I’ve literally just finished – 22mins ago, to be precise – using Beyond’s (Beyond.life) £90 Online Will Writing Service, which they boldly claim to be “The UK’s #1 Online Will Writing Service”
I’ll be the judge of that, of course.
While the experience still sits fresh and shiny in my melon, I thought I’d share my thoughts, which may or may not encourage you to use their will service if you’re currently on the fence.
I can’t help but feel like a member of the Addam’s family, because Beyond is actually the second online will service I’ve used and reviewed in the space of a few months. That feels particularly morbid and unnecessary for someone that isn’t a practising Buddhist and therefore only plans on passing away once, only.
I very recently used Farewill’s Online Will Writing Service, a direct competitor of Beyond, and for all intents and purposes provides the same service for the same price (£90 for a ‘single will’ and £135 for ‘partner wills’). Farewill’s service was impressive and consequently received my seal of approval (put as little or as much weight on that as you will. Pun intended!).
Shortly after publishing my review of Farewill’s service, the folks from Beyond reached out, and asked me if I was man enough to try their online will service. Their treat.
Spank you very much, don’t mind if I do.
They didn’t directly tell me, but it felt crystal clear that they thought their product is the most superior solution on the market, period. But then again, they didn’t need to, “The UK’s #1 Online Will Writing Service” is their slogan.
While I don’t want to make a habit out of reviewing online will services, or becoming an ‘authority’ on such an uninspiring and dark service, I have told myself that “two” is the magic number for the following reasons:
- Objectively speaking, Farewill & Beyond appear to be the best online will writing services around, so it makes sense to try and review both. Also, if I’ve only tried one, how can define what’s good? Sidenote, isn’t the same often said about sex?
Yes, this is a landlord/property blog, so by definition, the majority of my readers and subscribers will own valuable assets, and they’ll eventually need to decide how and where their wealth gets chopped up and distributed after their demise, if they haven’t done so already.
Essentially, these online will services is very likely to be a useful and relevant service for my base (and everyone else, really), especially since, according to Which?, “research has found that 54% of UK adults don’t have a will, and 5.4 million people have no idea how to make one.”
Not sure about the legitimacy of Online Will Writing Services?
I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again…
If specialism of the ‘concept’ [creating a will online] is the driving factor for researching Beyond’s service, then rest assured – using an online will writing service is a perfectly legitimate way of creating a legally binding will. They’re dead handy, too.
Guilty! I was sceptical at first, too.
The common misconception is that we need to use an expensive solicitor that charges hundreds of pounds by the hour to craft a legitimate will. So when we’re offered an online alternative that’s significantly cheaper and quicker, it can be rather jarring.
Simply, it’s our ignorance creating doubt. The components required to create a valid will are actually pretty straightforward, and anyone can do it as long as:
- They’re Aged 18+. Only adults can make a valid will.
- They make the will voluntarily (not forced).
- They are ‘of sound mind’ when it’s made.
- The will is written (or printed off).
- The will is signed in front of two witnesses. These witnesses need to be 18 or over, and can’t be people who will benefit from the will in any way.
- The will is signed by those two witnesses.
So why do you need a service like Beyond, if it’s so straightforward? Because it’s not so easy to put all the necessary components down on paper in a organised, clear and concise manner, to ensure your will is properly executed with minimum complications. That’s why a service like Beyond is so useful – their software ensures the wills are formatted properly, and their legal experts double-check the details you enter.
So if the legitimacy of an online will service was your primary concern, you may not want to read the rest of my meandering. Off you go…
Who is Beyond’s online will service suitable for?
In my opinion, any single person or couple that has a simple estate that wishes to create a professional will, easily, quickly and cost-effectively.
Online will services like Beyond do have their limitations though, and that’s why I don’t think they’re suitable for everyone (but I’m no expert, I’m just using my common sense):
- Complex estates – if you have a particular complex situation, which can include handing over a business, or complex marital circumstances, I don’t think a quick online solution will be suitable. You’ll most likely be better off talking to a specialist solicitor.
- Inheritance tax optimisation – if you’re worried about burdening your beneficiaries with hefty inheritance tax bills, you may want to talk to a tax specialist before arranging your will.
That said, if you do have a complex situation and don’t plan on arranging a will any time soon (for whatever reason, whether it be a matter of money or laziness), then I imagine using a quick online solution, like Beyond, as an interim solution is better than not having one at all.
My Review of Beyond.life’s Features (when creating an online Will)
In short, I thought it was brilliant.
It was actually VERY similar to my experience with Farewill’s service, so I can’t do anything other than recommend Beyond’s service. If that’s all you need to hear, you can start creating your will from here.
