OFT warns over £40m wills cost

Failing to shop around for will preparation and executor services could be costing consumers around £40m a year, the Office of Fair Trading warned. 

It said the cost of getting a will prepared by a solicitor or professional will writer was modest, with half of consumers paying less then £100.

But hiring a professional executor to administer an estate can be high and costs vary considerably.  The OFT found that, for an average estate, consumers can pay between £3,000 and £9,000.

And although there is no legal requirement to have a profession executor OFT researches found 43% of consumers hire the will writer to also act as the executor.  Almost a quarter of those customers had not been told of the likely charges.

The OFT is now working with the Solicitors Regulation Authority and the Institute of Professional Will Writers to highlight consumers' rights to shop around or appoint a lay executor.