Who can write my Will?

What are your choices for selecting someone to write your Will and how do you pick the right option?  Will-writing is currently an unregulated industry so anyone can write your Will for you and they generally fall into one of four categories:

  1. DIY Will – you could write it yourself or buy a Will-writing pack from a stationer
  2. Banks – your bank may have a Will writing service (some even offer a free service!)
  3. Solicitors – your local solicitor is probably able to draft your Will
  4. Other Professional Will Writer and estate planner

How do you choose?

Whether your circumstances require a simple Will or something a little more comprehensive choosing the right option for getting your Will drafted is important.  Questions to ask yourself are:

  • “Is the legal wording correct?”
  • “Do I have the right number of executors/trustees?”
  • “Has it been executed correctly?”
  • “How experienced is the Will writer and what qualifications do they have?”
  • “Have I given the best advice on Inheritance Tax and protection of my estate?”
  • “How do I know that it will work when I’m gone?”
  • “Who can my family go to when it goes wrong?”

So many “do-it-yourself Wills” partly or totally fail due to the wording within the Will.  A simple word like “my” or “a” or wording that does not cater for possible future developments such as further children or the change of name or ownership with banks or shares could be the difference between a simple or problematic estate.  Similarly, a misplaced comma could alter the interpretation of a particular clause in your Will which could mean that the Will is referred to Counsel for their interpretation and adjudication.

If a DIY has been drawn up with insufficient numbers of trustees then additional trustees will need to be appointed, especially where gifts to minors or trusts relating to the property are concerned.  A legal deed will have to be drawn up by a solicitor, which will cost over £200 in legal fees.

You certainly won’t be getting any Inheritance Tax or Estate Planning or protection advice with a DIY Will.  And not all solicitors are up-to-date and give or are willing to give advice in this area.  Your estate could pay more Inheritance Tax or your children or other beneficiaries could lose out on some or all of their inheritance through not getting the right advice.

The Will could be completely invalid or partly fail if not signed correctly by the right people in the right places.  Any slight marking, tear or smudge could cause considerable costs and delay when your executors apply for Probate.

Some companies offer cheap or even a free Will-writing service.  In the short term this might be the case but once you’ve gone will that same company be administering your estate and charging £10,000s of administrative fees?  Probably.

With Cornerstone Wills you know that you’re in safe hands:

  • We are STEP qualified – having passed the Advanced Will Drafting Certificate;
  • We are Society of Will Writers qualified – having passed the Estate Planning diploma;
  • We have £2.5M Professional Indemnity Insurance on each Will;
  • When you talk to us we give free Inheritance Tax and Estate Planning advice;
  • All our Wills, for clients that have unfortunately died, have been taken through probate successfully; and
  • We come highly recommended by our clients, introducers and partners (see some of our Testimonials).

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