If you’re keen on hearing more of the nitty-gritty (the Lord only knows why that would be the case)…
- Quick – they aren’t lying; it’s very possible to start and complete a will with in 15 minutes, just as they say. There are couple of caveats to that though; if you have a buttload of assets and beneficiaries to enter you may run down the clock. And the second, if you type at the same rate as my nan you’ll be taping away forever and a day.
In any case, I had entered all the details, checked-out, and downloaded my will (in PDF format), ready to print and get signed, all with 15’ish mins.
- Cheap – according to Beyond’s marketing guff, a typical lawyer charges £200 – £1,000 per will, and it doesn’t include half the features they provide, like live support and unlimited updates.
Beyond charge £90 for a single will and £135 for a couple, and an optional subscription of £10 per year if you want the ability to make unlimited updates as and when you please.
£90 Vs £200 – £1,000. It’s a no-brainer.
- Delightfully easy to use – I gave Farewill massive praise for their slick interface when I reviewed their service, but I can honestly say that Beyond was just as impressive, which was rather surprising.
I could copy/paste exactly what I wrote for Farewill to describe my admiration and it would apply nicely.
Yup, okay, I think I will do just that (since this is all about efficiency, after all): “It’s incredibly peaceful to create a will with their online dashboard, from adding the beneficiaries and executors, to adding all your assets and clarifying who gets what. The flow is truly cool.”
Here are a few snaps:
It was a joy to use.
- Pay on completion – Beyond don’t make you pay until you have added all the necessary details of your will. That means you have the freedom to make for the exist doorswithout spending a penny if you wish. You can also “save, exit and continue later” if you don’t have all the necessary details in one sitting.
- Double-checked by in-house legal experts – their in-house legal experts double check every will. If they spot anything amiss in your will, they’ll come knocking within 7 days.
- Support – they provide live support and contactable telephone number if any assistance is required.
Disclaimer: I didn’t need to rely their customer support, so I can’t comment on how good or terrible it is.
- Updateable – You have the ability to update your will and reprint it for signing. In many cases, wills need updating so it’s a useful feature; circumstances frequently change, which may include amending beneficiaries due a bitter family feud, or additional accumulated assets which need to be accounted for.
If your assets tend to change frequently, subscribing to the yearly update service [£10 per year] might be useful.
- TrustPilot – at the time of writing this blog post, Beyond.life have an impressive TrustPilot rating of 4.8/5.
ONE WORD OF WARNING!
When you go through the flow of creating your Will, there’s an option to select “Beyond executor service” when it’s time to choose your executors:
I would be cautious about ticking that box! If it’s ticked, you will be making Beyond responsible for making sure that your wishes are carried out and that your estate is settled properly after you die. I can’t find the price for that service, but I doubt it’s included with the £90. They really don’t make it clear. Maybe that’s my biggest gripe with their service.
Most people choose their partner and/or their children. As it says on the tin, “The important thing is to choose those you trust.”. So I find it amusing that they put themselves as an option. I don’t know Beyond from Adam, so why on earth would I trust them?
Do I REALLY think they’re “The UK’s #1 Online Will Writing Service”?
Honestly, I can’t say the actual experience was better or worse than Farewill’s. I genuinely don’t think anyone will be disappointed with either, especially because they’re just so similar in slickness and efficiency.
What I can say, though, is that I do believe they’re the two best online will writing services available. Now, I appreciate that may sound bewildering and hollow, because I’m claiming that the only two services I’ve used are the best. What a coincidence, aye?! But in my defence, before I ever used or chose any particular will service to use, I shuffled through several online will writing websites – probably all of them in existence – and these two punks looked the best by a long-shot in terms of features and design. It wasn’t even close.
That said, there are some differences between Farewill and Beyond. When I spoke to my contact at Beyond, this is what I was told:
the way we’re different to Farewill is that for the same price you also get:
- Free national will registration worth £30
- Free physical storage
So, while the experience of throwing the will together felt similar (in a wonderful way), you seem to get a little more bang for your buck in terms of features with Beyond when you compare them with what I believe to be their closest rival.
So maybe they really are “The UK’s #1 Online Will Writing Service”
Make of that what you will.
Leave your feedback…
If you’ve used Beyond’s willing writing service, or any other, I’d love to hear your experience. Leave a comment below…
Disclaimer: I'm just a simple landlord blogger; I'm not qualified to give legal or financial advice. Any information I share is my opinion based on my personal experiences as an active landlord, and should never be construed as legal or professional advice. For more information, please read my full disclaimer.