There are 11 ways to make your Will. Many people use the services of a professional (e.g. a solicitor or home-visit will-writer) to help them. But how do you choose from the vast range of businesses offering the service?
Many people use ‘price’ as the differentiator. But this can prove very costly in the long run.
Low Price Quote or a “Free Will”
Many people assume that every Will is the same and therefore the best value for money is the lowest priced Will. This myth is not lost on marketing departments of solicitors and Will-Writing firms who capitalize on this lack of public knowledge by quoting an unsustainably low price to tempt you. This practise is known as ‘bait advertising’.
So how does it work?
The sprat to catch the mackerel
Once you are sitting in front of your will-writer the subtle sales patter begins. Depending upon the business model of your solicitor/will writer you may be persuaded to:
- include a trust in your Will because you need one. ‘Oh, that’s an extra fee but as you need it you will just have to pay’, explains the adviser. But that extra trust clause could double or even treble the price you were initially quoted for your Will!
- appoint your friendly will-writer as your executor. Okay, so the initial price of your Will does not increase and when you die the will-writer will sort out your affairs for you. But at a cost. £2,000 or more is common. But we have been told of fees of £8,000 to £16,000 - when a family member could have sorted out your affairs for £105.
- store your Will with them. Most solicitors will offer to store your Will for free … because if they failed to persuade you to appoint them as your executor when taking your instructions they have a 2nd chance at your death … by persuading your distraught family to appoint them as your executor. And charge your estate for their time at £200+per hour.
Meanwhile home-visit will-writers and Banks will offer (or in some cases insist) you store your Will with them. The catch … their annual storage fee, typically £20 a year. And 10 years later you have paid £200. That low priced Will is turning out to be quite expensive!
- make a donation. Even charities use ‘bait advertising’. They offer a Will for free providing you make a donation to them. But how big is your donation going to be? And their offer only includes the production of a ‘simple Will’. You risk being asked for more money because your Will is not the simple Will you thought it was.
Use the services of Convenient Wills. We will not act as your executor; we do not charge extra for your Will if it includes a complex trust, and we will offer storage solutions that are effective for no (or minimal) cost.