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Will preparation and estate planning: The death of a loved one is always an upsetting and emotional time for those left behind. One of the first things that family members look for is a loved one’s Will so that they can fulfil their wishes. You can help by ensuring that you leave a Will which accurately and unambiguously reflects your wishes with respect to your personal items, home and other assets. It is, of course, essential that the Will is legally valid as discovering that the Will they are relying on is invalid is upsetting for everyone and will mean that your estate passes in accordance with the intestacy rules rather than your personal wishes.


There are various online tools and templates available for drafting a Will and a plethora of individuals and companies offering to prepare a cheap Will.  Before you go down that route, please stop and think about whether you really want to entrust such an important document to someone without formal legal qualifications. Enlisting the expertise of a qualified solicitor can give you the peace of mind that they will execute your final wishes accurately and without complications


1. The Complexity of Estate Planning and Will Drafting for Your Unique Situation:


Estate planning is a broad and complex area.  A solicitor with experience in this area can advise you in relation to your individual family and financial circumstances and can address tax implications, possible challenges, capacity issues, guardianship, disabled beneficiaries, asset distribution and overseas interests amongst other circumstances.   


This customized approach means your Will will accurately reflect your intentions, reducing the likelihood of misunderstandings or challenges down the road. 


2. Avoiding Mistakenly Signing an Invalid Will:


A DIY approach to Will preparation can lead to errors or omissions that render your Will ambiguous, or worse still completely invalid.  


A solicitor ensures your Will meets legal requirements and verifies your capacity to sign it. They keep detailed notes of your instructions and will only permit you to sign if they’re confident in your testamentary capacity. They should be prepared to provide evidence of this if required after your passing.


3. Ensuring Proper Executor Appointment:


When appointing your Executor(s), consider factors like their ability to fulfill your wishes, availability, and impartiality. Solicitors often provide guidance on suitable Executors. If you prefer not to choose friends or family, many firms offer the option to appoint their partners or directors, ensuring professionalism and impartiality.


4. Addressing Complex Family Situations:


Modern families comprise diverse structures, such as stepchildren, blended families, and dependents with special needs or complex financial situations. Experienced solicitors navigate these dynamics, ensuring your Will reflects your loved ones’ unique circumstances. This includes establishing life interest, discretionary, or disabled trusts, as well as guardianships, to safeguard vulnerable beneficiaries.


5. Cost Transparency: 


Solicitors may offer you a fixed price Will or quote an hourly rate.  The guidelines of the Solicitors Regulatory Society mandate that Solicitors must maintain transparency in their pricing, and they will send you terms and conditions to sign up to before commencing work.  These are your legal protection and you should always read them carefully.  A Solicitor cannot incur unauthorised costs nor should they go beyond your instructions without prior approval.   


6. Regular Review and Updates:


As life is dynamic, so are your financial and personal circumstances. A solicitor can assist in establishing a routine for reviewing and updating your Will to reflect any changes, such as marriage, divorce, birth of children, or acquisition of new assets. This proactive approach will ensure that your Will remains current and effective throughout the various stages of your life.


Solicitors firms, regulated by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority, are mandated to carry insurance. Practising Solicitors must hold a Practising Certificate, renewed annually, and risk being struck off for illegal or inappropriate conduct. If you engage a Solicitor for your Will and the firm closes or merges, former clients can approach the Solicitor’s Regulatory Authority. They will either safeguard their files or direct you to the custodian. In case of errors in drafting or execution, the Solicitor’s liability insurance provides recourse for your beneficiaries. However, many will writing firms lack such accountability and security measures.




While we all like a bargain and the allure of online Will templates and will writers who will prepare your Will for a tiny sum may seem tempting, please stop and think.  Some questions to ask yourself might include: 


  • Will the fee really be that low or will there be multiple add-ons?    
  • Will you be advised on how to best achieve your objectives?   
  • Will you understand what your Will means?  
  • Will it be accurate?  
  • Will it have been checked to ensure it has been properly executed 
  • Will your Beneficiaries have anything to fall back on if something goes wrong? 


Consulting a solicitor for Will preparation offers unparalleled peace of mind. Their expertise, attention to detail, and adeptness in navigating legal complexities guarantee precise execution of your final wishes. Don’t leave asset distribution and your loved ones’ well-being to chance. Investing in solicitor consultation secures the future of your estate.

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