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How do you want to make your Will?

View profile for Gail Donaldson
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How do you want to make your Will?

An acquaintance in another legal firm has recently brought to my attention a company that is advertising Wills which are made on the internet.

I won’t name the company but it advertises that they can prepare Wills online which only take a few minutes, cost less than £20 for an individual or less than £30 for a couple and therefore in their view offer an efficient service which is value for money.

Of course I can see the attraction of this – making a Will without having to find the time to see a solicitor or other specialist, and the very cheap headline cost.

However, as always the devil is in the detail – especially with regard to cost. This particular organisation insist on being your Executors and will charge 4% of the gross value of your estate for carrying out their duties as Executors.

The solicitor I mentioned earlier who had come across the company had clients who wanted the company to step aside as Executors in favour of the family and they were apparently being charged a few thousand pounds for them to step down.  Of course if you are fully aware of all these terms and conditions at the point you sign up and pay £19.99 for your Will and you are happy with it then all is well.

You do pay a charge to store your will each year – almost as much as the cost of the will itself,  and that will mount up over time.

Obviously I am biased but I believe that a solicitor specialising in Wills will always do a better job sitting down with you face to face wherever possible. I find that often my  clients do not know all the options available to them and it is only by sitting down and getting to know our clients that we can help advise them on the best solutions for them.

As far as acting as Executors are concerned we will always act as Executors where clients want us to do so or need us to do so.  However, in many cases there is absolutely no reason why family members cannot be Executors and then they are free to appoint solicitors to help them when the time comes or even do the work themselves if they prefer.

The old adage that if something looks too good to be true it probably is.  Always check the small print.

Remember that you may not need solicitors after you die and do not tie yourself up to a company that is going to charge a percentage of your estate.  With rising property prices 4% of an estate is a substantial sum.  Do your homework first.