What are you looking for?

How our will writing service works

Creating a will offers you the assurance that your family including your children and your assets, encompassing property, savings and investments, will be safeguarded and managed according to your wishes in the event of your passing.

Ensure peace of mind for you and your loved ones with our secure Wills by Hugh James service, which provides up to three fixed-fee will writing options via our digital platform.  This service can be used by both individuals for single wills and couples who are looking to write wills that mirror each other’s.

At the start of the will writing process you will answer some short questions about your circumstances, and what you want to achieve.  This process will take approximately ten minutes.  Based on your answers to these initial questions, you will then be offered up to three of the service options outlined below.

Please note that if one or more of these options are not offered to you then this is because we consider that they are not suitable for your circumstances.  It is very important to us that we only provide you with the options that are appropriate for you to achieve your aims.

Once you have chosen a service, you will be invited to create an account and proceed.  Once you have finished providing instructions you will be invited to verify your identification and make payment, so you should please have a form of identification (such as a passport or driving licence) and a payment method to hand at this stage.  You do not need to provide your instructions in one sitting, and will be able to save your progress and return at a later date, if this suits you better.

If, in addition to wills, you require more complex advice around tax and lifetime estate planning, then consider our Estate Planning by Hugh James service – more details here.

Your options

Do it Yourself

Use our online will writing service to write your own will.

From £100.00 to £125.00 + VAT

  • Create an account on our wills portal.
  • Provide your instructions via our will writing software.
  • Receive a digital version of your will, together with instructions on how to print, assemble and make it a legally binding document.

Who is this for?

Suitable for simple wills, for those without second marriages or children from previous relationships. Ideal for those appointing a guardian for children.

Questionnaire 

Complete our comprehensive will writing questionnaire online.

From £200.00 to £290.00 + VAT

  • Create an account on our wills portal.
  • Complete a comprehensive questionnaire which will take you through everything you need to consider.
  • Our will writing team will review your responses and draft your will accordingly, contacting you if there is anything we need to discuss.
  • Receive a final version together with instructions on how to print, assemble and make it a legally binding document.

Who is this for?

Recommended for those who would like our legal team to write their will, and/or wish to include more specialised provisions.

Consultation

Arrange an appointment with our will writing team to discuss your will and we will write it for you.

From £300.00 to £810.00 + VAT

  • Create an account on our wills portal.
  • Complete our comprehensive questionnaire, to the extent that you wish to, but with no obligation to do so.
  • Book an appointment with a will writing lawyer.
  • Discuss your instructions and potential options for your will with an experienced lawyer.
  • Our team will draft your will based on the consultation and send it to you for your approval. A final version will then be supplied along with instructions for making it legally binding.

Provide your will instructions today

Please click below to start the process, by firstly answering our short suitability questions, to see which will writing options are open to you.

BEGIN WILL WRITING PROCESS

The importance of making a will

Planning for your future can be daunting. We understand that time is precious and committing time to think about wills and wealth planning can be hard, and easy to put off.

Choosing the right people to help you with this, and having confidence in their advice, is vital.

Our choice of services allow you to choose the best option for you to provide your instructions in your own time, via our wills writing platform.

Digital first. Accessible to all.

We are committed to sustainability, so our will writing services are all online. If you need to use our services via printed methods, we can accommodate this, but our pricing will differ to the prices set up above.

click here for more information

Why choose the Hugh James?

Simple, yet secure – Our will writing service is straightforward  and secure, accommodating completion in one go or allowing you to return to it later.

Award-winning team:

  • Band 1 ranked for Private Wealth Law in Chambers & Partners High Net Worth Guide (Wales).
  • Tier 1 ranked for Private Wealth Law in The Legal 500 (Wales).
  • Awarded Solicitor of the Year (National) in the British Wills and Probate Awards (2022 and 2023).
  • Highly Commended in the ‘Estate Planning’ category at The WealthBriefing European Awards 2024.
  • Four of our partners have been ranked “recommended” or “top recommended” in the prestigious Spears Tax and Trust Indices.
  • Members of ACTAPS (Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists)
  • Members of STEP (Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners)

“Hugh James have exceptional depth and breadth within their private client team. They are highly knowledgeable and experienced in a wide range of private client matters.”

