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Protect your family with a will to suit your needs
Protect your family with a will to suit your needs
Why do you need a will?
In the UK, if you die without leaving a valid will, this is known as dying intestate. This effectively takes away your control of who inherits your estate, leaving it to the government’s guidelines to distribute any finances, property or other assets you have.
In the majority of cases, what you’d like to happen with your assets doesn’t match the reality of how they’re distributed, which could potentially cause a lot of stress, upset and confusion for any loved ones left behind.
60% of UK Adults don’t have a will
£15bn of inheritance has been left unclaimed
72% of those aged 35-54 haven’t made a will
19% of people admit they don’t like discussing death
By leaving a valid will, you can:
- Make things easier for your family to organise your estate
- Help reduce the amount of inheritance tax paid on the estates of your loved ones
- Nominate guardians for any children or pets you leave behind
- Ensure your loved ones are provided for by safeguarding your assets
Why create an online will instead of using a DIY will kit?
There is a range of will templates and DIY kits available out there which may seem like a convenient and quick way to complete your will, but there are many pitfalls to navigate before you can be sure they’re right for your needs.
Any standardised template or DIY will kit bought off the shelf is a generic document which will not take your personal circumstances into consideration. While they might be useful in the simplest of cases, they’re not going to cover the range of needs that an online will could.
Wills can be complex legal documents and should be tailored to your needs, to avoid any confusion and ambiguities about your wishes after you’re gone.
See the table below to learn more about the use cases for both online and DIY will templates.
Think you might need a bespoke will?
If your needs are more complex, you might require a bespoke will. Take our test to find out if a bespoke will is best for you.
DIY Will Kit
Vital Online Will
|Price||Approx. £13.00||From £95.00|
|Costs less than a solicitor|
|Customised to your personal circumstances|
|Pre-completion checks that the will suits your needs|
|Comes with a tailored help guide to explain your will in clear terms|
|Your will is thoroughly checked by a specialist, typically in 1 working day|
|Choice to create a mirror will with a partner (additional fee applies)|
How does our online will service work?
Fill in the simple online form to create your will.
Our dedicated wills experts will check and approve your will.
Once approved, you’re free to download your document(s).
Sign your will alongside any witnesses. It’s now ready to use!
Choose to have your will bound in a secure and professional manner, to protect it from damage, and ensure it cannot easily be tampered with.
Create a duplicate will to express your wishes together
Mirror wills, sometimes known as bloodline wills, are two separate documents drawn up by partners who have reciprocal wishes. However, as the wills being created are essentially a draft of the same document, they can be created at a discounted rate.
Mirror wills are often used to express common intentions, like partners inheriting each other’s estates when they die. However, unlike the now archaic joint wills, mirror wills are not legally tied, so each will can be changed independently should your wishes diverge in the future.
Without either partner having a will in place, you lose control over what happens to your estate upon your death. Creating a mirror will allows both you and your partner to protect each other, as well as any children you might have, without being bound to the same will.
Susan and Mike have divorced but have 2 children together. When they separate, the children stay with Mike and Susan moves in with her new partner, Paul. Susan and Paul later marry, but unfortunately Susan becomes ill unexpectedly and passes away. As Susan didn’t leave a will, all of her estate is left to her new legal partner, Paul. Her ex-husband and children receive none of her assets which could have helped raise the children and been invested for their future.
How would an online will help Susan?
If Susan would have made a simple will, she could have expressed her wishes for a portion of her estate to be left to either her children or, if she preferred, her ex-partner for safekeeping and to help Mike afford the expenses of raising the children. Even though Susan has 2 children, the rules of intestacy in the UK always leaves the first £250,000 of any estate to the surviving legal spouse. Anything above this amount is shared equally between the spouse and any children, but as Susan’s estate was valued at less that this, the children would receive nothing unless specifically outlined in a valid will.
