If you’re one of the many Brits without a will (65% of adults, I believe), then November gives you a good chance to get a basic, cheap will written by a solicitor, thanks to Will Aid.
Why should you write a will?
Well, there are a few reasons, not all financial:
- You decide what happens to your money (“estate”). Without a will, who knows how your estate will be divided, and who will end up with what?
- If you have kids, you can specify who is to look after them on your death, if they’re under the age of 18. Although you may assume they’ll be looked after by any remaining family, that is not always the case, so specifying guardians in the will will make sure your wishes are met.
- Reduce your Inheritance Tax bill. IHT could take a whopping 40% off the value of your estate if it exceeds the IHT threshold, currently £325,000.
Throughout November, charities such as Help The Aged, Save The Children and the British Red Cross are set to benefit from donations made to solicitors for drawing up these wills, with suggested donations of £75 for a single will, £110 for a joint will.
Also, with Will Aid you can register your Will for free with the Certainty National Wills Register (usual cost £28.75 per Will) during November’s campaign. The wills register helps to keep a record of where you will is stored, should it be lost.
Whilst wills are available for a similar price, if not cheaper from online will writers (as well as those packs DIY packs you can pick up in WHSmiths), there’s nothing like having the services of a qualified professional on hand to help you out. It’s probably worth mentioning that if your will requirements are particularly complex, the solicitor might charge more than the suggested donations, so try to get a idea of any further costs when you first speak to the solicitor.
It’s also worth checking whether the solicitor intends to add themselves as executors of the will – which will cost you money (or at least, your estate) when you die, and can be avoided if you have friends or families as executors. Indeed, some will writers will offer very cheap wills on the basis that they will write themselves as executors and take a percentage of your estate on your death.
Go to the Will Aid website and enter your postcode to check out the participating solicitors in your area.
photo credit: raindog
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