The benefits of expert help with your Will
Getting a professional to assist you when you make a Will may be more expensive than doing it yourself. However, a professional Will-writing service by trained experts can provide you with a legally-sound document. This will ensure peace of mind for you and those you leave behind.
Where can I find professional help?
Most high street firms of solicitors employ experts in writing and administering Wills. You can find a local solicitor through the website of the relevant Law Society: lawsociety.org.uk (for England and Wales), lawscot.org.uk for Scotland and lawsoc-ni.org for Northern Ireland. Or, alternatively, look for a member of the Institute of Professional Willwriters.
Who would use a professional to make a Will?
Sometimes it’s better to use a professional if your family situation is complicated. For example, if you’re remarried with children from a previous partner, or you want to make special arrangements for family members with a disability.
The benefits of using a professional firm
The complicated matters are sorted for you
Most of us find legal matters complicated and difficult to wrap our heads around, particularly with all the jargon and different rules. Professionals with experience of will-writing and administering estates, on the other hand, are professionally trained to be familiar with the law. Not only would a professional be in a good position to help you make the best decisions, they would be doing the complicated work for you.
You can rest assured there will be no mistakes
There are common mistakes made when people make a Will that could make it invalid. For example, using the wrong witnesses, not dating the Will, or even forgetting to have it signed. Mistakes like not providing accurate or complete names in Wills happen more than you might think. Having a professional on hand should ensure that a document as important as your Will is free of any mistakes that could make it invalid.
You’re protected if something goes wrong
All lawyers in the UK are regulated by approved regulatory bodies, such as the Solicitors Regulation Authority, which makes rules which all solicitors firms have to follow. If you encounter any problems with your solicitor, you can make a complaint to the solicitor’s firm. If the solicitor’s firm doesn’t deal with your complaint properly, you can escalate the matter to the Legal Ombudsman. The Institute of Professional Willwriters also operates a complaints procedure.
Your chosen professional can act as the executor of your Will
When you die, someone will have to manage your estate (e.g. distribute your assets, settle your debts, etc) and this person is known as the executor. If you wish, you can appoint the solicitor or will writer as the executor of your Will.
Your Will is stored safely
If you’re getting a firm of professionals to write your Will, they will usually store the original for you for free.
How much does it cost to make a Will?
There’s no straightforward answer, as the cost depends on how complicated your case is and which part of the country you live in. Generally, a simple single Will can cost somewhere between £100 and £300, whilst simple joint Wills for couples may come up between £200 and £400.
What can I expect from a firm of professionals?
A good professional should explain all your options and provide advice with your best interests first, so that you can make the best decision. They should also write and check your Will according to your instructions. Before using a professional Will-writing service to make a Will, it’s a good idea to think about what it is you want to leave behind and to whom, which should save you both time and money.
If you’d like to learn more about Wills and other areas of estate administration, have a look at our simple Wills infographic or read our articles on understanding probate and lasting power of attorney.
You can also read our guide to Wills to find out everything you need to know about making a Will.