Choosing the Right Will-Writer

Posted by

You’ve no doubt seen lots of adverts across different media, urging you to make a will. This is a very important message, particularly if you have a wife/partner, children, property and other assets and you want your affairs to be in order when you pass away.

However, with all of this ‘noise’ about will-writing, how do you choose the best will writing service for you? The specialist team at Swansea Legal Solutions has an established reputation for helping clients to develop practical and affordable wills but also understand it can be difficult to make the right choice when faced with so many options. So we’ve come up with these tips which you should take into account before you choose your preferred will-writing service.

Tip 1- Check the Small Print

When choosing a will-writer, you should always check the small print to ensure there are no hidden charges or conditions. Don’t be tempted to go for the lowest price either as a cheap will today could end up costing your loved ones £000’s when you’re gone.

You should also check that the will-writers don not automatically appoint themselves as the executors (the people who sort out the finances) and then charge a percentage of the estate.

It’s usually a good idea to use the will-writing service to carry out probate once you’ve passed away but be wary of companies that include a probate reselling clause in their contract. This could mean that the will outsource this service to another provider which comes with additional costs (and if you’ve signed a contract with this clause then your beneficiaries can do nothing about it).

Tip 2 – Member of a Recognised Body

It’s a good idea to ensure that the will-writer you choose is a member of a recognised body. Will-writing is not formally regulated so those companies which pay for membership of a recognised body demonstrate that they understand the importance of protecting themselves and their clients through indemnity insurance for example.

The recognised UK bodies for will-writers include:

·        The Society of Will Writers

·        The Institute of Professional Will Writers

·        Solicitors Regulation Authority (if solicitors)

Will-writing companies who are members of these bodies will undergo regular training; they will have insurance to cover legal costs should a will be challenged; and they will follow a code of practice which has been approved by the Trading Standards Institute.

If you opt to get your will written by your bank, you should still check that the are a member of one of these bodies as will-writing is not covered by the same regulations as bank accounts or investments.

Tip 3 – Look at Inheritance Tax Planning

When making your will, you should also get advice on inheritance tax as you don’t want your loved ones missing out through lack of planning. Ideally, your will-writing company should be able to give you advice and guidance on inheritance tax issues, such as setting up property trusts for example. 

Tip 4 – Take Care of Your Children

If you have children or dependents, the one of the most important parts of writing your will is to appoint legal guardians, otherwise they could end up in the care of the local authority if you die whilst they are still minors.

Also, if you don’t have a will which protects your children’s inheritance, if your surviving partner remarries, then your children could miss out. This is because a new marriage actually revokes a will.

A professional will-writing company which also offers an estate planning service can help you to look at the bigger picture and help you plan to protect your family.

At Swansea Legal Solutions we offer a full range of estate planning and will-writing services which are tailored to individual clients’ specific needs. Our aim is to ensure your will is watertight and that your beneficiaries are protected in all ways.

We are also members of the Society of Will Writers which gives our clients the reassurances they need to appoint us for these services.

To find out more, click here or call us on 01792 420844.