There are a number of good reasons for writing a will. One of the biggest is to save your loved ones from the uncertainty that can arise when someone dies ‘intestate’, which means that haven’t written a will before the time of death.
Will writing kits can be bought cheaply and may seem like good value at the time, compared to the expense of hiring a solicitor. However, creating a will without legal expertise will not always guarantee the security and assurance it appears to offer. This is why it is vitally important to get your will written properly.
Why do I need a will?
A will outlines what you want to happen to your estate after you die. There are a number of common excuses for not writing a will, but without a valid will, your property will be divided up according to specific laws which determine who will inherit what. This might not be in accordance with your wishes. If you live with your partner but you aren’t married, for example, your partner could end up with nothing.
Even if you don’t mind your assets being shared out in this way, creating a will makes the whole process quicker and easier – something that will make a big difference to your family and friends at a time when they’re bereaved and grieving.
Why is it important my will is written properly?
A will is a legal document. As such, it needs to be created and worded in a particular way, or it may not be valid, meaning that it can be contested in court, leading to outcomes you didn’t intend.
If you have any doubts about how to do this, or you have a complicated situation that isn’t completely straightforward, it’s highly advisable to involve a legal expert in drawing up your will.
- If your will isn’t witnessed properly, it won’t be valid
- Minor errors or misuse of legal terms could cause disputes
- Loved ones may not know that you’ve drawn up a will, or where to find it
Creating a will with the aid of a legal expert will help you to protect your assets and legacy, and ensure that your family and loved ones will be taken care of after you die.
The benefits of using a solicitor for will writing
Using a solicitor to help draw up your will offers peace of mind and minimises the risk of mistakes or other issues. Solicitors have professional qualifications, liability insurance, legal knowledge and experience. If you want to ensure that your will is done properly and is valid, a solicitor is almost always the best option:
- Legal protection. Solicitors are regulated, so you can make a complaint if things go wrong
- Specialist expertise. Solicitors can advise on and deal with any number of complications, from overseas assets to inheritance tax
- Safe storage. Your solicitor will keep your will safe until it’s needed.
- Insight and advice. A solicitor can review your individual situation and offer suggestions you may not have thought of
- Regular reviews. Your solicitor can help you to update your will as and when required. You should review your will every 5 years or so, and after major life events such as marriage or moving house
What about a professional will writer?
Anyone can set themselves up as a will writer – it’s an unregulated profession, which means you don’t need any specific qualifications.
Again, whilst this may seem like a good idea at the time, it is impossible to guarantee that getting your will done by a will writer will tick all the legal boxes. If you’ve utilised the services of a will writer for your Last Will and Testament, it would be well worthwhile contacting a professional solicitor to have this reviewed.
The team of solicitors at Labrums specialise in wills and trusts. Call us on 01727 858807 for more information, or contact us using our online enquiry form.