“Do I need to use a solicitor to draft my Will?”

Gabrielle dell portrait.

Gabrielle Dell

Senior Solicitor

Phone 01264 325840

Email gdell@bsandi.co.uk

The short answer to this is: no. A Will does not have to be prepared by a solicitor in order to be valid. But there are definite advantages and securities that come with using a qualified, experienced professional.  

A Will is a formal, legal document. Anyone who has gone through the process of putting one in place will know that it can cover a wide range of post-death instructions, from who is to inherit the diamond engagement ring, to who could become your children’s legal guardian. There will be the appointment of executors to consider, as well as estate planning and tax considerations. And, ultimately, a great deal of precision is needed in setting out your wishes. Ambiguity, errors and missing information can lead to significant problems for those you leave behind.

The point of a Will is that it neatly ties up many of the loose ends that exist when a person dies. People make Wills to make sure the things they own will be passed on to the right people. It is the certainty that comes from a well-prepared Will that allows clients to have peace of mind that everything is in order. And that is why we believe it’s always best to put this in the hands of a specialist.

This means a lawyer who specialises in Wills. Law firms’ websites will often describe these as ‘Wills and Probate’ or ‘Private Client’ lawyers, as distinct from ‘Company and Commercial’ or ‘Property’ lawyers, for example. Seek out the advisor you trust and who’s right for you. He or she will be experienced in advising on what should be written into your Will and will help you through the process of collating details of your assets, arranging your estate, and detailing your wishes - with a careful eye on tax-efficiency. They will be meticulous in their drafting. And they will be regulated and insured, so if anything goes wrong you’ll have somewhere to turn (which isn’t the case when it comes to all Will-drafting services).

The fallout from badly prepared Wills can take a huge emotional and financial toll on families. It’s the reason we urge people to get the very best legal support they can when looking to put a Will in place or to update a Will they already have. Far from being just a formality that we all need to go through, a Will is one of the most important provisions you’ll make. So make it count.

For advice about making a Will, please contact us on 01264 353411 or email wills@bsandi.co.uk

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