October is ‘Free Wills Month’

This month is a chance to get a Will written – absolutely free. Throughout the month of October a number of well-respected charities have come together to offer those aged 55 or over a free written Will. You can even get your existing Will updated.

Solicitors in selected locations in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will be writing up the Wills and this means that you can ensure that your wishes are correctly carried out when you have passed away. It also makes sorting out your estate much easier for your loved ones.

Many people are put off getting a Will written up because of the associated cost, so this is a great opportunity.

All you have to do to take part in Free Wills Month is fill in your details here. You choose a solicitor that is convenient to your location and call to book an appointment. The way it operates is on a ‘first come first served’ basis – so it’s best to act quickly.

Appointing an executor

When you get your Will written up, you will need to appoint an executor(s).

An executor is the person who deals with your Will once you have passed away. They ensure that the contents of your Will are dealt with as per your instructions. You can name whoever you want as executor in your Will, but it’s usually a close family member or trusted friend.

Many people wrongly assume that the solicitor they use to create their Will has to be appointed as an executor of their Will. This is not true, and there are drawbacks to having a solicitor as your executor. Solicitor fees for handling the estate of a deceased person (probate) can be extortionate. They often charge a (high) base fee, plus a percentage of the estate’s value.

You do not need to use a solicitor when going through the probate process – unless the matter is contentious (for example, if someone is disputing the validity of the Will).

Your executors can do the probate process themselves, or they can enlist the help of a probate practitioner.