A Will is undoubtedly one of the most important legal documents any of us should write. The absence of a Will, or the presence of a sub-standard Will, can cause serious complications for loved ones, at what is already an extremely difficult time.
The purpose of a Will is not just to ensure your daughter gets your jewellery, the dog is taken care of and the house is split equally between both children. The purpose of a Will goes far beyond the obvious intentions, and can ensure your loved ones are protected in ways hidden much deeper than those that appear on the surface.
Such an important document must not be dealt with half-heartedly. A solicitor will take in to account all of your circumstances before giving you appropriate, relevant and up to date advice. They will know how to advise you on vital issues such as concerns over your children’s inheritance and care home fee liability, should your surviving spouse need to go in to a care home. They will know how best to reduce the tax liability if your estate is likely to be subject to tax/es, and how to ensure you can make the most of any tax free allowances such as the new Residential Nil Rate Band. All of the above, as well as many other important factors that must be considered when making a Will, will be brought to your attention by a solicitor, whose responsibility it is to ensure that you are fully informed and aware of exactly what the Will shall achieve.
DIY Will kits and unqualified Will writers, on the other hand, are potentially hazardous. It may seem like the best option, perhaps the cheapest and most convenient, however, there is no way to ensure the final document will actually do what you want it to do, or protect your loved ones in the way that you believe it will. Without the presence of specific and correct legal terminology, a Will can quickly become unclear and ambiguous. Most Will writers are not qualified solicitors and therefore are not required to undergo the same level of training. By using one of these methods to draw up your Will, there is a great risk that you could end up entrusting somebody who is not qualified, and is not required to ensure that they are always up to date with their knowledge of the law, to advise on these areas. As a result, important factors are often overlooked causing serious financial troubles for your beneficiaries.
Unlike solicitors, many Will writers are not regulated by a body that ensures they must act in the client’s best interests, nor do they process an adequate level of indemnity insurance or offer suitable redress should things go wrong. So when it does, you risk leaving your family with nothing but further upset, delays, daunting legal fees and unnecessary tax bills.
So when you are considering where to go to make a Will, remember; a Will writing service may be a little cheaper than using a solicitor. But it is always much more expensive to sort out a poorly written Will post death, than it is to have a properly written and legally binding Will drawn up in the first place.
The members of the Private Client team at HMG Law are fully qualified, most with an additional qualification from the Society of Trusts and Estate Practitioners. Between them, they possess many years of experience and expertise and provide dependable, skilful advice to our clients.
If you would like to discuss the making of a Will, or need some advice about an existing Will, please call on 01865 244661.
We want to help you to make sure your Will is done the right way, the first time.