Writing a will can be a daunting process, especially when we’re generally told we should have one from such an early age. It might seem stupid to be writing a will as a fit and healthy thirty-year-old, but as morbid as it may be, it really is important if you want your loved ones left stress free when it comes to claiming their inheritance.
Will-writing can be expensive and it’s often difficult to guarantee the quality and accuracy of a particular solicitor without going on personal recommendation from someone you know. However, there are ways to avoid paying the fees if you’re eligible.
The Community Legal Service helps those who can’t afford legal advice, such as those on a low income, single parents or parents with disabled children and those over 70 years of age. You may also have legal cover as part of your car or home insurance policy, so it’s worth checking whether will-writing is included in that. Some trade unions and employers offer free or very cheap will-writing to their members and employees, so that’s something else to bear in mind when shopping around.
Consider using a charity’s will-writing service if you’re not eligible for any of the above but still can’t afford to pay hefty solicitors’ fees. Cancer Research UK and The Stroke Association both have these schemes in place, as well as many other charities, so ask friends for recommendations or have a chat with your preferred charity. These kind of will-writing schemes are usually completely free of charge, but it’s always polite to make a donation of whatever you can afford to help maintain this service for those that don’t directly ask for it (remember, the charity are actually covering the costs of the will-writing, and they can’t keep doing this if people don’t donate!)
In Free Wills Month, which starts on 1st October 2013, charities club together to provide a month of free will-writing for those aged 55 and over. It runs in selected cities and towns across the UK, and uses local solicitors in these areas. You can register your details to receive notifications when the campaign starts in your area at www.freewillsmonth.org.uk.
Once you’ve found your will-writer, it’s usually a good idea to make sure your loved ones are aware of the rough contents of your will and what they will inherit. Obviously this isn’t always appropriate, and some may find themselves having to contact specialist solicitors like Will Claim Solicitors for legal support. Many people find themselves having to dispute aspects of a relative’s will once they have passed away, so if you want to avoid that happening then make sure you really do your research and go with the right will-writer. If you know anybody who has recently had a free or cheap will drawn up correctly and accurately, then take advantage of that and use their recommendation to avoid future disputes for you and your family.