Contractors cautioned over free will-writing offer

Individuals in their mid-fifties living in England and Wales are taking up solicitors on their offer to waive the standard fee of £150 for writing a will.

The offer, which is also open to couples as long as one partner is over 55, means that such members of the public can have a will written, or updated, free of charge during October.

People who accept the offer are invited to make a donation to the charitable causes backing the scheme – part of Free Wills Month - but such ‘gifts’ are not mandatory.

Asked yesterday about the scheme, which only covers so-called ‘simple’ wills, an independent financial adviser to IT contractors was generally supportive.

Contractor Money said: “It’s great news that charities are publicising the need to have a will, the absence of which upon a person’s death can be extremely troublesome as well as enriching for the taxman.”

The IFA’s founder, Tony Harris, added: “While this initiative will hopefully get more people confronting the often sensitive issue of drawing up a will, we would remind people, and especially contractors whose financial affairs are often complex, that the initiative only covers ‘simple’ wills.”

He cautioned: “These simple wills only cover you if you have a very straightforward legacy and limited assets to pass down. And as these wills don’t normally include any trust arrangements, which can make life very difficult in terms of inheritance tax, we recommend contractors to consult a professional before committing to any will arrangement.”

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