The cost of drafting a Will varies based on the complexity of your estate and whether or not you do it entirely alone, with the help of a professional Will writing service or a fully-fledged solicitor. As you can imagine, the latter will certainly make a dent in your wallet.
If you hire a solicitor for drafting your legal Will, then be prepared to pay a good amount for the honour. Standard solicitor’s fees are as follows:
So as you can see, when you ask the question “how much does a Will cost?” – the answer is not always as simple as you’d like to think.
Generally, just a small percentage of estates are significant enough to be liable to pay Inheritance Tax (IHT). But, if your estate falls within this small percentage, it is important to plan for Inheritance tax payments, while drafting your Will. It can be a little confusing, which is why it is always advisable that individuals with bigger estates consult an expert when drafting their Will.
Normally, you wouldn’t have to pay any inheritance tax in the following scenarios:
If your estate’s current value is greater than the NRB (nil band rate) of £325,000, the portion of your estate that is above this valuation will be charged IHT at a 40% rate.
For example, let’s assume that your estate is currently valued at £625,000 and your threshold for IHT is £325,000 - you would have to pay £120,000 (40% of £300,000) in IHT. The nil band rate will continue to remain at £325,000 until 2021.
Recently, the introduction of Residence Nil Rate Band (RNRB) has provided certain eligible people with extra allowance, which reduces the inheritance tax charged to their homes. This extra home allowance is provided in addition to the NRB.
In order to be eligible for this, you will have to pass on the entirety of your home or a portion of it to your children or grandchildren. This also includes adopted children, foster children and step children. However, siblings or nieces/nephews are not included in this.
The HNRB presently stands at £125,000, but by the year 2020/21, it is expected to progressively increase to £175,000.
If the deceased person has left behind a legally valid Will, then the executor of the Will is tasked with the responsibility of paying any Inheritance Tax liable to the estate. If no Will is left behind by the deceased, the administrator of the estate will have to pay the inheritance tax.
Usually the Inheritance Tax is paid out from the funds of the deceased person’s estate. But, if the estate has no cash to pay off their Inheritance Tax liabilities, assets from the estate are sold to make the payments.
In most scenarios, the testator of the Will has already planned for contingencies to take care of potential Inheritance Tax payments. For example, a life insurance policy to take care of the Inheritance Tax bill.
Once the tax is paid out along with any remaining debts or liabilities attached to the deceased person’s estate, the remaining portion is distributed amongst surviving heirs.
Before you go ahead with your decision to work alongside a solicitor, ensure the costs quoted to you include VAT, as that can take a lot of people by surprise when they are presented with the final figure.
Also, do not settle with the first Will service you come across. The Legal Services Board suggests seeking quotes from a few Will writing companies in your area before deciding on one. This will help you save at least £100 for drafting a simple Will and £150 for drafting a complex Will.
Settle for a firm that you believe will offer quality services at quality prices. The team at Legacy Wills always emphasise the importance of opting for the Will writing service that is not only best on price, but also on quality.
There are a lot of cowboy DIY Will writing services out there who offer Wills written by unqualified drafters, so it is vital that you focus on finding a Will writing consultant that knows what they are doing.
Now, if the prices mentioned above for a solicitor are out of your budget range, it is certainly worth considering utilising the services of a Wills and Estate Planning consultant.
Will writing services or online Will kits don’t need to cost the world – they can start from as little as £49.99. But of course, for those individuals with bigger, more complex estates, a more bespoke service is required to ensure nothing is overlooked.
As you can probably work out, there is no one size fits all solution when it comes to Wills, but there are general categories that you can usually assign yourself to. If you are requiring a fairly straightforward Will, such as the types that involve handing over everything to a spouse or a child, then you can expect your Will to be completed at a fairly low price.
However, for Wills that are a lot more complex, where there are numerous beneficiaries and assets, then the final sum to draft the Will should be expected to come in at a much higher cost. But, as it is always believed, you can’t put a price on peace of mind, so if that is what it takes, then it is still worthwhile in the long run.
Absolutely brilliant to work with from start to finish. Arranged an exact time to phone and they were right on the button. Just what I needed.
They keep you informed every step of the way, did not pressurise in any way and were helpful with things I did not even think about
Easy, straightforward company to deal with. All the mystique and expense of will writing done away with. No unnecessary expensive solicitors fees