It might just pay for you to check your Will – especially if it was written some time ago.
There are lots of reasons to review your Will on a regular basis – a new partner in your life, the birth of children and grand-children or the death of one or more beneficiaries.
And it might also be worth looking at the small print and checking there is nothing there that could result in an unexpected shock for your loved ones after your death.
Around the turn of the Millennium, many banks offered customers a Will writing service for as little as £75, or even free.
In return, the banks suggested they should be appointed as executors of the Will – entitling them to up to 2.5 per cent from an estate in legal fees, recent Press reports have revealed.
That does not sound like a lot – but financial circumstances have changed in the last 20 years – especially when it comes to property prices. They have soared by an average of 23 per cent over just the past decade.
This means estates of people on even modest incomes can attract significant fees under these circumstances.
Take the example of an estate worth £500,000 – including the proceeds from the sale of a property – which in all likelihood make up the bulk of the money.
At 2.5 per cent, £12,500 would have to be paid out in legal fees from the estate BEFORE the rest of the money was split between the beneficiaries.
This is a significant sum – especially when you consider the typical cost of appointing a suitable professional to do the job would be around £2,200! Plus, if an estate is straightforward to sort out, it is possible for a family member to take on the role of administering a Will, which is free!
Industry experts agree that as well as reviewing your Will after any significant life event, it’s also worth doing every five years.
So, if you have a Will which was drawn up a number of years ago, why not get it checked out by experts to see if it needs updating, or if there are any unexpected surprises in terms of fees or charges included somewhere in the small print.