Around a third of adults in the UK have a Will – the remaining two thirds have left things to chance. Here’s what you need to know before writing a Will and why using a free or cheap Will writing service could cost your loved ones dearly.
DIY Wills – whether made using online software or offline ‘packs’ – frequently spell disaster.
Kits designed for writing a Will are available cheaply in many shops and at the Post Office. You can also find various DIY Will websites where you enter your details and get a downloadable, printable Will either for free or for a low fee. But DIY Wills – whether created online or offline – simply spell disaster. Common problems include:
There are countless cases where DIY Wills have been found to be invalid or where their effect was not what the Testator (the name given to a person writing a Will) intended. Read our article ‘When DIY Wills go wrong‘ for just one example of how DIY Wills can result in years of misery for your loved ones.
Many Will writing services do not use appropriately qualified people to supervise the preparation of Wills.
Writing a Will is not a ‘reserved legal activity‘ under the Legal Services Act 2007. This means that anyone can prepare a Will for you. As a result you can get a Will written very cheaply, but those preparing the Will may have little or no legal knowledge or experience whatsoever.
ALL of the above issues that occur with DIY Wills also apply to Wills that are prepared by unqualified Will writers.
Some Will writing services profess that they are members of Will writing bodies and institutes but in some cases, a closer inspection reveals that the ‘body’ is just another website set up by the Will writing company.
Others say they use ‘qualified’ persons but this means very little without further clarification of what qualifications are held.
Using a firm or company that has qualified Will writers who supervise the preparation of all legal documents is essential. Examples of appropriately qualified people who can supervise the preparation of a Will include:
However, just because someone is appropriately qualified, does not mean that their service will protect your assets.
The basic Wills offered by many legitimate Will writers, while perfectly legal, do not protect your assets.
Many legitimate Will writing services, despite being supervised by a legally qualified person, offer a basic (and often, therefore, inadequate) Will writing service.
For couples, ‘Mirror Wills’ are often recommended – these allow you to leave everything to your partner and vice versa. However, this type of Will offers very little in the way of protection.
Those who are single may be offered a basic Will allowing them to leave assets to their children, siblings, parents or whoever they choose. But again, these offer little protection against some very common problems – for example:
All of the above scenarios could be avoided by using a Wills specialist such as April King Legal.
Paul King TEP explains to a client how our specialist Wills offer a high level of protection for their assets.
April King Legal has over 25 years of experience providing first class legal advice in all areas of estate and family law, including matrimonial and property. We pride ourselves on our level and range of services, such as Care Fee Trust Wills and Bloodline Wills, which offer you and your family great peace of mind.
Our Wills can provide protection against all of the above events – for example:
We understand that cost is a huge concern for those looking at writing a Will for the first time. Basic Wills packages can look very attractive on price, but remember that it is a false economy if the Will is not valid or provides little in the way of protection from common lifetime problems.
April King Legal charges £240 + VAT to make a specialist Will. We also offer a number of package deals that allow you to make both types of Lasting Power of Attorney at the same time for a very affordable fee.
To find out more about writing a Will with April King, order our free information pack below.