Will Writing Services

Will Writing

Anyone who owns anything should write a Will, but it is often difficult to know where to start and how to do it. Having a valid Will in place gives you the certainty that your wishes are accurately recorded to be followed after you die. 

Without a valid Will, Intestacy Rules will be applied and decide who gets what based solely on blood relationships, whether or not you are close to or even know these relatives. By thinking about it and writing a Will you make sure those you want to inherit do inherit, whether related to you or not. By keeping your Will under regular review you make sure it still reflects your wishes, should your individual circumstances change or people die who are named in the Will.

Benefits of Having a Will

When you leave a current and valid Will that reflects your wishes, you know that those you really want to have something of yours when you die will get it. 

There are many reasons to make a will, including:

– To make probate easier

– To avoid your assets being distributed in accordance with the Intestacy rules which means that a husband, wife or civil partner, or children will inherit

– To nominate your preferred guardians of your children to avoid disagreements or family upsets

–  To take advantage of tax-saving strategies

You get to decide who sorts things out when you die by choosing suitable, willing and able people as executors. They are guided as to what they can and cannot do by your Will. You can also give them guidance as to what you want to happen at your funeral and whether you want a burial or cremation.

If you have children, you also choose who are guardians of those children if you die while they are still under 18.

You can give different gifts of money or possessions to exactly the individuals you want, whether or not they are related to you.

Do you still need probate with a valid will?

Often people think that having a Will means Probate is not needed, but this is not necessarily the case. However, it does make the position much clearer and easier.

Having a valid and current Will means that you and those you love and care about have peace of mind for when you die. Making it while you are still healthy and hopefully well in advance of dying gives you much more time to consider what to include without feeling pressured and overly emotional about it.

Do you need a Solicitor to make a Will?

No one needs to use a solicitor to make a Will but clarity of language is needed to make sure there is no ambiguity. A solicitor will make sure the Will properly reflects your wishes and is drafted specifically for what you want rather than simply a standard document. They will also make sure it is correctly signed and witnessed so it is valid and can be relied upon when you die.

If there is any ambiguity in the language used in a WIll, then this may lead to disputes over the inheritance which in turn can lead to costly, time-consuming and emotionally draining legal action. Frequently what seems totally clear to the person making the Will, is not clear to the executor or the courts interpreting its meaning.

Language needs to be precise and is not necessarily given the everyday and ordinary meaning which might have been intended.

Unfortunately, if there are any questions about the interpretation you won’t be around to explain what you meant! Often a dispute will use up most, if not all, of the deceased’s funds.         

The costs of trying to interpret an unclear Will cannot be overstated. However, by using a qualified professional you will be making sure that proper and careful notes will be made of your instructions and intentions: should there be a later challenge the solicitor is the one at fault and the one who is insured.

Options for Writing a Will

Anyone can write their own Will or a Will for someone else, you can use a solicitor or you can use Will Writing services.      

Will writing services are not necessarily fully trained individuals with any legal qualifications, nor are they required to carry the insurance or provide the continuity of services required by solicitors. They do not have to undergo thorough training or have the legal knowledge that a solicitor has. 

They can set themselves up one day and disappear further down the line and may not even be around if and when the Will is challenged. It is often a false economy to choose the apparently cheaper option. From experience, they also often produce documents that really don’t meet the needs of the individuals. Rather they are often salespeople who “sell” additional services that may neither be needed nor even appropriate. It can be a false economy at the very least, and a costly decision at worst.

Pros and Cons of Using a Solicitor versus Will writing services         

It is always better to pay a fair price and use a solicitor to prepare your Will as this gives real peace of mind and protection rather than false peace of mind. Whilst in the short time this might cost a little more, this may not actually be the case. Also, in the long term using a solicitor will afford greater protection and should save money.

The solicitor will check important issues, such as the capacity to make a Will should the person be elderly or sick, make sure the Will gives away everything and prevents an Intestacy situation from potentially arising, check it is properly signed and witnessed and make sure the Will properly reflects and records the wishes of the person making it. The solicitor should keep accurate records to back up what was instructed at the time of making the Will which can be used should the Will be challenged later down the line.

A solicitor will take care in taking detailed instructions and explaining the document to you before asking you to sign anything. By using a solicitor rather than a Will writing company you are likely to get a much better, more robust and appropriate document for your money. You really are buying that peace of mind and certainty for yourself as well as those you love and care about.

Pro: Greater protection.

Con: Greater cost.