One in every FIVE wills has a basic error in them – Hilary Buckle explains why you should only have your Will written by a fully-qualified solicitor that specialises in Wills and Probate.
- Legal Services Board reports one in five Wills has basic errors
- Poorly drafted Wills can lead to contested Probates and bills from the tax man
- By the time mistakes have been discovered, it may be too late to do anything
Every year we, and every other firm of solicitors, pay a huge cheque to an insurance company for our professional indemnity insurance. It’s not because we’re a big risk… it is just one of the things that solicitors must do as part of our profession. Our governing body will not allow us to practise unless we have insurance in place.
Unfortunately, not everyone involved in legal work is regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority or has to have insurance in place.
Sadly, this is probably one of the factors why one in five wills have basic errors (a fact reported recently by the Legal Services Board).
Currently there are five main routes to write a will in England and Wales; solicitors, specialised Will-writers, banks, affiliate groups such as unions, or by self completion using an online or published Will-writing pack. Of these routes, only Wills written by qualified solicitors are subject to regulation with complaints procedures leading to the Legal Ombudsman. You Get What You Pay For With Wills A quick internet search reveals costs of Wills starting from £9.99 for paper based self completion, £29.99 online to between £100-£200 for a Will written by a solicitor. It probably goes without saying that the more complicated your financial affairs the more work it is to prepare your Will properly. Comparing prices is always difficult, as a good Will that can be executed properly is worth a lot more than an online piece of A4 that has no guarantees.
Writing a Will is vital to protect assets built up over a lifetime to ensure they go to the right people when you pass away. They can also reduce Inheritance Tax liability and Trusts can be very important in long-term care planning. However, by the time mistakes have been discovered, it may be too late to do anything about it and often people do not consider necessary changes due to life events such as major asset purchases or new family members such as children or grandchildren.
I have seen personally seen how poorly drafted Wills have caused anguish for relatives, (leading in many instances to costly contested Probates) and in some cases, unexpected bills from the tax man and the loss of a family home. It does not surprise me that so many Wills have been found to be faulty. The Law changes regularly and unless it is your full-time job, it is very difficult to keep up with the ramifications of every change. Even when you do know exactly what is going on you have to know how to apply the Law in the correct way. There are so many myths about Inheritance Tax and Wills, that everyone should really consult a solicitor. Apart from the expensive professional insurance we also have many years of experience of dealing with these issues.
If you are thinking about getting a Will drafted or want a review of your existing Will I am offering a £95 discounted price for an initial consultation meeting. This is for the first 7 people who respond to this offer so please act today.
Please telephone or email me for an appointment to review your existing Will or a new Will on 0118 958 9711 or [email protected]