Well there are a number of options some of which are

  1. Don’t write one!
  2. Buy a “write your own Will Pack”
  3. Do an online “write your own Will”
  4. Use a solicitor
  5. Or a specialist Will Writer

So let’s go through them so you can at least make an informed decision

Don’t write one!

Pros

No cost to you

Cons

I’m not going to say too much about the first option other than read my blog on why you should have a Will.

Buy a “write your own Will Pack”

Pros

  1. Really cheap £10 – £15 for you
  2. Ideal if you’re single, minimal capital, no property e.g. young people over 18 just starting out in life

Cons

  1. Are you confident that you know enough about Inheritance Tax, the effects of leaving gifts to people on means tested benefits, step children and adopted children? Really? then read this before buying one
  2. Who can witness the Will? How do they witness it?
  3. The difficulties in excluding someone from a Will
  4. Really expensive in solicitors fees, Inheritance Tax and other costs to your estate if it goes wrong
  5. Also time consuming and stressful for your loved ones if you don’t get it exactly right

Do an online “write your own Will”

Pros

  1. Pretty similar to the pre-printed will kit
  2. Really cheap £10 – £50
  3. Ideal if you’re single, minimal capital, no property e.g. young people over 18 just starting out in life

Cons

  1. Are you confident that you know enough about Inheritance Tax, the effects of leaving gifts to people on means tested benefits, step children and adopted children?
  2. Who can witness the Will? How do they witness it?
  3. The difficulties in excluding someone from a Will
  4. Really expensive in solicitors fees, Inheritance Tax and other costs to your estate if it goes wrong
  5. Also time consuming and stressful for your loved ones if you don’t get it exactly right

In a 2013 survey 28 million people claimed to have a Will. That around 60% of adults. Of these 12 ½ million haven’t updated their Will in over 5 years and another 3 million state that they have written their own. Worryingly that is over 15 million Wills of questionable quality.

Use a solicitor

Pros

  1. Regulated by the Law Society
  2. Should be able to offer good advice to suit your circumstances
  3. Legally correct
  4. Insured if something goes wrong

Cons

  1. Typically £200+ outside of London and way more inside the M25
  2. Generally written in legal gobbledegook! You have to have done a law degree to decipher the words
  3. Usually involves a trip to their office at their convenience
  4. There are some dodgy solicitors who can’t be trusted to act in your interests. Don’t believe me then here’s a few
  5. That’s ok, I can appeal to the Law Society. Perhaps more problems. Read here

Or a specialist Will Writer

Pros

  1. Regulated by the Society of Will Writers or similar professional body
  2. Should be able to offer good advice to suit your circumstances
  3. Legally correct
  4. Insured if something goes wrong
  5. Generally cheaper than solicitors. Typically £100 per Will
  6. Usually meet at times / places to accommodate you e.g. home visits in the evening
  7. Specialise in Will Writing and related matters
  8. Written in “easier to understand” language

Cons

  1. It’s legal to practice without being trained or regulated!!
  2. There are some dodgy Will Writers who can’t be trusted to act in your interests. Here’s a recent example

In the interests of fairness there are a number of good solicitors who can write you the Will that you want. Both solicitors and regulated Will Writing specialists have a lot in common such as access to other experts (e.g. financial planners), insurance, codes of practice, continuewing professional development (CDP) and stringent regulation.

However, where I think Will Writers regulated by the Society of Will Writers can match and probably surpass them are

  • A service that fits into your life and schedule
  • Great value for money and
  • They specialise in this specific area of law.

We are approved by the Society of Will Writers, fully insured, continually maintain our CDP and can meet at a time and place to suit.

If you need help with a Will or Lasting Powers of Attorney then please get in touch

By | 2017-05-19T16:12:58+00:00 May 30th, 2015|Wills|0 Comments

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