A Will can help you provide for your loved ones in case anything happens to you. While you can make your own Will, availing professional Will services are always considered the right thing to do.
However, it is always overwhelming to determine the types of entities who can offer you Will services. You need to understand that there are specialised institutions and individuals who work in this arena. It can be anyone from lawyers to professional Will writing solicitors to financial institutions like banks.
Now you might ask, what kind of lawyers can make a Will? Does it need to be signed by a judge? What about banks? Do they also legally provide Will services? What are the other options that offer Will writing services?
Just thinking about all these things is likely to give you sleepless nights, so to help you overcome this situation, we have created this post where we will be discussing everything you need to know about who can help you create a Will and why it matters.
Let’s get started.
What Is a Will?
A Will is a legal contract penned by you or on behalf of you by a trust attorney or a Will maker that coordinates your wishes regarding the distribution of your estate and property and the care of your loved ones, especially minor children. In layman’s term, a Will sets out guidelines for what should happen after you die, and who will inherit your assets. It includes who should bring up your children, how you would like your estate and possessions to be distributed, even what sort of funeral you would like, as well as any other wishes. It is a legally binding document, but if not created correctly, it may not be valid.
This is why you should hire a Will lawyer or get in touch with Will writing services as doing so ensures that your wishes are properly penned down, and everybody gets what you want them to have.
The sole purpose of having a Will is that in the event of your death, your property and possessions will be distributed as per your wishes. In case you have no valid Will in England or Wales, the government will have a say in who gets what. If that happens, chances are even the most deserving ones from your family will be deprived of your possessions. That is how important it is to get a Will advice from a Wills and estates lawyer as soon as possible.
Why is it important to have a Will?
Here are some top reasons for making a comprehensive Will, and how dying without one could have an adverse impact on your family and loved ones.
- If you are a parent, having a Will is quite important. It is not just about who gets your possessions. You would also want to ensure that your children are in safe hands until they turn 18 years of age. With a Will, you can decide who gets to be the guardian of your children. If you don’t do that and you die, the court decides the fate of your children. They may not end up being in a good place after you are gone.
- Apart from choosing the godparents of your children, a Will also ensures that your children and other dependents are provided for financially. It is important to safeguard the future of your children financially. They will have needs like education, clothing, and more. You can contact a living trust lawyer to create a trust in the name of your children so that you can have control over the finances of your children.
- Other dependents like your spouse or parents or even step-children may be an integral part of your life. You will also want to provide for their needs after you are no longer there. According to the trust law, blood-related relatives will automatically inherit your possessions if there is no Will.
- If you are unmarried but have a partner, he/she will not be covered under the law when you die. So, you will have specifically mention their name in your Will state what possession they will receive.
- A Will will also help you in safeguarding your family home. You get to decide who gets the home. And if you are unmarried with no children, you can decide to donate it to a trust using the Will Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA.
- The primary reason why a Will is important is that it helps in resolving family disputes. Dividing property and possessions can sometimes sadly end in arguments and disagreements within the family. If your wishes aren’t clearly stated, it could damage the relationships among your family.
What if you die without a Will?
If you die without a will, the law oversees the distribution of your estate and generally dispenses it according to a predefined formula. Typically, half of all your possessions will go to your children, and the other will go to your spouse. Such scenarios often result in the sale of the property, including the family home. Moreover, complications may arise, especially if your children are minors.
At this point, we’ve deeply emphasized the importance of having a Will, but how exactly are you going to make one? Who can help you make a Will? In the next section, we will discuss the primary entities that can legally help you create a Will.
Who Can Offer Will Services?
In the United Kingdom, the majority of estate owners prefer a lawyer over a freelance willmaker for creating a thorough Will that is not only legal but also easy to understand. A trust attorney or a Will lawyer is often assigned the job, but if you are on a budget, you can choose to consult your local bank for will writing services.
With that said, the following entities in the United Kingdom are bestowed with the power to create legal Wills.
#1 Wills and Estates Lawyer
A living trust lawyer will provide you with Will advice so that you can make an informed decision. However, hiring a trust attorney can be an expensive affair, and you may want to think it through before making a final decision. The fee of the lawyer may also be included in your Will.
#2 Professional Will Writers
Hiring a professional Will writer can be inexpensive than a lawyer and more reliable than a DIY Will. However, it is important to choose a service that is accredited by The Institute of Professional Will Writers and The Society of Will Writers. One of the biggest benefits of Will writing services is that it lets you work at your own pace. The writer will visit your home and help you pen down a valid Will. However, you have to be cautious because not all writers are qualified, and regulation isn’t the same as lawyers.
There are some specific campaigns and charities that offer free Will drafting services. This is done to encourage Will creation and charitable legacies. If there is a charity you would love to be part of, you can ask them whether they offer this service. Keep in mind, however, that the Will created by charities have no clear visibility and thus may end up being invalid. You can opt for this service if you are planning to donate some of your assets to the charity.
A Bank is another option that can help you create a Will, but not all banks offer this service. Some banks offer Will advice and writing services and while they offer quality services, they may charge a lot for it.
#5 Online Will Template
If you are planning to create a Will on your own, you can do it for free using online Will templates. However, without any consultation and professional help, it is difficult to create a valid Will. Remember, a Will is a legal document. Hence, it needs to be written correctly and signed legally. While a template can give you a perfect format you can follow, failure to write and get it signed properly will render it useless.
How Much Does It Take to Make a Will?
The cost of making a Will in the UK depends on whether you choose to hire a lawyer, enlist the help of a professional writer, or just use an online template. Roughly, it can cost you from £30 to £700.
- A simple Will made using online templates can cost around £30 to £100
- A complex Will made with the help of a financial institution can cost around £150 to £300
- A specialist Will made by a lawyer can cost around £500 and above
This post covers all the aspects of who can help you make a Will. As you can see, different entities are proficient in Will making, but based on their services, the quality of the Will differ. That is why it is important to avail the services of an experienced Will writer who can help you understand the legalities associated with Will.
With My Estate Planning’s Last Will and Testament, you can create a valid Will that abides by the law and is easily modifiable.
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