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Beyond review – is online will writing any good?

This Beyond review looks at online will-writing services that claim to be quick and cheap. One of the leading providers, Beyond, claims to allow you to create a will from your sofa in just 15 minutes and all for less than the price of a pair of trainers….albeit an expensive pair.

We take a closer look to see if quicker and cheaper is really better than using a solicitor and whether it is as good as it sounds.

For more reading, check out How to Make a Will in the UK, which goes through when you may want to consider an online service or use a traditional solicitor.

If you are interested in using an online service, read this Beyond review also check out rival Kwil.

Heads up – we always aim to produce honest and accurate content. However, we are not financial advisors. If you need financial advice, Unbiased can connect you with a suitable professional for free. Some of our links may earn us a small commission to help us run the site.

Beyond is an online platform offering services including will-writing, lasting power of attorney and probate.

Unlike some of its competitors, it also offers funeral services all under one roof.

Compared to a traditional solicitor, its services are quick to set up and comparatively cheap.

It is designed for simple personal circumstances, however, so do your research and make sure this is the right route for you.

Graphic showing more women than men are concerned about death

When to use an online will-writing service

At some point, everyone is going to need a will. There are times, according to Beyond, however, when it becomes more of a pressing matter.

  • New mortgage / remortgaging – this can be a major change in your life circumstances and a significant financial commitment for everyone involved. Therefore, it needs to be reflected in your wishes should anything happen to you.
  • Starting/expanding a family – every time your little tribe grows, you need to make sure they are catered for. This may be simple legacy planning, but also includes crucial decisions such as guardianship. In the event you sadly can’t, it’s imperative you have a say in who raises your children.
  • Financial planning – over time, your personal finances will change. A will you made previously may not cater for these changes and should therefore be updated regularly.
  • Pets – who’s going to look after your furry friend when you’re gone?
  • Charities – many people feel strongly about including charities in their legacy. Again, the specific charities may change over time in line with your life experiences. Without a will, you won’t be able to make this decision.
  • Starting a business – for many, their business is their surrogate child and they care deeply about what happens to it when they’re gone. You may also have children who you want to take over.
  • Deteriorating health – making a will before a time when you are unable to do so, removes the stress during that time and protects the ones you live.
  • Travel and sports – are you a thrill seeker looking to expand your wings? Fancy a spot of sky diving in Saint Lucia? It may seem macabre, but anything can happen. Best to think of these things in advance.

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Eight reasons to use the Beyond will writing service

1. Good reviews – scoring 4.8 on Trustpilot. Pretty good, but not quite the 4.9 score of rival Kwil.

2. Quick – Beyond claims it takes less than 10 minutes. We found that it took closer to 15 minutes and only if you’ve given some real thought to what you want your will to say.

3. Value – at £135 for a couple’s will, certainly cheaper than a solicitor but still a smidge more than Kwil.

4. Expert help – Beyond has a team of trained specialists to check over your will before it is processed. Remember though, this is not the same as having a dedicated solicitor write your will for you. Ultimately, it’s still your responsibility.

5. Update at any time – a will should be updated at any time you make significant decisions, such as starting a family or buying property. Being able to update your will online makes this a whole lot easier. Beware though, there is a cost for this, unlike competitor Kwil.

6. Support – if you get stuck, there is a team on hand to help 9am – 7pm, seven days a week via phone (freephone 0800) and webchat.

7.  Free physical storage – this is a nice touch and a service that is missing from rival services. It also takes the worry of losing your original will if your home paper filing system resembles a recycling bank.

8. Free registration – wills need to be registered and having this included saves you a further £30.

Other Beyond services

Along with wills, Beyond also provides a handy range of other services.

Lasting Power of Attorney – this is a legal document that allows you to appoint one or two people to make decisions on your behalf. Beyond offers this as simple £60 add-on, plus Government fees.

ProbateBeyond can take care of the probate process, dealing with the administration of someone’s estate when they die, at a fixed fee.

CremationBeyond offers a simple cremation service starting at £980 which is significantly less than the UK average of almost £4,000. So if you want to keep it simple, this may be a good option.

