Buyer Beware. A regulated company or a member of the legal profession are NO Guarantee for a job well done when it comes to obtaining a Will.
As with any important purchase, when looking for a new Will writer and provider, it pays to do your online research and this research should extend beyond checking out whether a company is regulated. Furthermore, don’t limit your search to local solicitors; this rather dated approach to obtaining a Will can be both time consuming and very expensive.
We often have had clients present us with previous Wills of a very poor standard, some of which have been created by both regulated Will writing companies and legal firms. Such Wills have suffered from:
- Lack of clarity and confusing, unexplained jargon. There is often the situation where the Will and its contents were never fully explained. This then begs the question as to whether the Wills content answered the clients wishes.
- High cost. Often clients have paid many hundreds and in some instances, thousands of pounds for such Wills; particularly if they have used a solicitor and had meetings and correspondence to expedite the Will writing process.
- Poor Advice. Pushed into things that aren’t necessarily required. For example, clients have been ‘pushed’ into ‘trusts’ regardless of whether a trust was required. The result is often a much-inflated bill.
All the above we have seen from both regulated and unregulated companies as well as solicitors. Our advice, when looking for a Will writing provider would be as follows:
- Look for experience and credibility. Look to see how many Wills they have written and continue to write monthly. Check out a company’s testimonials from satisfied clients as well as looking at both ‘Google’ and social media reviews. All such information is available at the touch of a finger.
- Look at the ease of service and levels of support. No one has time, these days, to go trapsing back and forth to town or city centre offices for appointments. Furthermore, you want to know that help and advice is on hand from specific Will writing experts.
- Consider the whole picture. The chances are that embarking on your new Will journey will flag up other requirements. Yes, you might need a trust OR you might need to change the ownership status of your home and quite possibly, you might well need advice on ways of reducing your IHT (Inheritance Tax Liability) on your estate. With this in mind, consider a provider that offers you the convenience of providing this – all from under one roof.
- Consider future needs and storage. Life can change quickly. People go out of our lives; we by additional properties; anything can and does happen and because of this, it’s recommended that you review your Will every 5 years. This means that accessibility is vital.