Article written by Sarah Conner, Solicitor, Private Client department
If you are considering writing a Will, you may have thought about doing it yourself. There are many tools and templates available online, along with vast amounts of information about the law and how to go about writing your own Will. However, there are significant benefits to using a solicitor to write your Will – not to mention the pitfalls of trying to do it yourself. This article looks at five reasons to use a solicitor to write your Will.
1 – A solicitor knows what to ask
One of the key benefits of using a solicitor begins before the Will writing process. Writing a will is part of estate planning, and while it is an important part, there are many practical and legal matters you may also wish to get in order.
A solicitor will be able to draw out all of the property and interests that make up your estate, ensuring that nothing is forgotten about. A solicitor will work with you to create a comprehensive will that accurately reflects your estate and your wishes.
2 – Your will, will be properly drafted
A Will is a formal legal document and, as a result, must meet certain legal requirements. While you may have read and understood what these legal requirements are, can you be confident that you will be able to meet them? Even many online Will templates and services fail to observe the legal requirements for validity, and where this happens, your Will writing efforts may prove to be pointless. Furthermore, where a Will is not properly drafted, it will be invalid or open to challenge. You can save your loved one’s difficulty later on and put your mind at ease by using a solicitor.
3 – A solicitor can word the document correctly
Drafting a Will is complicated. It requires careful wording and understanding to ensure that your wishes are reflected accurately. Many disputes concerning Wills arise from unclear wording. By using a solicitor, you can ensure that your directions are not left open to interpretation.
4 – A solicitor understands how to draft a Will for complex finances or family structures
If you have complicated finances, or you have even a slightly more complex family structure, we would suggest you instruct a solicitor to draft your Will. Drafting a Will to account for stepchildren, for example, can be complicated, and you could end up unintentionally leaving those closest to you with no inheritance.
5 – Inheritance tax planning and Power of Attorney
As discussed above, writing a Will is about more than just setting out where your property will go. With the specialist skill and knowledge of a solicitor, you can also plan to mitigate your inheritance tax liability, allowing you to leave more behind for your loved ones. Similarly, when making a Will, many people choose to make a Power of Attorney too. A Power of Attorney is for your own protection, so that should anything happen to you, you know your affairs will be taken care of as you wish.
If you wish to discuss this article further or for more information on Wills and estate planning, please feel free to email me or contact the Private Client department on 020 8858 6971.