Funerals – in addition, there is a range of funeral packages starting at £1,595 with pay monthly options available. There are some nice touches here, including ethically sourced coffins, biodegradable ashes containers and help with all the paperwork.

Approved Funeral Directors – you can search for Beyond approved funeral directors near you, along with quotes and reviews.

What’s nice here is that you can pay for all of this and make arrangements in advance, saving your family and friends the job when the time comes.

All in all then, as macabre as it may sound, Beyond does a good job of offering a one-stop-shop.

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How does Beyond online will writing service work?

We always like to try out these services for ourselves for these reviews.

We set up the service online and all in all, it was a nice and simple process which included four main steps.

Step 1 - qualifying questions

First, there are five questions to answer:

1. Do you have a partner?

2. Do you have children?

3. Do you own your own home?

4. Do you live in England or Wales? (this service is only available in these regions)

5. Is everything you own in the UK? (again, if this is not the case, Beyond wil be unable to help you).

Step 2 - three areas to think about

There are three main areas that your will is going to cover when setting things up. It’s important to give these areas some serious thought before you go through this process.

If you’ve yet to decide, however, you can always pause and come back to it later. The Beyond service is free until you actually download you will and it becomes official. Just don’t leave things too long.

Protecting your partner – make provisions for your loved one when you are no longer here.

Your children – if they’re under 18, you’ll need to think about legal guardianship and who you trust to raise your child(ren). It is a good idea to discuss this first with them, before completing this section of the will.

Who inherits your estate – think about who your home and savings will pass to.

Infographic showing 27% of the UK want their social media deleted after their death

Step 3 - create your account

Simply enter your email address and select a strong password.

Step 4 - create your will

There are five sections to complete here.

One – your family (partner, children and/or pets).

Two – your estate (decide what to leave to who).

Threeexecutors (these people will carry out the wishes in your will, so remember to ask them first!).

Four – you assets (help your executors find your assets).

Five – complete your will (check, pay and download).

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Beyond review - what we liked

Slick process – when we used the service the whole process was simple, easy and well thought out.

Quick(ish) – in reality, it took me closer to 30 minutes to complete the details, which is still quick compared to using a traditional solicitor which takes weeks. If you already know the answers and have given this stuff serious though, then it certainly helps the process.

Physical storage – personally, paper filing is not my strong point. So if someone else can shoulder this responsibility, then that works for me.

Broad range of services – additional services such as arranging for funerals with pre-paid plans makes Beyond a more rounded offering compared to rival Kwil.

Free to try – give it a whirl and see how you get on. You only pay once you’re ready to download and make it official.

Beyond review - what we didn't like

Simple requirements only – to be fair, this is the nature of any online will-making service. If you reside or have assets outside of England or Wales, you cannot use this service. Also, if you have a business or own investment property with other people, these more complex requirements are best dealt with through a solicitor.

For more information on when a solicitor may be better than an online service, check out How to make a will in the UK – online vs solicitor.

Cost – it is fractionally more expensive than the competitors’ for a couple’s will. But this is a lot less than a solicitor, so still represents good value.

How much does Beyond will writing cost?

Things are simple and straight forward here.

A single will is £90, which is about the same as other online services.

For couples will through, it’s just £135, which is slightly more than rival Kwil.

Importantly, this is a Couple’s Will, rather than a cheaper Mirror Will. This means each person can have their own specific will, which is generally a good thing.

By comparison, as we had more complex requirements, my wife and I used a solicitor for our will which set us back about £350 for a Couple’s Will.

Is the Beyond online will writing service any good?

If you have simple requirements and have decided an online service is suitable for you, then Beyond is a great option to consider, in our opinion.

There are a few credible alternatives out there and to be fair, for just wills, they are all very similar and cost about the same.

What makes Beyond stand out from the rest, is the range of other services it offers, making it truly a one-stop-shop for planning your succession and protecting your loved ones.

Here’s to Financial Fitness

EatSleepMoney.co.uk does not offer financial advice and is intended for reference/information only. Remember, you should always carry out your own research and/or take specific professional advice before choosing any financial products or services or undertaking any business or financial venture. If you need financial advice Unbiased can connect you with a suitable professional for free. Investments may go up as well as down and you may get back less than you put in.

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