Empowering the Freelance Economy

Why Every Freelancer Needs a Will (and How to Get One Without Spending a Penny)

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A staggering 31 million adults in Britain – that’s over 60% – don’t have a will. This is often due to a lack of information or the mistaken belief that legal fees make wills too expensive. We’ll explore how you can get your will written for free through charity-linked services.

Being self-employed means you have more control over your work life, but you also bear the responsibility for securing your future and the well-being of your loved ones. One crucial aspect that’s often overlooked is creating a will. This article explores why a will is vital for self-employed individuals in the UK and outlines ways to get one without any cost.

The Importance of a Will for the Self-Employed

  1. Protecting Your Business: As a self-employed person, your business is likely your most valuable asset alongside your home. Without a will, the fate of your business is left to intestacy laws, which might not align with your wishes. A will allows you to specify who inherits your business, ensuring its continuity or orderly dissolution.
  2. Providing for Your Family: If you have a family, a will lets you dictate how your assets are distributed among your loved ones. This prevents potential disputes and ensures your family’s financial security after your passing.
  3. Minimising Inheritance Tax: Careful estate planning through a will can help minimise the amount of inheritance tax your beneficiaries have to pay, maximising the value of your estate passed down to them.
  4. Appointing Guardians for Minor Children: For self-employed parents, a will is crucial for naming guardians for minor children, ensuring their care and upbringing are in trusted hands.

Free Options for Getting a Will in the UK

  1. Free Will Writing Services: Several charities and organisations offer free will writing services. Check with charities and community groups to see what is available. You can call up a charity that offers gree will services and attend a meeting with their designated legal firm to draft up your wil in advance over the phone or in-person. FreeWills, for example, partners with over 2,000 charities, from large international organisations to local community groups. Founder Carl Christensen understands that smaller charities often struggle to compete for legacy donations, despite the vital work they do: “Smaller charities deserve their share of legacy donations,” says Carl. “FreeWills levels the playing field by making it easy for people to include these deserving causes in their wills.” You do not necessarily have to make a donation in your will to the charity or even express it in your Will. You can add that detail later along with a specific amount you would like to leave as your legacy.
  2. DIY Will Kits: Online DIY will kits are available for free or at a low cost. However, exercise caution and seek legal advice if your situation is complex.
  3. Free Will Month: Some solicitors participate in Free Wills Month, offering their services for free during specific periods. Look for participating solicitors in your area.
  4. Solicitor-led Initiatives: Certain law firms offer free will writing services for specific individuals, such as those making a donation to charity in their will.

Key Considerations

  • Complexity: If your estate is complex, it’s advisable to consult a solicitor for professional guidance to ensure your will is legally sound and reflects your wishes accurately.
  • Regular Review: Your will should be reviewed and updated regularly, especially after major life events like marriage, divorce, or the birth of a child. Sometimes you can express certain situations that could occur in the future and your wishes should they occur (i.e. birth of another child, share of assets between siblings, guardianship, etc.)

Next steps

Don’t leave the fate of your business and family to chance. A will is a crucial document that empowers you to protect your loved ones and your hard-earned assets. By exploring the free options available and seeking professional advice when needed through these services, you can secure your legacy and provide peace of mind for yourself and your family.

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