Sam and Julia get married and move in together, along with Julia’s child from a previous relationship, Adam. They later go on to have two more children together. A few years pass and Sam dies after suffering a serious illness. He hasn’t left a will, so the rules of intestacy control to distribution of his assets, which are worth £580,000 in total. His wife, Julia, gets the first £250,000 from Sam’s estate as his spouse, whilst she also gets a 50% share of all of the assets over this amount. Therefore, Julia’s final amount received is £415,000 and Sam’s two children from their marriage receive £82,500 each. However, as Sam never formally adopted Adam, he receives nothing. This is a cause of contention within the family.
How would an online will help Sam?
If Sam had made a will, he could have bequeathed money to Adam which could have been an equal share to that of his and Julia’s biological children. This could have avoided any in-family disputes and ensured that Adam felt valued and adequately provided for, in the same way that his half-siblings were. If this had been the case, each of the 3 children together could have received £55,000 if Sam had chosen to mirror the formal rules of intestacy, or he could have divided all of his estate however he wished between his wife, children and other loved ones he wished to include.
Anna and Jenny are common-law partners. They have lived together for 6 years, but have not entered into a civil partnership or been married. The flat their share belongs to Anna, however when Anna dies, Jenny is unable to make a claim on the property or any of Anna’s estate as they are not legal spouses. They both assumed that because they lived as common-law partners, that they would automatically have rights to each other’s assets should the worst happen. However, this was not the case and all of Anna’s estate including her flat is passed directly to her parents through the rules of intestacy, as Anna and Jenny had no children. Anna had a difficult relationship with her parents and therefore they are not supportive of helping Jenny financially, leaving her in a difficult situation.
How would an online will help Anna?
By making a will, Anna could have ensured that Jenny would have been provided for should something happen to her. It is a common misconception that living together entitles each partner to the other’s assets. Expressing your wishes in a valid will can easily overcome these issues and in this case, Jenny would have been able to remain in the flat and take over the ownership, as well as benefit from any capital that Anna had left behind.
Why choose an online will with Vital Documents?
Using our simple online will service not only gives you ultimate convenience, but it gives you peace of mind that you’ve got the right will for you, and that it’s legally sound. Most online services only offer a single service; a “one-size-fits-all” simple will. As specialists, we’re aware that a simple will is great for most, but not all people.
That’s why we take care in helping you determine whether you should create an online will, or whether you’d be better speaking to one of our specialists for further advice about a bespoke service before starting your estate planning. Whichever option you choose, you can be sure that you’ve got it right, first time, and avoid any costly mistakes.
Understanding a will’s legal language can be confusing! That’s why all our wills are accompanied by a simple, jargon-busting guide, which explains your will one section at a time.
Choose our online will service if…
You have simple wishes for how you’d like your assets distributed.
You have an estate which will fall below the threshold for inheritance tax.
You don’t own a business or any shares in a business.
You don’t own any property or assets overseas.
You’re confident that your will won’t be contested by family or other beneficiaries.
You don’t want to leave any of your assets in a Trust (see more about Trusts here).
Fill in the form to get in touch with our expert team. We’ll get back to you as soon as we can.
How will this questionnaire help me?
Wills can be complex legal documents and there are more than one type available. We offer a range of will services, because we know it’s important to ensure you get the service that’s right for you, at the best possible price.
By answering a few important questions, you can be confident that you’re not missing anything major which could cause complications in the future, and mean that your will is not fit for purpose.
Click the button below to start the questionnaire.
Things of value you have in your possession, which are able to be passed on to another person.
A person who receives money or other benefits from a will or trust.
Challenging the legal validity of a will.
The sum of a person’s assets – legal rights, interests and entitlements to property of any kind – less all liabilities at that time.
Someone who is responsible for executing, or carrying out the instructions of a will.
Passing on private property, rights, and other assets upon the death of an individual.
A tax on the estate (the property, money and possessions) of someone who’s died.
Government standard rules which apply when someone dies without leaving a valid will, which dictate who is able to inherit that person’s assets.