Can I Make My Own Will?

Do I need a solicitor to make a Will?

If you’re considering writing a Will or updating an existing one, you might have wondered whether you need to use the services of a solicitor.

In England and Wales, there is no legal requirement to use a solicitor when writing or changing a Will – which means you’re free to draft up your own legally binding Will or codicil by yourself.

But there are some things you should consider before going it alone, including:

Keep reading to find out more or get in touch with our friendly advisors for advice that’s tailored to you.

What are the risks of writing my own Will ?

In recent years, do-it-yourself or DIY Wills have become more popular with online companies offering cheap – or even free – Will writing kits. But while this sounds like an appealing option, it’s important that you do your research before taking the plunge.

One of the main risks of making your own Will is the potential for mistakes to be made. In the worst cases, this could lead to the Will becoming invalid – for instance, if the document is not witnessed properly.

You will also need to be confident that your Will covers everything it needs to. If it doesn’t, your loved ones could be left unsure of how to carry out your wishes after your death. For example, if your chosen executor passes away before you and there is no named substitute, your family might struggle to execute your Will.

If you’re drafting your own Will through a charity, it’s worth bearing in mind that you may be expected to leave a significant sum of money to them. So make sure to check the terms of the agreement carefully.

Using the services of a Wills, estate and probate solicitor can help to give you the peace of mind that your Will is legally binding and will be followed after your death. They will also make sure that the terms of your Will are set out in such a way that there is no room for speculation or confusion.

When would a self-written Will be appropriate?

If you expect the handling of your assets to be straightforward after your death, writing your own Will could be seen as a quick and affordable option. But again, you will need to be sure that the Will is legally valid and clearly sets out your wishes in sufficient detail.

Make sure to consider any changes in your circumstances before going down this route, too. For instance, your property may have gone up in value over the years, meaning inheritance tax could now apply.

Certain terms set out in a Will can help to reduce the amount of inheritance tax paid out from your estate. So it’s important to think about this when drafting up a Will. And if you’re not sure, our solicitors can use their experience to help you.

How much will using a solicitor cost?

We understand that you might have reservations about the cost of using a solicitor to write your Will. But most firms now offer a fixed fee service, so you’ll know exactly how much you’re paying from the start.

For a simple Will, a solicitor’s services will usually cost between £144 and £240. For more complex estates, the price is more likely to be between £150 and £300 – this might apply when you’ve had a change in circumstances, like a divorce.

In some cases, a specialist Will may be required – usually if there is a trust or overseas property involved – and a solicitor’s services for these types of Wills could cost around £600.

It’s important to remember that the cost of making your Will with a solicitor will ultimately depend on your individual circumstances. So it’s always best to speak to a legal expert about your situation directly.

To find out how we could help you, get in touch with us on the number at the top of the screen or start your enquiry online.

Note: First4Lawyers offers this information as guidance, not advice. Before taking any action, you should seek professional assistance tailored to your personal circumstances.


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