Making a Will? Solicitors Versus Will Writers!

August 2011

Your Will is one of the most important documents you will ever make. When we die, it is a difficult and stressful time for those we leave behind. Making sure that administering our estates is as straightforward as possible is one step we can take during our lifetimes to assist our loved ones. A well drafted Will is a crucial step in ensuring this.

In a recent episode of Panorama, the risks of using a Will writing company were brought to the public’s attention. We have all seen adverts and the stands in our town centres which market cheap Wills, but what is the real cost? Panorama illustrated the potential for lost Wills, hidden costs and poor estate administration by people belonging to an unregulated profession.

A Will writer is not a solicitor. A person calling themselves a Will Writer is under no obligation to obtain qualifications or keep up ongoing training and they have no requirements to take out insurance. So if a Will Writer makes a mistake, there is no guarantee that any compensation will be forthcoming.

In contrast, solicitors are heavily regulated, trained in their specific area in law and have to continue to meet training requirements every year. If a solicitor were to make a mistake, insurance means that clients are protected.

At Brain Chase Coles our Will specialists are solicitors who create your Will so that it is tailored to your own personal circumstances. We make sure that you receive advice on all of your options, taking into account amongst other things, your personal wishes, taxation and asset protection.

Sarah Palmer, head of Wills and Probate at Brain Chase Coles is a member of the Society of Trusts and Estate Practitioners as well as belonging to Solicitors for the Elderly and the Law Society’s Private Client section. She says “I have seen a number of Wills drafted by unqualified practitioners which have not reflected the intentions of the deceased causing further anguish for the families at an already difficult time. I cannot stress highly enough how important it is that a person’s Will is properly drafted.”

The law in England and Wales with regard to Wills and the administration of estates is not straightforward. It is important that clients are advised by solicitors who are familiar with the intricacies of our law and therefore can properly advise on all the points that are relevant to a particular client’s circumstances. For example, what age should a person’s children inherit? Should a letter of wishes accompany the Will? How do you provide for children of a previous relationship whilst still protecting a new partner?

Sarah Harvey, solicitor, says “Don’t leave your Will to chance. Let us ensure your Will is properly drafted and all of your questions, whatever they might be in relation to your Will are answered fully.”

If you require assistance with a new Will, or in having a previous Will reviewed to ensure it works and is suitable, please contact Sarah Harvey on 01256 354481 or at sharvey@brainchasecoles.co.uk

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