Evaluating Free Wills Month: Advantages and Disadvantages in the UK

Free Wills Month takes place twice a year in the UK, in both March and October. It is a scheme run by a number of charities and legal firms to encourage people to make a will. During this time, participating solicitors offer to write or update a simple will for free.

Who is Free Wills Month for?

Free Wills Month is generally open to those over the age of 55 to make a free will, with the expectation of a gift being given to a related charity in their will. So what do you do if you’re under 55 but in a situation where you really need to update or make a will?

Advantages of Free Wills Month

  • Cost: The biggest advantage of Free Wills Month is that it is free! This can be a major draw for people who are on a budget or who have hesitated to make a will because of the cost.
  • Convenience: Free Wills Month is also a convenient way to make a will. You can book an appointment with a participating solicitor and have your will written or updated in a single session. This can be especially helpful for people who are busy or who have mobility issues.
  • Peace of mind: Having a will can give you peace of mind knowing that your wishes will be respected after your death. It can also help to avoid any potential disputes among your loved ones over your estate.

Disadvantages of Free Wills Month:

  • Availability: Appointments during Free Wills Month can be limited and book up quickly. It is important to book your appointment as early as possible to avoid disappointment.
  • Complexity: Free Wills Month is typically only available for simple wills. If you have a more complex estate, you may need to pay a solicitor to write your will.
  • Pressure to leave a gift to charity: Some charities may pressure you to leave a gift in your will when you use their Free Wills Month service. It is important to remember that you are not obligated to do so and that you should only leave a gift to charity if you want to.

When do you really need to write a will:

  • If you’ve separated from a partner but don’t intend to divorce for a while or are recently divorced and have children.
  • If you are cohabiting with a long-term partner but aren’t married (especially if you own a home).
  • If you’ve recently significantly increased your assets, perhaps inheriting a property or owning a business.
  • If you’ve recently bought a home.
  • If you’ve recently remarried and have children from a previous relationship.
You could easily be in any of these situations and be under 55, so it’s a shame you can’t take advantage of Free Wills Month. But it’s worth bearing in mind that charities will expect you to either give a donation, or leave a gift in your will. So, in many ways, it can be cheaper to pay for a will now with an expert solicitor and feel confident that you have it in place.

Is Free Wills Month really free?

Free Wills Month is typically free for simple wills. However, some solicitors may charge a fee for more complex wills or for additional services, such as storing your will or providing ongoing estate planning advice. There will also be a fee if you list the solicitor as your executor in your will, as this is an additional service.

Who would be better off paying a solicitor for a will?

You may need to pay a solicitor for a will if you:
  • Have a complex estate (including owning a business/owning property abroad etc)
  • Need help with estate planning
  • Want to leave a gift to a charity that is not participating in Free Wills Month
  • Want to set up related services like a Lasting Power of Attorney (people often mistakenly believe this is included in your will)

Free Wills Month is a great opportunity for people to make a will for free or at a reduced cost. However, it is important to understand the limitations of the scheme and to choose a solicitor who is experienced in writing wills.

If you are under 55, have a more complex estate, want to consider adding a Lasting Power of Attorney, or simply want to leave donations to the charities and causes you care about, you could find a solicitor or will writer through The Law Superstore.

There’s a real range of prices based on the size and complexity of your estate. You don’t need a local solicitor, so if you’re happy to use online services you’ll also get access to better deals.

Yes, Free Wills Month is a brilliant initiative, and we will always say that having a will is better than having no will. But even better is having the right will for you, one that allows you to feel confident that your family are protected in the future, that the legacy you’ve built will be passed on, and that you know who to go to if you ever need to update it.

Compare quotes for will writing today and see how simple and cost effective it is to write your will.