Private Wealth Law client
Chambers and Partners High Net Worth Guide 2024



FAQs

Making a will is important for a number of reasons, including the following,

  • Choosing who will administer your estate after your death and pass your assets on to your beneficiaries – this can be family members, friends or professionals, or a combination, known as your Executors
  • Choosing who will act as trustee for any ongoing trust created in your will.
  • Appointing guardians for any minor children.
  • confirming who inherits your assets,  and on what terms.
  • Carving out specific assets including business assets, farming assets and specific items or collections (jewellery, cars, art).
  • Expressing a preference for your funeral wishes.
  • Maximising tax efficiency.
  • Where you have assets located outside the UK (holiday home and foreign bank accounts for example).
  • Having peace of mind that  your wishes and objectives are recorded in a legally binding way.

In  absence of a valid will, your estate is subject to the intestacy rules. As a result, there is no guarantee that your wishes will be met and could result in unintended beneficiaries receiving your assets. Particular care should be taken where you are a co-habiting couple, own assets jointly with another person (not your spouse or civil partner) and where assets are located outside the UK.

Whichever way you decide to write your will, we will work to the timeframes below:

  • Draft wills will be sent within 10 working days of receipt of final instructions and payment.
  • Amended draft wills will be sent within five working days of a request for amendment.
  • Final wills will be sent within five working days of approval of a draft.
  • Where matters are more urgent, please tell us immediately so we can adjust these timescales accordingly depending on your circumstances.
  • Copy wills will be sent within two working days of receipt of the executed final will.

Hugh James is committed to sustainability, so these services are all provided online. If you need to access our services via printed materials and post, contact us for more information. Please note our costs will change to reflect this method.

A codicil is a supplemental document to a will which makes minor alterations but leaves the rest of the will intact.

There is no limit on how many codicils can be added to a will, however this is  only suitable for very straightforward amendments.. If a complicated change is involved, we normally advise that it is better to make a new will. Whilst this may seem a cost effective way to make a change, we would often suggest the will is republished including the new changes to avoid any issues in the future (e.g. codicil is lost or misplaced).

Many people believe that if they have been living with a partner for a number of years they have become “common law spouses” and as a result have the same rights as married couples or those in a civil partnership.

Contrary to this commonly held belief, co-habiting couples do not have equal inheritance rights to married couples or civil partners (see our guide to the intestacy provisions). In fact, a co-habiting partner has no automatic entitlement from their partner’s estate at all. As a result, it is crucial to ensure arrangements are put in place to protect the surviving co-habittee and especially where minor children are involved.

Unless your will is made specifically in contemplation of a marriage to a particular person, it will be automatically revoked upon  marriage. This will have the effect of treating you as  intestate and your estate distributed under the intestacy rules.

Whilst divorce does not revoke your will, it does have an important effect. Essentially your former spouse or civil partner is treated as dying before you (on the date your marriage or civil partnership was dissolved). Often financial arrangements on divorce are complex, so updating your will can be done on either a short term basis (stop gap), or for the longer term if your financial settlement and arrangements have been finalised.

What if I hold assets outside of the UK?

It is very important to consider your assets including the nature and location of the asset, whether it is owned personally or in a corporate vehicle or a trust. Seeking advice as to the succession and administration of these types of assets is key. It is also sensible to co-ordinate this effort when reviewing your will to ensure arrangements made in another jurisdiction do not revoke or conflict with your will in the UK. Sometimes you may need multiple wills, but we can help you with this assessment and liaise with legal professionals in other jurisdictions.

Once you have selected the option that best suits you, and provided your instructions, we will take your payment online, and at the same time verify your identity. Once that is complete, your will instructions will be processed based on the service you have selected.