There are lots of things to consider when planning for the future. The cost of making a Will is likely to influence how you decide to get a Will written. The three main options are employing the services of a Solicitor, a specialist Will writing service, or doing it yourself.
Price is one of the main differences between each Will writing option. Solicitors will normally be the most expensive, followed by a Will writing service, and then DIY Wills. With each different option you get different levels of support, legal advice and service. This guide will talk you through the different types and the cost of making a Will across the various options.
Not every Will is the same. While it is true that plenty of Wills can be written using a template, Wills are entirely dependent on individual circumstance, so most will not fit into the standard template.
This kind of Will will fit those who have a smaller, less complex estate, or who only have a couple of beneficiaries. For a lot of people this will be all that they need. If you choose a solicitor to write your Will, you might benefit from additional advice on Inheritance Tax planning and beyond. If you use a Will writing service or an online template (DIY Will) the Will will only serve the most basic function. A single Will might not work in cases where there is a child beneficiary from another relationship or you wish to set up a trust.
How much does a Single Will cost?
This type of Will costs the least. However, as with all types of Will on this list, the cost of a Will will vary between Will writing services and Solicitors depending on any additional services they include such as tax advice, Will storage and Will updating. Below is an approximate guide.
- Online Will Template = up to £30
- Will Writing Services = £15 to £100
- Solicitors = £144 to £240
Mirror Wills are used when two people’s wishes, estates, and beneficiaries are similar. Essentially you get 2 identical Wills that ‘mirror’ each other. Usually married or civil partners will make Mirror Wills together however, you don’t need to be married to make a Mirror Will. You can also still include individual and personal wishes, like funeral arrangements, in each Will. However, if one person owns another substantial property, or they have different wishes for how their part of the estate is given out, two Single Wills would be best.
How much do Mirror Wills cost?
Buying two Mirror Wills is more cost effective than two separate Single Wills. As with Single Wills, prices will vary if you require additional services included.
- Online Will Template = £15 to £50
- Will Writing Services = £25 to £200
- Solicitors = £200 to £450
One thing to remember about Mirror Wills is that they are still independent of each other and either party can decide to change their Will at any time. This is why a lot of people choose to use Trusts to protect how they wish their assets to be shared out.
A Complex Will is recommended if an estate is complicated, such as high in value and includes mutiple beneficiaries such as children from different relationships. A Complex Will just means that whoever is writing it will need to spend more time on it to make sure it is airtight and fully describes their wishes. Some Will Writing Services are able to offer this however we recommend seeking a solicitor’s service for Complex Wills. You should not use a DIY Will for a Complex Will unless you are very confident.
How much do Complex Wills cost?
Prices for Complex Wills vary a lot more than the previous two Will types because they are more complicated to draft. Solicitors will often give you an estimated quote and will adjust the cost as the process becomes clearer. A Complex Mirror Will will cost less than two seperate Complex Wills.
- Solicitors = £150 to £400
Specialist and Trust Wills
A Specialist or Trust Will will be needed if you have overseas properties, want to set up trusts or need tax planning advice, all of which require specialist legal expertise. Trust Wills allow for money, property or assets to be protected for beneficiaries in the future. For example, if a couple co-own a property, and one dies, usually this would mean the full value of the property remains with the surviving spouse. However, if a Trust Will was made, a part of the property’s value could be left to another beneficiary, as well as the surviving spouse. There are three types of Trust Will
Property Trust Wills
A Property Trust Will, also known as protective property trust, would be used in the example above, to protect the value of a property for future beneficiaries. It means that how a property is shared cannot be changed if a new Will is made or a partner remarries. It also will protect some of the value of a property in the case of it being needed for care or residential fees in the future by the surviving partner.
Flexible Life Interest Trust Will
If, in addition to property, you have substantial value in investments or other assets you wish to protect, a Flexible Life Interest Trust Will might be best. This essentially works the same way as a Property Trust Will - your chosen beneficiary will benefit from any value that investments or assets generate after you've deceased.
Discretionary Trust Wills
Discretionary Trust Wills are used when a beneficiary is unable to manage their inheritance themselves. Within a Discretionary Trust Will you will nominate a person to be in charge of a vulnerable person’s inheritance, such as a child or someone who doesn't have the mental capacity to handle their own finances. It could also be used for those in vulnerable positions such as going through a divorce or struggling financially.
How much do Specialist and Trust Wills cost?
As with Complex Wills, these Wills require significant legal help and so it is highly recommended to use a solicitor to make Specialist and Trust Wills. These are the most expensive types of Will because of how involved they have the potential to be. Specialist and Trust Wills can also be made as Mirror Wills for a less than two seperate Wills would cost.
- Solicitors = £400+
Your Will is a very important document and you want to make sure you've thought of everything (and everyone) when you make one. Read our 10 Important Things To Consider When Making a Will.