Did you have your will drawn up by your bank in the 1990s or early 2000s? If so, your beneficiaries could be in for a shock, according to an investigation by the Daily Mail.
Will from your bank
Whilst the wills themselves were cheap or free, there’s a sting in the tail. The terms and conditions make the banks the executors of these wills, with high fees attached.
The Daily Mail says 1.5 million customers signed up for these wills, so their families could be in for a shock. With fees of up to 2.5 percent, inheritors would pay £12,500 on an estate worth £500,000 – many times the usual cost.
The final cost might actually be even higher. Back in 2009, a story in The Independent reported that unspecified charges could amount to 4.5% or £22,500 on a £500,000 estate.
Wills from banks may have seemed good value at the time. They often came free with current accounts or insurance.
Perhaps those taking up the offer didn’t realise that you can appoint an executor – often a member of your family – for free.
Your circumstances have probably changed
If you had a will drawn up in the 1990s or 2000s, it’s highly likely that your circumstances have changed in the years since.
After all, a lot can happen in 20 years! You may have gained children or grandchildren, or sadly lost family members along the way. Or your financial circumstances may have drastically changed.
That’s why it’s a good idea to re-think your will. You may wish to include gifts for new members of the family or new friends or change existing arrangements.
At the very least, get your existing will out and scour the small print to see if it mentions anything about executors. You wouldn’t want your loved ones to be landed with costs they’re not prepared for. Especially not in the stressful period immediately after you’ve passed away.
Even if you did appoint your own executors, it’s worth making sure they’re still in good health and still in the country – in short, that they remain fit and able to carry out your wishes.
If you did get a bad deal from your bank, don’t worry. Maplebrook Wills offers very competitively priced wills at a fraction of the cost of high street solicitors. And rest assured, we’ll never appoint ourselves as executors!