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Why should I instruct a Solicitor to prepare my Will?

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When it comes to making a Will, there are two main pieces of advice that we at Johnson Astills give our clients. The first is to actually make one, and not keep putting it off. The second is to have a will drafted by a Solicitor that specialises in Wills.

In this article, we cover some of the benefits of obtaining advice from a specialist Solicitor, such as a member of our Wills and Probate team.

  1. Compliance with ‘Rules of Attestation’

To be valid, certain formalities have to be complied with when the Will is signed. If these ‘Rules of Attestation’ are not followed, and the Will is then invalid, the result could be that an earlier Will applies, or that the person dies ‘Intestate’, in which case control over who inherits in lost.

  1. Advice on Substitute Beneficiaries

Thinking about one’s own death can be difficult, and so can thinking about the death of the people that you want to inherit from you, especially if they are younger family members. However, if your named beneficiaries die before you, and you have not said what should happen in that situation, your estate could end up with very different people. In an extreme case, it could go to the Crown.

  1. Life Interest Trusts in property

If you share a home with someone, you may want them to be able to carry on living there after you have died, even though you may not want them to actually inherit the property. Our specialist Solicitors can advise on Life Interest Trusts and Rights to Reside, so that your wishes are met, and the value of a property goes to who you want.

  1. Tax advice

At Johnson Astills, our specialist Solicitors will carry out a full review of your finances and property so that they can advise on the most tax-efficient way to deal with your estate.

  1. Certainty of terms, and making sure your wishes are met

The language used in a Will is important. The difference between getting it right and getting it wrong can mean someone does or does not inherit, either at all, or to the extent that you wanted them to. Instructing a Solicitor that specialises in Wills means you can be satisfied that your Will reflects your wishes.

Is it expensive to use a Solicitor?

In our experience, it can be very costly not to use a Solicitor. Our Dispute Resolution team has dealt with cases where families have spent considerable sums fixing problems caused by having no Will, or one that was not drafted by a specialist Solicitor. In comparison, the costs of using a Solicitor would have been negligible, and additional stress at an emotional time could have been avoided.

At Johnson Astills we provide a professional and comprehensive Will-writing service. We will meet with you twice (sometimes three times), and send you a draft Will to make sure you are happy with it before it is completed.

Once a Will has been made, we will offer to store it for you, free of charge. We can also arrange, for free, to register your Will with Certainty, a national database of Wills.

The level of service we provide means our charges are not cheap, although we firmly believe we offer excellent value for money. We will be happy to discuss things with you and give you an estimate of our costs before we start work for you.