Who should you trust to draft your Will?

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Why leave your Will to chance?

Your Will is one of the most important documents you will ever make during your lifetime – so who will you choose to draw this up for you – a Will writer or a Solicitor? Or will you try to write it yourself?

The purpose of a Will is to say what should happen to the things which you own and to appoint someone to deal with everything that needs to be done following your death. A well drafted Will should avoid many of the common pitfalls which arise following death and make everything easier for the people you leave behind. A badly drafted Will can lead to an irretrievable breakdown in relationships within a family in addition to causing financial loss.

Sean Mercer and Joanne Osborne at Scott Richards are Will specialists. They have both been preparing Wills for clients for many years. Their knowledge and experience of the many complex family and financial situations people need to address when preparing a Will helps to guide clients through the process. They will make the process as straightforward as possible and ensure that you address all the issues relevant to you and your family. Your Will should reflect exactly what you would like to happen when you die. The importance of this cannot be underestimated.

By comparison to Solicitors, Will writers often complete only a week of training. The law relating to Wills is extremely complex and inexperienced Will drafters can, and in our experience invariably do, fail to recognise problem areas which someone better qualified would identify.

Beware also the many add-on services commonly sold by Will writers such as, but not limited to, entering into a contract intended to cover the legal costs of dealing with your estate once you die. Scott Richards recently dealt with an estate where an elderly widow had died having made a Will with a Will writing firm following her husband’s death. This new Will was totally unnecessary as her original Will, made when her husband was alive, covered what was to happen if her husband died before her. The widow was also persuaded to enter into a monthly contract to cover the costs of the firm dealing with her estate after her death. This reduced her income and was entirely unnecessary. Jamie Dyson, who heads the Private Client department at Scott Richards, said:- “By the time the widow had paid all the instalments provided for in the contract, she would have been 101. Her monthly payments reduced her income and instead the costs of dealing with things when she died could have been met from her capital when the time came.”

“What is also disturbing is that as well as making a new Will that she did not need, the elderly lady had no idea what she had signed up for, and so did not cancel the contract with the Will writing firm. What’s more, they then wanted payment of an outstanding balance when the lady died, despite the fact that they were not appointed by the Will to administer her estate.”

You may also be considering drawing up your own Will by using information on the internet or by purchasing a Will pack from a stationery shop. The reality is that many home-made Wills contain basic mistakes which mean that, when you die, the Will might be invalid or may fail to benefit those you intended. 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 to have to address issues that arise from a poorly drafted Will.

Scott Richards offer competitive fixed fees for Wills. They are local, experienced and offer a personal, friendly service. For an initial appointment to review your Will, or to discuss making one, call the Private Client team at Scott Richards on 01626 772 441 or email us.

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