By writing a will, you can make sure your estate goes to the people you want it to. It also means the people you care for can go through less complicated financial processes to access your estate.
You can also use a will to appoint people called executors to sort out your estate. If appropriate, you can use your will to appoint guardians to take care of your children. And you can use a will to arrange your tax affairs.
In Scotland, if you leave behind a husband, wife, civil partner or children, they automatically have a right to claim part of your estate. This applies whether or not you have written a will. These are called legal rights.
You can write your own will. But unless your affairs are very straightforward, it’s safer to use a solicitor. This could reduce the risk of problems or disputes in the future.
When you’re looking for a solicitor, you should shop around for the best deal. To find a solicitor, contact the Law Society of England and Wales, the Law Society of Scotland or the Law Society of Northern Ireland.
You can’t get financial help through the legal aid system to help pay for the cost of writing a will with a solicitor. If you’re a member of a union, you may be able to get a free or reduced-cost will written through their legal services.
Some charities offer a free will-writing service. They hope you will use your will to leave them a gift (a legacy), but you don’t have to. If you use a will-writing service, it’s always a good idea to speak to an independent solicitor.
Macmillan has a discounted will-writing service. We have chosen a range of will-writing organisations you can trust and that can offer you a reduced price. You don’t have to leave a gift to Macmillan to get a discount. Visit macmillan.org.uk/willwriting to find out more.
There are several other ways we can support you to make or update your will, including helping you leave us a gift if you want to. We have legacy advisers in your area who can call or visit you for a confidential chat. To find out more, call us on 0800 107 4448, visit macmillan.org.uk/legacies or email firstname.lastname@example.org
There are different ways of finding charity will-writing services: