Will writing services – pros and cons

Money Advice Service

A will writing service can be cheaper than a solicitor and more reliable than a DIY will – but make sure you choose one that’s accredited.

How will writing services work

Will writing services can work:

  • Face-to-face
  • Online and/or
  • By post

Some banks offer a will writing service – ask yours if they can help. But make sure you check that you can choose your own executor as some banks charge a lot for this.

If you chose a face-to-face service, a will writer will usually make an appointment to come and see you at home.

They’ll talk to you about your family and personal circumstances, including

  • Your assets and who you would like your executors to be. Executors are the people who collect in your assets, pay any debts/taxes etc. and distribute them among the beneficiaries.
  • Who you would like to benefit under your will and how (i.e. in what proportions, including specific gifts, charitable legacies and so on) and give you advice on the best way to organise it.

When they understand what you want, they’ll draft your will for you.

With an online service you visit a website to answer questions about your will.

When you’ve finished, the service sends you a draft will by post or email for you and your witnesses to sign.

Some online services have a telephone helpline to help you with any questions, and some will let you speak to a specialist will writer before you start.

Should you use a will writing service?

A will writing service could be a good choice for you if:

  • You understand the basics of how wills work but want some extra advice to make sure your will is done properly.
  • You want to pay less than a solicitor would charge, and
  • Your will is going to be quite simple. For example, if you’re leaving everything to your immediate family and your estate doesn’t include anything like overseas investments or a company you own.

Will writing services – pros and cons

  • A will writing service is usually cheaper than a solicitor.
  • Online services let you work at your own pace.
  • Face-to-face will writers will usually visit you at home when it’s convenient for you.
  • There’s a wide choice of companies offering this service.
  • Regulation isn’t the same as for solicitors, so you won’t have the same protection if something goes wrong.
  • Not many will writers are fully legally qualified – but if they’re a member of a recognised trade body, they have been trained in wills and estate planning.
  • They might not be able to store your will securely like a solicitor can.

Using a will writing service – before you start

Choose a service that has at least £2 million of professional indemnity cover – if things go wrong, this gives you a better chance of compensation.

Check that the service belongs to one of these organisations:

  • The Society of Will Writers
  • The Institute of Professional Will Writers

Members of these organisations must:

  • Have training that’s regularly updated
  • Be insured to cover legal costs if your will is challenged, and
  • Follow a code of practice approved by the Trading Standards Institute

If you use a will writing service from your bank, you should still check for membership of one of these two organisations – writing wills is not covered by the same regulations as bank accounts or investments.

Other options for writing your will

This article is provided by the Money Advice Service.

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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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