By Grant Shaw

Many people were concerned to read at the weekend that some of the major banks in the UK who had offered clients ‘free wills’ would later make a charge of up to 2.5% of their total estate plus a £1500 fee if they appointed the bank to be their executor. That means that although there was no charge at the time of making the will, if you left £250,000 your family would be paying the bank £7750 for closing down your affairs.

It’s not very often that things are truly ‘free’, even when they are advertised that way. At Robert Barber we always make sure that we give you either a fixed price or where this is not possible that you know the basis for our charging and an estimate of the time we expect it will take BEFORE you formally instruct us to act for you. We usually charge a set amount per hour’s work or - even if you appoint us as your executors – the highest percentage we will charge is 1.75% of your gross estate (June 2018 prices) in total, plus fees to other people such as the Probate Registry and the tax authorities. Very often we can do the job for a fixed price so that your executors know what to expect. No nasty surprises.

If you are concerned that you might have a will which enables a bank (or any other body) to charge your estate in this way, we’d be pleased to have a chat and look at your paperwork to put your mind at rest. It’s easy to change your will, and many people don’t need a bank – or indeed a solicitor – to be their executor.

See this link to the Daily Mail online for the original article :

20th June, 2018