Why should I get a solicitor to write my Will?

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You’re in the queue at your local newsagent and you notice a ‘Will kit’ for £19.99. Tempting, isn’t it? While an off-the-shelf Will at such a good price is enticing, it can be very risky. If you make an error or witnessing rules are not followed correctly, your Will may not be valid.

To avoid your loved ones being left even more stressed and emotional after you’ve gone, having a valid Will in place that expresses your wishes, from beneficiaries to funeral plans, will make their lives just that little bit easier.

Why do I need a Will?

Wills are optional. But then so is life insurance. Yes, it may seem like a chore to organise, but should the worst happen, wouldn’t you rather you’d put measures in place to protect yourself and your loved ones?

We covered this in detail last year, but the benefits of having a Will remain the same. Put simply, by having a Will, you are in control of how your assets go to, and how your estate is administered.

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When should I write a Will?

What happens if I don’t have a valid Will?

Without a valid Will in place, you die intestate. In intestacy, assets will pass to beneficiaries as the law dictates and these may not be your chosen ones. It’s also a common misconception that when you die, your partner will automatically inherit. If you pass away intestate, your blood relations stand first in line to inherit from you. This is irrespective of how long you and your partner have lived together, or even if you have children together.

Who can write my Will?

As we’ve alluded to, you can pick up a DIY Will kit on your weekly shop. You can also have a go at writing it yourself and asking a friend to ‘witness’ it.

If you do make the sensible decision to seek professional help, however, the amount of people out there claiming to be Will Writers can be overwhelming. There are thousands of unregulated Will Writers, most without a recognised qualification, yet many practise after a crash course.

The preparation of Wills is not a ’reserved legal activity’ (i.e. one which may only be carried out by lawyers, solicitors or barristers). However, Will writing without doubt requires knowledge of the relevant legislation and understanding of relevant case law that applies.

Instructing a Will Writer who is legally qualified can also advise on potential pitfalls in your case, such as tax implications or potential future disputes regarding your Will. Choosing a Will Writer at a reputable firm also means that both you and they can lean on the expertise of other areas such as Powers of Attorney and trusts. Should you pass away, it will also mean that your executors can seek advice from the firm’s probate team or conveyancing department to help organise the sale of any property and administration of assets.

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Further information

If you need to write or update your Will, our dedicated Wills solicitors in Bristol and South Gloucestershire are here to help. Simply call 0117 325 2929 or complete our online enquiry form to get started.


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