They sometimes come with a disk that lets you type in your answers.

This image is from a genuine Will kit that we purchased for £10 from a Continue reading

10 terms you will learn when you write your Will

When you prepare a Will using our service, the final document will include many legal terms and unfamiliar language that we do not tend to use in our daily lives. There will be expressions like “testamentary dispositions” and you won’t find a layman’s word like “everything” instead the Will is going to refer to “all my estate, both real and personal whatsoever and wheresoever” which for most people would amount to the same thing.

Last Will and Testament

There are however 10 terms that there is no avoiding when preparing a well-drafted Will, and it is important to fully understand what they mean. They usually appear in this order in the Will;

Testator

This is simply the person Continue reading

Challenging a Will

I heard that if I create a Last Will and Testament using our service like yours, it can be challenged or contested. Is that true?

 

The short answer is yes, our Wills can be contested, but not simply because they were created using our service. Any Will can be contested, but there are a specific number of reasons why challenging a Will could be successful.

The person making the Will was not fully aware of what they were doing

The legal term for this is that they “lacked testamentary capacity”. The colloquial term is that they were not of “sound mind”. The person writing the Will should understand that they are indeed preparing a Will, and be fully aware of the content. They should be Continue reading

Intestate Succession

What happens if you die without a Last Will and Testament?

I don’t need a Will. It is obvious who will get my things anyway. Everything will go to my spouse.

We hear this a lot, and nothing could be further from the truth. The distribution of an estate without a Will (intestate law) is so complicated that the government websites have a question and answer wizard to step you through a number of different family situations. At the end of this they calculate the shares of the estate going to each person. So let us dispel a few myths.

Myth 1: If I die without a Last Will and Testament my spouse will receive everything.

Fact: This is actually true for the first £250k in value. But according to an article published this week in the Guardian, the average house price in England is £272k, with the average price in London now at £514k. The £250k threshold is no longer limited to the interests of the very wealthy. Everything above £250k is divided such that any children will take half, and the spouse will take a “life interest” in half, meaning that the children will receive that second half when the surviving parent dies. Continue reading

New home for our blog

We have been offering our online legal Will service since 2003, and have been blogging about estate planning issues for the last 4 years at legalwills.wordpress.com.

There are well over 100 articles on our old blog, and we are starting afresh with a new blog embedded directly on our website. We are hoping that soon we will have another 100 articles that will inform, education and entertain you.