How much does it cost to write a will?
If you want to ensure that your assets and prized possessions goes to the people of your choosing when you die, you must write a will. But this legal process can often be quite drawn out and complicated, and you may also have to pay for the service. But how much do the cost?
Depending on how you choose to write a will and how complicated your estate and wishes are, the will-writing process varies in cost from free to several hundred pounds.
Many people choose the DIY path when writing their wills. They use templates or will packs, which can be purchased from stationery shops and online services for under £30. They may also follow guides available for free online. While you can save significant amounts of money by making a will yourself, you need to follow the instructions closely, especially about witnesses, for your will to be legally admissible.
Furthermore, will packs are generally only suitable if your financial and personal situation is straightforward, for instance, if you intend to leave everything to your spouse or your children. They won't be suitable if your case is more complicated. Specifically, you shouldn’t use a will template if:
- You intend to leave money to people outside your immediate family
- You have foreign property, bank accounts, or investments
- Your heirs may face Inheritance Tax
- You own a business you’re leaving to someone
- You want to include wishes that could potentially be misunderstood
In these cases, you should turn to a professional to prepare your will. Wills can be produced by solicitors, banks, and will writers. Prices range from around £80 to £750, depending on how complex your financial affairs and wishes are.
If you and your partner want wills that are largely the same - known as mirror wills - you can get a discount for writing them both at once. If you want to include a trust in your will, expect to pay more (often £400+).
More than 150 charities, including some of the best-known in the UK, run will drafting services, often in the hopes that you include a bequest to them. These services may be free or low-cost in the immediate: any bequest will be taken after your death and is Inheritance Tax deductible. However, you typically need to have donated to the charity in the past or be a member to qualify for the free service. These services may also not be suitable for those who need more complex wills.
Prices vary widely between different solicitors and will-writing services so it’s worthwhile to gather multiple quotes before handing over any money.