You can write your own will and you can buy packs from shops or online to help you do this. However, except in the simplest cases, it is generally advisable to use someone who specialises in drafting wills. If it’s not written properly it may prevent your wishes being carried out and can cause difficulties for those left to sort out your estate.
There are a number of options open to you if you want to make a will but unless your will is very simple, it is advisable to consult someone who specialises in writing wills.
There is a saying ‘that you don’t know what you don’t know’ which is very apt in this industry.
A professional will ask you questions that you had not even considered and most people would not know the consequences of a badly drafted will.
If you want professional advice then your choices are:
Lawyers: You can get advice from a lawyer (for example, a solicitor or chartered legal executive). I would advise speaking to a lawyer who specialises in wills and probate (applying for the legal right to deal with someone’s property, money and possessions). Check they are licensed with the relevant professional body, such as the Solicitors Regulation Authority or Law Society.
Professional will writers: Make sure you choose a Professional will writer who is a member of the Society of Will Writers (SOWW) and or the Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners (STEP), this will help to ensure that you will be getting a company that has to adhere to strict codes of conduct and are audited on an annual basis. Some will writers aren’t as qualified as specialist wills solicitors and may not be regulated.
Banks: Some banks offer will-writing services and advice about estate planning. Contact your local branch to find out what they can offer. My extra piece of advice on banks is if you do decide to use your bank as they may offer a free will, is to make sure that you have a loved one or friend as executor, because sometime the professional charges to execute your will could be quite high, up to 4/5% of the estate value.
Make your own will: You can make your own will but you must make sure that it’s valid. A will is a legal document so it needs to be written and signed correctly. If you decide to make your own will, it’s best to seek advice first.
Give us a call about your Will on 01603 927273 or get a free consultation.