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Creating a will is a fundamental aspect of estate planning, ensuring your assets are distributed according to your wishes after you pass away. In the UK, the question of whether one can create a will without a lawyer is common, especially among those looking to streamline the process and possibly save on legal fees. This guide aims to demystify the process of creating a will, offering clear, actionable advice that empowers you to take control of your estate planning with confidence.

Understanding the Basics of a Will

Before diving into the specifics, it’s crucial to grasp what a will is and why it’s important. A will is a legal document that outlines how your estate should be distributed upon your death. It can also specify guardians for any minor children and make provisions for pets. Without a will, your assets will be distributed according to the rules of intestacy, which may not align with your wishes.

The Legal Requirements for a Will in the UK

For a will to be legally valid in the UK, it must meet certain criteria:

  • The will maker (testator) must be at least 18 years old.
  • The testator must have the mental capacity to understand the will’s creation and its effects.
  • The will must be in writing and signed by the testator, or by someone else in their presence and at their direction.
  • The signing must be witnessed by two independent witnesses, who must also sign the will in the presence of the testator.
Do I need a lawyer to make my will legally valid?

Can One Create a Will Without a Lawyer?

The short answer is yes. It is entirely possible to create a will without engaging a lawyer, provided the legal requirements mentioned above are met. Many people opt for DIY wills for various reasons, including cost savings and the perceived simplicity of their estate. However, while a DIY will can be a valid legal document, there are risks and considerations to bear in mind.

Pros and Cons of a DIY Will


  • Cost-Effective: Creating a will without a lawyer can save you money in legal fees.
  • Convenience: You can create a will at your own pace, in the comfort of your home.
  • Simplicity: For straightforward estates, a DIY will might suffice.


  • Risk of Errors: Without legal expertise, you might make mistakes that could invalidate your will or cause disputes among beneficiaries.
  • Complexity Overlooked: If your estate involves complex assets, overseas property, or potential inheritance tax issues, a DIY will might not adequately address these complexities.
  • Updates and Revisions: As your life circumstances change, updating a DIY will can be cumbersome and might require legal advice anyway.
Is my estate too complex for a DIY will?
Family: can one

Step-by-Step Guide to Creating a Will Without a Lawyer

  1. Inventory Your Assets: List all your assets, including property, investments, savings, and personal possessions of value.
  2. Decide on Beneficiaries: Clearly identify who you want to inherit your assets. Consider alternate beneficiaries in case your primary choices predecease you.
  3. Choose Executors: Select trustworthy individuals to carry out the instructions in your will. They will be responsible for administering your estate.
  4. Guardians for Minor Children: If applicable, nominate guardians for any children under 18.
  5. Write Your Will: Using a template or will-writing software, draft your will. Ensure it meets the legal requirements outlined earlier.
  6. Sign and Witness Your Will: Have two independent witnesses present when you sign your will. They should also sign, adhering to the legal criteria.
Need help choosing the right executors or guardians for your will? Chat with an expert now!

Leveraging Technology for Legal Guidance: The Role of Contend

While creating a will without a lawyer is feasible, seeking legal guidance can mitigate risks and ensure your will accurately reflects your wishes. This is where Contend steps in. Our AI legal assistant offers personalized legal guidance, helping you navigate the complexities of estate planning with ease. Chat with our AI legal expert, and get clear, reliable answers to your legal questions in minutes. You can search for a will-writing firm belonging to The Institute of Professional Willwriters on their website.

Why Choose Contend for Your Will Creation Needs?

  • Expertise at Your Fingertips: Our platform is built by lawyers and legal experts, offering trusted advice.
  • Customized Legal Guidance: Contend’s AI technology provides legal guidance tailored to your specific situation.
  • Accessible and Convenient: Get legal help in minutes, without the need for face-to-face consultations.
How can I ensure my will meets all legal requirements?


Creating a will is a vital step in ensuring your assets are distributed according to your wishes. While it’s possible to create a will without a lawyer, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons carefully. For those seeking additional guidance, Contend offers a unique solution, combining AI technology with legal expertise to provide personalized, accessible legal support. Whether you choose to go it alone or seek help, taking action to create a will is a crucial step in securing your legacy and protecting your loved ones. You can find out about the suggested minimum donation amount, and details of solicitors who can help on the Will Aid website. If the person who has died, or their solicitor, may have registered their will with a commercial organisation such as Certainty (www.certainty.co.uk) and, after the person’s death, you can pay for a search of the wills registered on the company’s database. To find a district probate registry, search on GOV.UK at https://courttribunalfinder.service.gov.uk/search/postcode.

Ready to Take the Next Step? Chat with Contend’s Legal Expert Today

Embarking on your will creation journey doesn’t have to be daunting. With Contend, you have a trusted partner ready to guide you through every step of the process. Chat now with our AI legal expert and take the first step towards peace of mind in your estate planning.

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This material is for general information only and does not constitute
tax, legal or any other form of advice. You should not rely on any
information contained herein to make (or refrain from making) any
decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your
own particular situation. Contend Inc is not regulated by the
Solicitor’s Regulation Authority.