Do I need a will?

Your will is a representation of your final wishes and the only way that you can outline exactly what should happen to your estate (including your possessions, money and property) when you die.

If you die without a will, your estate will be shared out in accordance with strict intestacy rules and your preferences will have no bearing on who inherits what, which can cause disputes amongst family members and could leave your hard-earned assets in the wrong hands. 

Here’s our complete guide to writing a will in the UK and how we can help you here at Wills Services.


Why do I need to write a will?

Regardless of how much value you think your possessions or assets amount to, there are many reasons why you should write a will.

  • Allocate your estate in line with your wishes. After all, the estate is yours, so where it all ends up should be up to you. If you die without a will, your estate could be handed over to a relative that you no longer have close ties with, for example.
  • Avoid the issue of unmarried partners and intestacy rules. Intestacy rules mean that some close family members may not qualify for inheriting any of your estate, including step-children and partners that aren’t married or in a civil partnership. The only way to guarantee your estate goes to the right people is to make a will. 
  • Make arrangements for your children or dependants. It’s not all about the money – a will can be used to make arrangements for children if one or both parents pass away.
  • Reduce the inheritance tax bill your loved ones face. You will be creating a will alongside a trained solicitor, who will be able to advise you on all-things inheritance tax and the ways that you could legally avoid it.


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Do I need a solicitor to make a will? 

There’s no legal requirement stating that a will must be drawn up or witnessed by a solicitor, and it’s entirely possible to make a will yourself. But, creating a will that is legally valid and covers all bases is difficult and often requires hours of work, which is why most experts recommend using a professional service, like Wills.Services. 

It’s easy to make mistakes if you try to write your own will, and these errors could lead to issues with the distribution of the estate when you pass away, placing added distress upon your loved ones.

Some of the most common errors made when making a will without a solicitor include: 

  • Not adhering to certain formal requirements, making the will legally invalid.
  • Making alterations without them being signed and witnessed (making them invalid).
  • Not taking into account all the money and property.
  • Failing to cover what should happen if a beneficiary dies before them.
  • Failing to realise the affect a marriage or civil partnership (as well as a divorce and informal separation) would have on the will.
  • Being unaware of the clauses and rules that exist to allow dependants to claim if they feel they haven’t inherited an adequate amount, which means that conditions in the will could be overturned.

It is particularly important to make a will with the help of a solicitor when your situation isn’t necessarily straightforward, including instances where:

  • You share a property with someone other than a married or civil partner
  • There are people that may claim they deserve inheritance from you (ex-partners, children from previous relationships that have not been a part of your life, etc.)
  • There are businesses involved 
  • You own properties abroad or live outside of the UK on a permanent basis

Writing a will with Wills.Services gives you the best chance of avoiding mistakes, disputes and potential distress in the future, allowing you to specify exactly what should happen to your estate without the worry that it may not be legally valid when the time comes for it to take effect. 

We can also help you choose an executor, appoint guardianship, store your will, and even set up a trust


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How much does it cost to make a will?

The standard cost for writing a single will with Wills.Services is just £39.99, which is cheap in comparison with Co-op Legal Service (£150) and Slater + Gordon (£42). This is the basic cost of making a will with us, but there are often promotions and deals available to our customers to help get an even cheaper price.

The usual cost of making a mirror will is £59.99 with Wills.Services, which is once again cheaper than the equivalent from Co-op Legal Service (£234) and Slater + Gordon (£84).


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What are executors and how should you choose them?

The executor of a will is the person responsible for initiating the will, ensuring that your final wishes are carried out, and organising the estate when you pass away. 

You are able to choose one or more people to be an executor and it can be anyone over the age of 18, including loved ones and family members, solicitors, or banks. When you die, they are tasked with a number of responsibilities, including the handling of all legal paperwork, debts, taxes, funeral costs, and the distribution of the estate.

Due to the vast amount of time-consuming and complex issues that can arise with these responsibilities, it is often advised that you choose a solicitor as one of your executors, perhaps alongside a family member if you feel it is necessary. 

See our executor and probate services for more information. 


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Where to keep a will: Wills.Services’ will storage facility

Writing a will is just the start! Here at Wills.Services, we offer a professional will storage facility where you are able to keep your will safe and make changes to it as regularly as you like.

If you keep it at home or anywhere else, there’s always the danger of it being lost or damaged by the time you die, meaning that the will would become invalid and your estate would be distributed in line with the rules of intestacy. 

By storing your will here at Wills.Services, you guarantee that your wishes will be carried out and you will be able to update your provisions as and when your personal situation requires.  

To begin making full use of our professional will writing services, simply complete our short contact form or begin the process of making a will online today.

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Article reviewed 21st September 2021

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