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6 reasons why you should use a solicitor to make a Will

View profile for Hannah Howe
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Making a Will is all about ensuring your assets go where you want them to, after you have died. Our clients tell us that making a Will with us gives them peace of mind, knowing that they have made everything as straightforward as possible for those they leave behind.

When you decide to make a Will, there are various options available. You could go online and download a form, buy a pack from the Post Office or the supermarket, or you could use a local Will Writer. So why should you use a solicitor? This article sets out some of the reasons why using a solicitor is the best option for protecting your wishes and your loved ones.

  1. Clarity
  • When you work hard for your assets, you want to know where they will go when you die. It is important that the correct language and terminology are used in order to give effect to your wishes.
  • Making a Will yourself may mean that what you intend to say is not how your Will is interpreted. It may be perfectly clear to you what you want to say, but if there is any ambiguity or confusion then your Will may not be interpreted the way you intended. This can result in expensive and stressful litigation, just at the time when your loved ones are grieving for you.
  • Will writers do not have to have any legal training at all.
  • Our solicitors have many years of experience and training, and we will make sure your Will is in accordance with your wishes, and will take effect the way you want it to. This can save your family expensive and traumatic legal proceedings after you have gone.
  1. Options
  • When we meet with our clients, we take the time to discuss their wishes, circumstances and priorities. Our experienced lawyers can offer advice and suggestions about matters you may not have considered, so we can make sure your Will is specifically tailored to your circumstances. For example, you may need to provide for vulnerable beneficiaries, or wish to protect against care fees or Inheritance Tax. Your Will needs to cater for many different scenarios and there may be matters you haven’t thought of, that our experienced lawyers can assist with.
  1. Insurance and Regulation
  • Our aim is to provide the highest level of service and expertise, and we always aim to get it right. But there may be times when even we make a mistake. If this does happen, you have the reassurance of knowing that we hold professional indemnity insurance, so there will be funds available to compensate you (or your estate) for any loss you may suffer as a result of our mistake.
  • Will-writers are not required to carry insurance. If an error comes to light after you have died, it may be that your family are left in an extremely difficult situation with no way to get it fixed and with no financial compensation.
  • Solicitors are strictly regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. The Legal Ombudsman also covers work conducted by solicitors, and we operate a comprehensive internal complaints procedure.  As a result, you can be assured of knowing that there is always somewhere to turn if a mistake is made.
  • Will-writers can be completely unregulated and do not have a complaints body. If an issue arises with a Will prepared by a Will-writer, there is no compulsory supervising body to require them to remedy the problem. You (or your family) may be left entirely alone to try and deal with the situation. If this occurs after you have died, your family may be left trying to find a resolution to a complex problem at a time of grief and trauma.
  1. Storage
  • When you have made a Will, you need the peace of mind of knowing exactly where it is, that it is safe and that you can access it at any time. You also want the reassurance that it will be easy for your loved ones to obtain your Will after you have gone.
  • We offer the safe storage of documents for our clients, and we provide copies of the signed documents for you to keep at home.
  • We can also register your Will with Certainty, the National Will Register. This can help those left behind know where to find your Will, and can make life easier for them at a very difficult time.
  • The Solicitors Regulation Authority has comprehensive procedures in place for what happens to original Wills and other documents if a firm of solicitors goes out of business.
  • If a Will-writer ceases to trade, it is likely that any documents held by them will not be able to be traced. This can cause a lot of stress and uncertainty for family members who are left behind.
  1. Formalities
  • There are strict rules setting out how a Will must be signed and witnessed in order to be valid. If the rules are not followed, then the Will may be completely invalid. Where the Will is signed in our offices, we provide the independent witnesses and ensure that all signing formalities are complied with to make sure the Will is correctly executed.
  1. Challenges to the Will
  • Your Will may be challenged after you die, especially if there is doubt as to the circumstances in which the Will was made. Problems can also arise if you are excluding a family member. For example, allegations that you did not fully understand the Will, or that someone was pressuring you into making it, can mean the Will is declared invalid.
  • When we prepare Wills for our clients, we can provide full advice about the risks of potential challenges and take steps to minimise the risks of the Will being contested.

Here at Fishers Solicitors, we aim to bring you a first-class Will preparation service. Our solicitors are highly qualified specialists, and many hold membership of The Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners, and Solicitors for the Elderly. This showcases their experience and expertise, and our commitment to the highest standards of client care. Our experts are friendly, approachable and understanding, and can help you make a new Will specifically tailored to your own personal circumstances without any stress or worry.