Arranging a Will is certainly one of those life admin tasks that most people have thought about but often ends up being put off until we reach later life or begin to accumulate assets we become concerned about the distribution of. A report produced in 2020 found that only 4 out of 10 adults in the UK have a Will in place and this statistic has not changed much in recent years even in light of unexpected events of the Covid pandemic.
In this article, we explain how to arrange a Will either free of charge or at a nominal cost.
What is a Will?
A Will is a legal document that allows you to outline how your property, assets and possessions, known collectively as your estate, should be distributed upon your death. It also allows you to nominate the people that are to carry out your wishes; those who should benefit from your estate and those you pass responsibility to for the care of any children or other dependents you may have.
Without a Will, the state is left to make decisions about how your estate is divided using rules of intestacy and they could even be left to decide who would be most fit to care for your children.
How to make a Will
Making a Will is a fairly straightforward exercise depending on the complexity of your estate and wishes. Most people can complete a Will declaration in around 15 minutes and there are many simple and accessible ways to carry out the task. You can arrange a Will by:
- Speaking to a solicitor
- Engaging a Will writer
- Downloading an online version of a Will declaration to complete yourself
Not only can a Will enable you to save a lot of tax and pass on more of your assets to the next generation but more importantly you can ensure the people you care about are provided for after you've gone.
How to get a free Will drawn up
A Will typically costs upward of £90 for a simple Will for a single person and around £135 for a couple with basic mirror Wills where they leave all their assets to each other upon death.
But as part of Free Wills Month in October, those aged over 55 can ''have their simple Wills written or updated free of charge by using participating solicitors in selected locations around England and Wales".
Simply follow the above link enter your postcode and locate a solicitor near you taking part in the campaign.
November sees the return of Will Aid where solicitors give their services for free (there is no age restriction to use the service) in exchange for a donation to one of their suggested charities. Again this is only suitable for those people needing simple (less complex) Wills.