Making a Will
In November I had my will re-written and on this occasion it was professionally written by a solicitor. Previously I have done DIY wills bought from the Post Office or a High Street shop. l update my will roughly every five years or so and as I was aware of the Will Aid Scheme, thought that I would do this update as a comparison. Will Aid is a scheme that is available every November, where one can get a will written for a donation of around £95.00. Will Aid is a partnership between the legal profession and nine UK charities. Every November, participating solicitors waive their fee for writing a basic will. Instead, they invite clients to make a voluntary donation to Will Aid –they suggest £95 for a single basic will and £150 for a pair of basic ‘mirror’ wills.
My new will details/wishes were more or less taken from the previous will that I had written, as I brought it in to discuss. The only significant change to note was adding the addresses of those whom I want to benefit from my will. These were advised to be included in the will rather than on a separate piece of paper, and it proved helpful as I became aware that I didn’t have all the addresses.
In conclusion, if you have a fairly simple will, which I did, then DIY wills are no different and just as legal. In England and Wales, the legal requirement is that the will is signed and witnessed by two people present. In Scotland, it only needs to be witnessed and signed by one other person.
If you are over 55 you can get a will done for free, under a scheme called Free Wills Month. The scheme takes place every March and October and is backed by charities; however, be prepared for your solicitor to ask if you would like to leave a donation to a chosen cause when you die, although you are under no obligation to do so. The towns and cities taking part in Free Wills Month vary each time the campaign runs. Visit the Free Will Month website during March or October and enter your postcode. You’ll be given a list of participating solicitors close to you, which you can choose from to arrange an appointment.
However, it’s simple to write a will, particularly when using guidelines from DIY wills or from the opportunities of using a solicitor as noted above. It’s worth noting that all wills become invalid if you get married and it’s wise to update your will regularly. The most important message that I can offer is DO WRITE A WILL, this allows your wishes to be granted as you would want and your funeral wishes too. We often change our minds or viewpoints so rewrite your will or funeral plan regularly to reflect this.