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Why use a Solicitor to prepare your Will?

Instructing a solicitor to prepare your Will is usually seen as the expensive way to do it but using a solicitor can save a lot of stress for you and your family, as well as giving you peace of mind and potentially saving you additional costs in the future.

A lot of people think that preparing a Will is simply a case of listing beneficiaries, but there is a lot more to it! When instructing somebody to prepare a Will for you, make sure they advise and consider the following:-

  1. Your family circumstances and potential claims
  2. An assessment of your financial circumstances and advice about inheritance tax reliefs
  3. Advice on the most appropriate Will structure. Are you concerned about asset protection or vulnerable beneficiaries?
  4. Capacity and undue influence. Solicitors keep attendance notes detailing your discussions with them. During those discussions, your solicitor should be assessing your capacity and be ensuring that you are not being influenced in anyway. It is likely that those attendances notes will be reviewed in the future should a claim be made against your estate.

The benefits of using a solicitor to prepare your Will are:-

  • Solicitors are highly trained, professionals with a number of years of training. You can therefore be more confident there are no mistakes. Common problems such as using the wrong witnesses, no witnesses at all or forgetting to date the document could mean your Will is not valid when you die. Using a solicitor should reduce the risk of these issues arising in the future.
  • The complicated bits are done for you. The law surrounding inheritance (including Inheritance Tax, long term care planning and Trusts) is complicated. Solicitors will be familiar with the law and will be able to help you make the most effective choices.
  • You are protected if something goes wrong as solicitors are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Solicitors also have professional indemnity insurance and various codes of practice they must adhere to.
  • Your Will is stored safely. If a solicitor helps you write your Will, they will usually store the original for you in a fireproof safe free of charge.

The consequences of your Will being invalid, damaged or lost are severe and could ultimately result in significant tax implications or your estate passing to someone who you would otherwise not wish to receive it.

If you would like advice from one of our Private Client Solicitors about preparing a will, please email laurastuart@brethertons.co.uk or phone 01295 270999 (Banbury Office) 01869 252161 (Bicester Office) and 01788579579 (Rugby Office).