It is now a well known statistic that only about 40% of people have made a Will, and those who have not yet made that provision still balk at the cost charged by solicitors and look for cheaper alternatives.
The two most popular alternatives to solicitors are Will Writers and Banks. Will Writers advertise that they will prepare a Will from £29.95 in order to attract customers. The first impression being that “Well, that is a lot cheaper than the quote given by that firm of solicitors.” However, the price quoted is often a draw to get a representative inside the door. When the actual terms of the Will are being discussed, the starting price soon goes out the window. For example, if a couple wish to leave their joint estates on trust for their minor children until they reach the age of 18 or 21, well that is a TRUST and of course trusts are much more complicated than standard gifts so the cost of the Wills can increase from anywhere between £250 to £500.
Another common ‘ruse’ of Will Writers is the appointment of Executors as this can be where they really make their money. Most Will Writing companies include the appointment of their directors, as Executors as standard in their Wills, they also state that apart from the normal costs for obtaining probate, they can charge an additional 2% of the gross estate as their fee for acting as Executors in the administration of the estate.
Most people trust their banks to look out for them and their money. They forget, however, that banks are also there to make money and if they offer to prepare a Will free of charge, they are not doing so out of the goodness of their hearts. Banks inevitably appoint themselves as Executors in the Wills they prepare and they include the same charging clause as the Will writers. A client recently came to us to draft his Will after speaking to his bank about preparing the Will “for free”. However, when he discovered that in addition to the normal costs of administering his estate, they would charge additional 2% of the gross estate as their fee for acting as Executors, he soon realised that as his estate was valued at approximately £200,000 that would be a massive £4,000. The gentleman declined, saying that would prefer to pay a flat fee for the preparation of his Will and appoint his sons as Executors, then they could decide who would deal with the administration of the estate when he was gone.
Our experienced Wills & Probate lawyers will guide you through the process of Wills, Trusts, a Lasting Power of Attorney and more, with no unexpected costs.
Call one of our team on 024 7655 5400 or email firstname.lastname@example.org