An increasing amount of people are asking the question “Why are Wills from a solicitor so expensive when there are free Will kits available online to download or available on common high street store shelves for next to nothing?”.
To address this, we have written this article to explain the potential minefield that awaits someone looking to make a free Will should they choose one of these such kits.
Naturally, for some people, these kits are adequate (albeit not ideal) or they would not exist. These people probably simply want to leave everything to one person such as their spouse or next of kin and want to keep things very simple. However, anyone wanting to divide their estate (money property etc) up between a number of beneficiaries would need a more robust solution and would benefit from receiving professional legal advice and assistance. If they get their Will wrong, their chosen beneficiaries might not receive what was intended and it could end up costing much more in the long run.
Therefore if you are thinking of making a Will it is very important to make sure that your Will is legally secure and watertight. Remember, when you have passed on you won’t be around to help settle arguments or to oversee things.
Free Will kits and templates often have several issues. Sometimes they omit basic clauses that make provision for matters such as protecting children by setting up trusts or guardianship. Sometimes there are provisions and clauses in DIY home made wills that are simply unnecessary and are added just to fill space.
We are all unique and different and a professionally well drafted Will is a bespoke document that can be prepared and is specifically tailored to meet your personal unique requirements.
Many of the ‘Free Will Kit’ websites found online that do not charge for the download are not all they seem. Web sites are there to earn revenue in one form or another for their owner. Often the free download is simply ‘bait’ to entice the user onto the site and once a person has entered their details the information is then sold on to third parties.
It’s critical to note that if there any mistakes in a DIY Will, for example if it’s not witnessed properly or even an issue with the signature then the Will could be rendered invalid and your wishes will not be carried out which could leave your loved ones with financial stress and worry at an already emotional time. Free Will templates can also have spelling mistakes and bad wording which would invalidate it.
Another issue with creating a Will is storing it. It is important to ensure that your Will is stored safely and securely and most importantly it can be found when the time comes. Should a house fire occur for example, it could be destroyed – and if during that also the worst should happen you would then be Intestate (Not having a Will). It’s an unpleasant thought but it is something to consider.
Wills drafted by ourselves are stored free of charge in an extremely secure area and in fireproof safes so no matter what happens it is safe with us.
Having a Will professionally drafted offers peace of mind and security that your wishes are respected and acted upon.
Despite a campaign from the Legal Services Board, there is currently no regulation at all for Will drafting services. This means anyone can set up as a Will writer and claim to be a Will writing expert. It’s thought that incorrectly prepared Wills by dodgy unqualified Will writers affects thousands of people annually so it’s important to be aware of the problem and avoid using those services.
We are proud to be a fully regulated firm of professional solicitors regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
We are also members of The Wills and Inheritance Quality Scheme (WIQS) which is open to solicitors who can demonstrate high levels of experience and expertise and which ensures best practices are followed to a high standard and transparency is achieved in the process, communications and costs as well as providing an efficient and professional service.
If you are considering making a Will then contact us online today for honest and professional advice.