You may think there are more interesting things to spend your hard-earned money on, which is exactly why you should use a solicitor to make a Will and ensure that it is drafted properly.
It is important to make sure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes and this can only be done with a legally valid Will. If you do not have a legally valid Will, then your assets will be distributed according to the “laws of intestacy”.
A survey undertaken by STEP (The Society of Trusts and Estate Practitioners) highlighted the ‘incompetence and dishonesty in the UK Wills market’.To ensure you avoid any issues with your Will, here are a few reasons why Will Specialist solicitors should draft your Will:
1. Wills are complex
Solicitors dealing with Wills have the necessary experience and skill to ensure that a Will is watertight and truly carries out your wishes. Wills can sometimes be complex and a trained legal professional can also provide advice on aspects such as inheritance tax, or discuss whether Trusts may be required to protect vulnerable beneficiaries. Inexperienced Will drafters can, and in our experience, invariably do fail to recognise problem areas that someone better qualified would identify.
2. Protect your loved ones
The reality is that many homemade Wills contain basic mistakes which mean that, when you die, the Will might be invalid or may fail to benefit those you intended. Rather than making a will without a solicitor, it is far more cost-effective to instruct a Solicitor to prepare your Will correctly in the first instance than it is for your estate and your chosen executors to have to address issues that arise from a poorly drafted Will.
3. Solicitors are technically qualified, regulated and insured
In comparison to Solicitors, Will writers often complete only a week of training and are often unregulated. They need no technical qualifications, negligence insurance or continuity arrangements to protect consumers should they cease trading. Law firms, however, are bound by strict regulations set by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Additionally, in the unlikely event that you were not happy with the service provided by your solicitor, you have the safety net of a complaints procedure that you can follow.
4. Storing your Will
Your Will may need to be stored for many years before it is used, therefore it is imperative that your Will is stored somewhere safe and dry where it can be easily retrieved when needed. Law firms are bound by strict rules governing how they store Wills and, even if a firm goes out of business or is taken over, the Solicitors Regulation Authority keeps track of who takes over custody of all the Wills they were keeping. Not all Will-writers offer Will storage, and those that do may not have fireproof safe rooms.
5. Wills can be challenged after death
A Will can be challenged after your death if there is reasonable doubt about the circumstances in which your Will was made. Two common examples of this are;
1. if you made your Will under pressure from someone else, or
2. if you had insufficient mental capacity at the time the Will was made.
Legal professionals ensure that such doubts are removed by the use of a proper “attendance note” that, backed by their insurance, shows instructions are taken from a client with sufficient mental capacity and under no pressure from anyone else. Unregulated and “DIY” Wills may not be able to withstand challenges about how the Will was made as well as those made by a solicitor.
Contact our Will Specialist Solicitors today
A document as important as a will has to be created with professionalism and care, which is why you should use a Will Specialist solicitor. Having a will that fulfils your wishes and doesn’t create issues should be your priority. Contact us today to learn how Labrums Solicitors can help you write your will.