Free Wills?

Free Wills aren’t usually free. You may find there are hidden fees, such as:

1. The business giving you the free will are the executors, charging anywhere between 2-7% of your estate when you pass away.

2. Ongoing annual fees.

3. Additional fees for everything not covered in a basic will.

4. “Voluntary” gifts to charities in your will you may not have previously made.


Professional executors (overall) are no doubt going to be in a better position to deal with a loved one’s estate (professionally and emotionally), just ensure you are confident in who you are appointing. Look at the costs involved (anything below 2% is reasonable), you also must trust those executors have the knowledge not only to carry out your wishes but give you advice at that time which could protect your inheritance for future generations.

Inheritance Tax (IHT)

If you are using trusts as part of your estate plan, make sure they do not affect your inheritance tax position. IHT is part of the estate planning process, if your adviser does not talk to you about this, speak to someone who can.

Do not listen to your local pub “tax” adviser, transferring your home into your children’s names to avoid IHT & Care fees, and confusing adaptations of the 7-year rule often come up, please ignore, and speak to a professional.

Pressure Selling

It is important to get your affairs in order, however it is more important that you fully understand what it is you are doing, and you are happy to proceed. Do not be pressured into doing something on the day if you are not comfortable. If you would feel happier with family members present, invite them along to the meeting too.


You pay for what you get, good estate planning advice should not be overlooked by the price. The less you pay, the less likely you are to receive good advice, and the more likely it is an instruction taking process. Estate planning is far more than just a will, and if you want to ensure your families lives aren’t made any more difficult when that time comes, it is important you speak to experienced advisers.

Who to pick?

There are several roles and responsibilities in the estate planning process, some of which are, executors, trustees, guardians, beneficiaries & attorneys. It is important that you select the right people for these roles, you should think about their:
1. Capability
2. Age & health
3. Location
4. Family set up
5. Trustworthiness

Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII)

However unlikely it is for a claim to be made; it is still vital that whoever you use for your estate planning needs are insured. That way if anything were to go wrong in the future, a change in law perhaps, they have the financial means to put it right. There are some companies that do not carry PII and their reasons are to reduce costs, that may be true, but is it really worth the risk?


You may have seen DIY Wills in your local shop or online, with that in mind, it is quite clear that writing a Will can be done by anyone (without the need of regulation) – whether the Will is fit for purpose or even valid is another question entirely!

Many Estate Planning companies chose to be regulated, this will often mean, taking exams, completing continuous professional development every year, as well as having the relevant insurances in place – giving their clients peace of mind.

Companies that are regulated by the Institute of Professional Will Writers (IPW), The Society of Will Writers (SOWW), and STEP

Online Wills

Online wills clearly have a market and are better than they were years ago, thanks to knowledge & technology. If you decide to go down this route, it is unlikely you will receive advice, costs are minimised as it is you doing most of the work, sometimes even printing and binding yourself! Check to see if the company are regulated and insured.


You may have read the “trust & asset protection” section under our services and that gives you a little background. Trusts are a great tool if they are set up correctly, but can be restrictive if they are not set up the right way. Trusts should be bespoke to your circumstances, and these circumstances will differ from client to client. It is very easy to sell a “one size fits all” type of trust, but in reality, this could cause problems further down the line if it is too restrictive. Trusts can include clauses that ensure:

  • Someone can reside in your house, but it will pass down to your beneficiaries when they either, pass away, meet a new partner or even a set amount of time.
  • Money is not released in a lump sum because you beneficiary is not very good with money, they are drink or drug dependant, or their benefits may be affected.
  • Your partner is treated as the main beneficiary and they can have use of that money, to move house etc, but this will remain protected against third parties for your family.

A good adviser will go into detail about your family set up and make sure any trusts used are bespoke to you.

Ready to Get Started?

Our legal help is professional, affordable and our Estate Planners will look at your specific needs individually. We will ensure your service is tailored to you – every step of the way.

If you would like to speak to one of our Estate Planners to arrange your free, no obligation consultation, please get in touch.

Send us an email

Give us a call

Telephone – 01920 481299

Redwood Wills & Estate Planning, North Cottage,
Stanstead Road, Ware, SG12 8PS, England.