Making a Will - consumer guide

In recent years the UK has seen the popularity of simple online wills surge. We have conducted market studies and consumer research which highlights that there are some key things to understand before making a will to ensure that the solution you choose is the right one for you and your family.

Our guidance to consumers looking to make a will is as follows:

Please make a will. It is incredibly important for you and your loved ones. If you want to see how independent expert consumer finance firm Fairer Finance currently rate online will providers, you can view their latest listings here:

Online will writers • Fairer Finance

Before you make your will, be sure whether your affairs are ‘simple’ or they are ‘complex’. If you are in doubt then speak to one of the professional accreditation bodies, as listed in point 4 below, who will be able to guide you. Understanding whether your needs are simple or not means you can more confidently use a simple solution, with a lower cost, to produce your legally binding will. We don’t like people paying more than they need to.

Simple wills can be done for free through charities, we like this one because if your needs are ‘simple’ then you will pay nothing, although you will be invited to leave a donation to a charity in your will – but it’s entirely your choice if you want to. BUT check the t’s and c’s (see point 6).

If your circumstances are less simple and require more expert help then consider a solution that provides more surety of expertise and professional accreditation; Use a will writer regulated by the SRA and/or belongs to trade bodies including STEP, Solicitors For the Elderly or Society Of Later Life Advisers. Meaning if something goes wrong your next of kin have a formal route to raise a complaint.

Think twice before paying for free or low-cost update services – most people never use them, and if you need to change your will it’s more than possible that the simple will is not for you anyway.

It’s always best to check the level of liability that a will writer is offering, this means likely having to look in their T&Cs or asking them. You need to check t’s and c’s to make sure firms do not limit their liability for things like checking testamentary capacity, or their financial level of liability.

Please make sure you print out and sign your will in front of witnesses.

Make sure you tell your loved ones where your will is stored. A will that cannot be found is no good to anyone.

You can store a will at the HM Courts and Tribunals Service for a small fee (currently £20) but many high street solicitors will offer this service for free.

You can appoint your family to complete the estate and administration services,don’t automatically appoint a professional to do it, unless of course you want to.