Making a Will From Home or Work Without a Solicitor

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We are now living in a digital world, where getting a solicitor may seem like an obsolete way of getting your financial and legal affairs in order, and arranging everything online with legal professionals seems to be the cheapest and most efficient way of managing them.

At Unite Wills, we aim to make the act of writing a will to protect your assets as easy as possible, which is why we provide an online service for people to write their will from home on their own, without the costly legal expenses and time-consuming appointments that often come with having a solicitor.

In this guide, we explain why you need a will, the things you’ll need to think about before writing it, the cost and how to set up and write a will from home with Unite Wills.

Why should I make a will?

The main reason why people choose to get a legally-binding will is to protect their estate (consisting of assets such as money, property, possessions, etc.) in the event of their death, and to make sure that everything they own is shared out exactly how they want it to be - whether that’s between family members and loved ones, or charities.

If you’re looking to protect your family’s future financially or you want to leave a valued possession to a loved one, a will is one of the best ways to make sure this happens. In a will, your wishes will be set out clearly so that your chosen executor can manage the distribution of your estate as per your personal requests when you pass away.

If you die without a legally-valid will in place (known as dying intestate), your estate will be shared out according to the UK intestacy rules, which will not take any of your personal wishes into consideration.

Read more: Dying Without a Will

Can I write my own will without a solicitor?

Traditionally, people contact a solicitor if they want to set up a legal will in the UK, as they feel this is the safest and easiest way to do so.

However, there are more modern, efficient and less expensive ways of doing this. It is completely possible to write your will at home without needing to communicate or meet up with a costly solicitor by using an online will-writing service like that offered by us at Unite Wills. 

We highly advise that you do not use a DIY will kit to do your own will, as you do not get any legal support alongside this self-service. With Unite Wills, you can make your will online as well as receive expert help from a professional advisor who will review your will to ensure it’s still legally valid. With a DIY will kit, you do not get this service, and any mistakes you make are likely to result in making the will invalid in the event of your death.

Writing your will at home - What’s the process?

At Unite Wills, writing your own will from the comfort of your home can be done with very little hassle.

Firstly, you’ll need to create your own free account to register with Unite Wills (you do not need to give any payment details).

After signing up, you can begin your will application by providing your basic information as well as answering a range of questions regarding your estate, marriage history, financial assets and who you want them to be distributed amongst.

The information you provide will identify what type of will you need:

  • A simple will for a single person.
  • A mirror will for a married couple (this usually works out cheaper than getting 2 individual wills).

Once you have completed the whole application process, our expert team of advisors at Unite Wills will check it over to address any potential complications that could lead to legal or family disputes later down the line. If our advisors spot any possible errors in your will, you will be informed about this straight away and you will be able to rectify it.

Learn more: Common Causes of Will Disputes and Legal Problems

How to make a will at home: Things to consider before writing

Before you write your will, you will need to have a good idea as to what you want it to include and you’ll need to decide who’s going to have what.

Here are some of the things you will be asked to provide information about during your online will application at home:

  • Your marital status and history
  • Your family, dependents and pets
  • Guardians for your children
  • Your assets and value of your estate (assets can be anything from property to business and valuable objects to life insurance payouts)
  • Who you are splitting your estate between and how much they are each getting (this can be a person or charity and you are allowed to include more than one of each)
  • Any gifts you want to include
  • Putting assets into trusts
  • Personal funeral plans
  • How inheritance tax will impact your estate and the amount your loved ones will receive

You will need to provide more information than the list above, but if you find that you’re unable to complete the will application because you don’t have enough time or because you need to think more carefully about your decisions, you can easily save your application and log back in later to pick up where you left off, so there’s no pressure to get it all done in one go.

If you have a family, dependents and any other loved ones you wish to include in your will, one of the first things we also recommend doing before writing your will is to speak to them about it, to avoid any future family disputes or arguments. 

Read more about this in our guide: Talking to Your Family About Your Will.

Is my will still legal if I write a homemade will without a solicitor?

Writing a will from home may seem too easy, so you may be wondering, how do I make sure my will is legally valid if there’s no lawyer present?

If you create your online will at home with Unite Wills, our professional team of advisors will check your will application to ensure that your will is legally-binding. A legally-valid will means that there are no complications or any confusion within the document that could void the document in the event of your death.

With our online will-writing service, you get additional legal support at no extra cost, in addition to making your own will from the comfort of your own home, so you can rest easy knowing that you can do it at your own pace and there won’t be any complications when you pass away, so your estate will be distributed exactly as you wish.

Also, you won’t have to fork out extortionate costs to make a will without a lawyer.

Two-witness rule

As well as having a professional expert to review your will, there are a few things you need to do yourself to ensure that your will is valid in the eyes of the law.

Once our team has reviewed your will and sent it to you via post, you will need to:

  • Sign the will with two witnesses present to observe you
  • Then get each witness to sign the will 

Please ensure you are following social distancing rules during the Coronavirus pandemic until informed to do otherwise by the Government.

It is also important to remember that witnesses must not be named beneficiaries in your will OR the executor of your will - they must be completely independent parties.

Coronavirus update: Getting your will signed

Despite a slight ease of lockdown and social distancing rules (correct at the time of writing: 02/6/2020), people in the UK are still not permitted to interact with others at a distance of less than 2 metres, so getting your will signed to ensure it is legally valid may seem more difficult than it did before the outbreak.

Having said this, it is still completely possible to get your will signed by two witnesses while still adhering to current UK laws and changes.

People generally choose neighbours, friends or work colleagues to witness the signing of their will, so you could politely ask your next-door neighbours to sign it in their garden at a 2 metre distance, or  you could ask 2 friends to meet up in an area where you can follow social distancing measures and still get the will signed without coming into close contact with each other, for example.

The cost of making a will at home in 2021 - Free for Unite members

With Unite Wills, the cost of making a basic will is free to members of Unite the Union provided you are applying for a basic will. Members who want to make a joint will as a married couple can also benefit from our Mirror Wills service for just £41.99.

The price listed above include the cost of additional legal support, administration fees  and postage of your will.

Compare prices - How much does it cost to make a will with other wills and probate service providers?

Below are a few recognised companies that provide a very similar service for people to make their basic will at home, but at a much higher cost: 

  • Farewills: £90
  • Which? Wills - £119
  • Average UK cost - £217

Make your own will from the comfort of your own home today

If sudden changes in your life have made you think about the inevitable, making a will is one of the best ways to put your mind at rest.

Make a will right now by tapping the button below, and you can do so at home without any rush to get it done. Simply submit your information when you’ve finished, and wait for us to get in touch!

We also offer additional services, such as will storage, setting up a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA), choosing an executor, applying for probate and much more; all of which you can find more advice and information about in our helpful articles online.