Make a will, but use a solicitor
Many adults in the UK do not make a valid will. Sometimes this is simply because they do not realise the value in doing so.
Put simply making a will means that you decide what happens to your estate (your valuables and possessions) after you are dead rather than someone else making that decision for you.
In the event that you do not make a will, you are are said to have died “intestate” and the State effectively decides who gets what.
The second key advantage of making a will is that typically the estate of someone who has made a valid will is dealt with more quickly than someone who has not.
We would always recommend that a will is drawn up using the services of a Solicitor.
That is not to say that there are not competent will writing agencies who are not Solicitors, it is just that the comfort of using a properly qualified lawyer is in our view worth paying for.
This week the Legal Services Board which oversees the regulation of lawyers in England and Wales is continuing its investigation into the will writing sector.
Almost unbelievably until now the will writing sector has been unregulated which means anyone regardless of qualifications and experience could set themselves up as a will writer.
Some quite frightening stories have emerged around the cost of writing a will through one of these agencies who quote a basic cost and then inflate it as the work is carried out. Or even of them writing themselves in as a beneficiary under the will.
The Legal Services Board have received over 400 examples of bad practice during their investigation of the sector.
Our advice is write a will (it does not mean you are going to die soon!) and use a competent and qualified Solicitor to do it.