Using a solicitor to write your will

Money Advice Service

Getting a solicitor to draw up your will is usually the most expensive way to do it. But if it’s done properly, using a solicitor can save a lot of stress for those you leave behind, as well as giving you a bit more peace of mind.

What is the cost of making a will?

The answer varies depending on how complex your affairs are and if the firm is based in a city. The costs of drawing up a will by a solicitor for:

  • a simple will – can cost between £144 and £240. So, shopping around and finding someone good for the lower price could save you almost £100
  • a complex will – can cost between £150 and £300. It may be more complex as you have been divorced and have children
  • a specialist will – that involves trusts or oversea properties, or you want tax planning advice – expect to pay a minimum of £500 to £600 according to Which?
  • a mirror will – costs are usually less than doing them individually and are worth considering if you and a spouse or partner want substantively the same (mirror) wills.

Make sure the cost you’re quoted includes VAT. The above prices include VAT.

There is evidence from The Legal Services Board that suggests large potential savings from shopping around for will services. Once you’ve got one quote contact a few others to see if they can beat it. Shopping around may save you £100 for a simple and £150 for a more complex will. Try to find a service you believe will offer you a good quality service at a good price.

Figures above are from the Legal Service Board.

Why use a solicitor?

Seriously consider using a solicitor to write your will if:

  • You have assets overseas like a holiday home.
  • You run a business and you expect it to form a part of your estate.
  • You’ll have to pay Inheritance Tax – this is paid on estates valued at over £325,000 for an individual or up to £650,000 for a married couple.
  • Your family position is complicated – perhaps you have children with a previous partner, or you want to make special arrangements for children or a family member with a disability.

The benefits of using a solicitor

Be prepared

Think about what you want to leave and who you want to leave it to in your will before you go to your solicitor – it will save you time and money.

  • You’re protected if something goes wrong. Solicitors are regulated. If you have any problems you can make a complaint to the solicitor’s firm. If the solicitor’s firm doesn’t deal with your complaint properly then you can go to the Legal Ombudsman.
  • You can be more confident there are no mistakes. Common problems with wills, like using the wrong witnesses or forgetting to have it signed, could mean it’s not valid when you die. Using a solicitor should minimise the risk of things like this happening.
  • The complicated bits are done for you. The law surrounding inheritances (including Inheritance Tax and trusts) is complicated. Solicitors will be familiar with the law and will be able to help you make the most effective choices.
  • Your will is stored safely. If a solicitor helps you write your will, they’ll usually store the original for you in a fireproof safe free of charge.

What to expect from your solicitor

Your solicitor should:

  • explain your options to help you make decisions about your will
  • give advice that’s confidential and puts your best interests first
  • write and check your will according to your instructions.

Make sure they also give a clear indication of costs and how they’ll be calculated at an early stage.

Solicitors as executors

You can choose to appoint the solicitor or law firm who draws up your will as your executor.

This means they will handle the arrangements for your estate when you die.

Always ask how you’ll be charged – some solicitors will take a percentage of your estate to meet the bills. Others will charge for their time.

Read our guide on Choosing your executor

Using solicitors for free through charities

There are a number of charities that provide a will writing service for free – but the charity might expect or encourage you to make a donation.

There are also several schemes that let you have a will drawn up by a solicitor free of charge or for a suggested donation.

The largest will writing schemes are:

  • Free Wills Month (England and Wales) – this runs twice a year, usually in March and October in specific parts of England and Wales. Find out more about Free Wills Month.
  • Will Aid – this runs in November, with around 1,000 solicitors taking part. You usually have to book in advance, as spaces on the scheme are limited and it does get busy. There’s also a suggested minimum donation. Find out more about Will Aid.

Before you see a solicitor

Save time and money by thinking about what you want your will to contain before your visit your solicitor.

Find a solicitor

You can find a qualified solicitor in your area by searching the directories provided by the UK’s law societies:

If you don’t want to use a solicitor

You don’t have to use a solicitor if you don’t want to – there are other ways to get your will sorted.

You could save some money by using a will writing service, or if your will is going to be simple, you might be able to write it yourself.

This article is provided by the Money Advice Service.

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We want you to understand the positives, but also the limitations of using our site. We operate in a journalistic manner and therefore all information, guidance or suggestions provided are intended to be general in nature, and you should not rely on any of the information on the site in connection with the making of any financial decision.

When we set out to build Rest Less Money, we wanted to be a trusted place where you could find helpful information about financial matters affecting the over 50s. As a free to use resource, we try hard to provide the best information we can, but we cannot guarantee that we won’t occasionally make mistakes. So please note that you use the information on our site at your own risk, and we can’t accept liability if things go wrong.

Key things to remember when using Rest Less Money:

We do not offer financial advice – As a journalistic site, it’s important to know that we do not provide financial advice. You should always do your own research before choosing any financial product so that you can be certain it is right for you and your specific circumstances. If you are in any doubt, please seek professional financial advice from a regulated financial advisor.

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Accuracy of Information – We try to make sure that all the information provided on Rest Less Money is correct at the time of publishing as we want it to be the most helpful resource possible. Sadly, we are not perfect however, and so we can make no guarantees as to the completeness, accuracy, adequacy or suitability of the information available on the site.
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A final note on the Rest Less Community Forums – always remember that anyone can post their opinion on the Rest Less Community Forums, so it can be very different from our own opinion and may not be factual or well researched. Always be wary of any content posted on the forums and be sure to do your own research and due diligence on anything suggested. 

We hope you find Rest Less Money a useful resource and we would welcome your feedback at [email protected] on how to make it even better. For more information on any of the above you can read our full terms and conditions.

Some important information about Rest Less Money

We want you to understand the positives, but also the limitations of using our site. We operate in a journalistic manner and therefore all information, guidance or suggestions provided are intended to be general in nature, and you should not rely on any of the information on the site in connection with the making of any financial decision.

When we set out to build Rest Less Money, we wanted to be a trusted place where you could find helpful information about financial matters affecting the over 50s. As a free to use resource, we try hard to provide the best information we can, but we cannot guarantee that we won’t occasionally make mistakes. So please note that you use the information on our site at your own risk, and we can’t accept liability if things go wrong.

Key things to remember when using Rest Less Money:

We do not offer financial advice – As a journalistic site, it’s important to know that we do not provide financial advice. You should always do your own research before choosing any financial product so that you can be certain it is right for you and your specific circumstances. If you are in any doubt, please seek professional financial advice from a regulated financial advisor.

No Liability – please note that you use the information on Rest Less Money at your own risk and we can’t accept liability for how you choose to use the information given on our site. We will often provide links to content or products and services available on other third-party websites. These are provided purely for your convenience and we cannot be held responsible for any content, or any of the products and services offered on any website that we link to.

 

Accuracy of Information – We try to make sure that all the information provided on Rest Less Money is correct at the time of publishing as we want it to be the most helpful resource possible. Sadly, we are not perfect however, and so we can make no guarantees as to the completeness, accuracy, adequacy or suitability of the information available on the site.
Whilst we work hard to try and provide accurate information, deals and prices can change, so whilst they may be correct at the time of writing, providers may subsequently decide to alter them later – so always double check first.

A final note on the Rest Less Community Forums – always remember that anyone can post their opinion on the Rest Less Community Forums, so it can be very different from our own opinion and may not be factual or well researched. Always be wary of any content posted on the forums and be sure to do your own research and due diligence on anything suggested. 

We hope you find Rest Less Money a useful resource and we would welcome your feedback at [email protected] on how to make it even better. For more information on any of the above you can read our full terms and conditions.

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