With so many different options available for making your Will it can be confusing to know which one is best. Take a look below to find out more about each of the options.
1. DIY will pack – these are sold in high street stationery shops, online, or they could be completely drafted at home from scratch. These can be risky if you don’t have any legal knowledge. They often contain lots of mistakes – a common one being the Testator leaving all of their “personal property” to a named individual – whilst this is OK, most Testators are often horrified when they realise they have not actually disposed of what is usually most people’s main asset: their house. This is because any property you own is classed as realty not personalty – in this situation your house would be dealt with under the rules of intestacy. The question you should ask yourself when writing a homemade will is ‘Would I deal with all the legal paperwork when buying or selling a house?” If the answer is “no” you should not write your own Will as essentially you are disposing of the same asset on your death.
2. Free Will option by a professional – this often comes with a catch and should be approached with caution. Sadly, we live in a world where usually nothing is free! You should check the small print very carefully and if you are not allowed to appoint your own Executors or are encouraged to appoint a company to act as Executors you should back away. This is where is can get very costly for your loved ones – in the event of your death they will often charge extortionate fees to carry out the probate and there is nothing your family can do about it. Once the Executors are appointed they can only be changed by the Testator during their lifetime.
3. Bargain Wills – £19.99 for Mirror Wills. These are often bad news. More often than not they are template Wills that are not tailored to your specific needs. In many cases Guardians are not appointed for minor children and Trust funds are not set up as they should be which can leave beneficiaries in a position of financial hardship. There have been many cases of people having used these types of Wills when in fact they and their loved ones would have been better off if there had been no Will at all.
4. Professional Will Writing – this could be a solicitor or other legal practitioner. Normally they are a member of an approved regulating body (e.g. SRA, CILEx, Society of Will Writers etc). They have comprehensive insurance that protects you and your Estate and will undertake CPD training on a regular basis. These Wills usually start at approximately £150 – £200 and can run into hundreds of £s depending on how complicated your Estate is. Your Will is tailor written specifically for you and your individual circumstances. Companies that offer home appointments are usually cheaper as they have slightly lower overheads.
Whatever you decide, you should be aware that Will Writing is an unregulated practice which means people who aren’t qualified can offer this legal service. It is important that you make sure you check legal qualifications, insurance and any memberships your Will Writer has – those that have spent years of their lives training will always be more than happy to show you their certificates.
MGF Wills offers a Professional Will drafting service that is tailored to your individual needs. I operate on a fixed fee basis as I believe in transparency and because I only offer home appointments / Zoom appointments I can pass on those savings to my Clients. I still have comprehensive insurance in place and will happily produce certificates for insurance and qualifications on request. I also adhere to the Society of Will Writers strict code of conduct. You will never receive a ‘hard sell’ from me – I offer a straightforward service at a fair price. Most of my business comes through word of mouth recommendations and I like it that way!
Still confused by all your Will Writing options? If you have any queries, please do get in touch.
Or, if you’d rather arrange a face to face appointment: