I have had a number of wills over the years and last made one in 2008 when we moved back from the USA. Now we just have one child living at home and one of our children lives abroad so it seemed to time to update things, especially the guardianship for the one child under 18. Now that MasterShoestring's siblings are both old enough to look after him it seemed sensible to name one of them as a guardian rather than another relative or friend.
The last will I made cost over £900 and previous to that it was over £300. Since I only wanted to change the guardianship and otherwise leave things to MrShoestring it seemed silly to pay the £170 I was quoted by a local solicitor. A few years ago we downloaded a form for free to do MrShoestring's will so firstly I looked for that possibility. However, although I could find a few free forms they were mostly linked to pay services which you could cancel later on. I wasn't happy about paying anything to these services as I might forget to cancel. Instead, I bought a pair of forms, a guide to writing a straight forward will and a special envelope to keep the completed form in all for £5.49. This means that if your requests are straightforward you could get a pair of wills for £5.49 !
I wrote the entirely straightforward will using the guide and got it witnessed at my course, this was the quickest way to find a couple of unrelated witnesses. This was a cheap solution to our need to update the guardianship arrangements for MasterShoestring, however, I cannot emphasis enough that if your situation is less than straight forward or you want to do more than leaving everything to your spouse then you should get legal advice on your will.
There is often free will writing month in this country, usually November, when you can have a will made by a solicitor in exchange for a donation to charity. Several charities will also help you write a will for free if you intend to leave them a legacy. So do look into these options if you need some more legal input.
All this thinking about wills got me thinking about natural funerals as well ! So I've left some instructions alongside the will, as I don't expect the cost of burial will be any cheaper when I go. Now, I know that some people will think that this is rather a morbid subject for the blog, but I know from dealing with my mother's passing and the funeral arrangements that one of the kindness things you can do for those left behind is to make your wishes clear. Not having to make lots of choices whilst dealing with grief is a great relief !