Making a Will – why the value of a solicitor always beats an online bargain
In the middle of a pandemic, with many of us working from home or with more time on our hands than normal, it's hard not to notice that TV and radio advertisements for online Wills seem to be at an all-time high.
In fact, internet searches on this subject have rocketed by 400% since March.
Although making the important decision to make a Will must always be applauded, the cheap as chips or free deals offered by unregulated, uninsured Will-writing companies are often not the value for money they appear.
In some cases, the incredibly basic, low cost Wills offered by online Will writing companies are simply used to lure customers in.
Once hooked - and with the Will often drafted at speed based on a brief questionnaire - customers are then cross-sold products like funeral plans, life insurance and other financial service packages.
In contrast, a qualified Wills and Probate solicitor will make sure your Will is executed in accordance with all the relevant rules having taken detailed information from you about your estate, your family and dependents and your wishes in terms of beneficiaries.
Only once this is done will they then use their professional understanding of your circumstances to discuss other services you might need, like a Lasting Power of Attorney or estate planning.
Understandably, for many people, price is a key consideration when it comes to making a Will.
The trouble is, making a Will is not always a straightforward process - meaning going for the cheapest option can end up being a false economy with huge repercussions.
Not only are many online Will-writing companies unregulated, which means you have nowhere to go for redress if something goes wrong, there are often hidden costs like being charged an annual fee for Will storage.
And if a Will is disputed because it has been incorrectly drawn up, the chance of getting any legal compensation is slim.
Solicitors, on the other hand, are overseen by the Legal Services Board (LSB), and if there is a problem, complaints can be dealt with by the Legal Ombudsman for England and Wales. They are also on top of the all the latest changes to rules and legislation.
- Please click here to see what we wrote recently about making sure your Will is valid with social distancing restrictions making the physical witnessing of signatures more complicated.
Get in touch
In these difficult times, we are here for all our clients, providing a high-quality service via telephone or video call. We are still able to arrange a limited number of safe, socially distanced meetings when necessary.
Wards Solicitors is recommended as a leading practice in the 2021 edition of the independent Legal 500 guide. Our Wills, Probate and Mental Capacity team lawyers are highly experienced, bringing a wealth of knowledge and commitment to their role.
Most are members of Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE), a specialist group of lawyers set up to support and make a difference to elderly and vulnerable people, as well as the Society of Estate and Trust Practitioners (STEP).
We offer a fixed fee Will writing service as well as an online Will writing service for more straightforward Wills.
We can also explain the process of appointing a Lasting Power of Attorney and how to take wealth preservation steps to structure your affairs, not only to minimise your liability for inheritance tax but to maximise tax relief too,
For help and advice about making or reviewing your Will, please contact Wards Solicitors' Wills, Probate and Mental Capacity team.
You can find your local Wards office here.