31 July 2018
If a will that costs £75 sounds too good to be true… it probably is
From the 90s until the early 00s, around 1.5 million people created wills through their banks. Many were enticed with the extremely low fees, with some banks charging as little as £75 or less.
However, customers may find that their beneficiaries could be caught out in the future if they look more closely at the terms and conditions. The small print usually says that banks will act as the customers’ executors when they pass away and will secure up to 2.5% from an estate in legal fees for their efforts. If we look at an estate worth £500,000, the inheritor would have to pay £12,500, which is a huge dent in most inheritances.
These percentages may have seemed acceptable at the time of signing the will, but house prices have soared over 20 per cent in the past 10 years alone, so even the estates of those on lower incomes can attract substantial fees.
Having an experienced wills, trusts and probate solicitor to help draft your will is a safe alternative. Although there will be an initial fee, you’ll have the benefit of a wealth of expertise, you will know where you stand with costs and beneficiaries will not have a huge fee handed out by bank executors to administer the deceased person’s wishes at the end.
It’s also possible that customers may not have understood the significance of the executor role and the huge responsibility that this brings, whereas a reputable solicitor will explain the process step by step.
Moreover, with increasingly complex family structures, particularly since the divorce rate continues to rise and more people having second families, it would be prudent to have an experienced professional to advise on complex estates or trust provisions.
It is possible to revoke a will prepared by your bank. B P Collins has a team of wills, trusts and probate lawyers that are responsive and accessible who would be happy to review your will and provide bespoke advice on next steps. Call 01753 279030 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The team are members of the Law Society’s Wills and Inheritance Quality Scheme (WIQS). WIQS provides a best practice framework for the drafting of wills and the administration of estates, and acts as a quality mark for clients in this area.
Lucy Wood, partner and practice group leader of the wills, trusts and probate practice, was also recently awarded the Berks, Bucks & Oxfordshire Law Society Lawyer of the Year.