A will is one of the most important documents in your life; it holds the key to your assets when you pass away and allow your family to grieve without the worry of your assets. However, despite the fundamental importance of a will, as the provision of will writing is un-regulated, there are a number of un-qualified will writers providing incompetent advice.
However, following a few simply steps and precautions you can ensure that you receive proper legal advice in order that your family members will receive your assets in accordance with your intentions and be protected when you pass on.
Always Use a Regulated Firm
Using a will writer without a regulatory body means that at any point the firm may mistreat you and you may have no option but to accept it. By using a firm which is regulated by a national body you are protected on two levels. For example, firms which are regulated by the SRA are closely monitored on how they deal with wills. Furthermore, if a firm closes for a number of reasons the SRA will take over control of your will and ensure its safety for the future. However, you must remember that there is no current regulatory body monitoring just wills.
Ask for Qualifications
While will writing does not require any official qualification, it is still wise to request some details on experience etc. A solicitor who is experienced with both tax law, property law and probate law is a safe bet in most cases. You should also ensure that the will writer has experience with inheritance tax, and trusts. However, experience may not always assure a reliable will writer. This is why it is always good to ask family and friends for recommendations regarding will writers they have used and their experience with them.
Check you Have Protection if They Make a Mistake
Ensure that the will writer has professional indemnity insurance to cover any financial losses you or your loved ones may suffer in the event of negligence.
One final tip is a fairly obvious yet optional one. We would highly recommend using a solicitor. This is because solicitors must have professional indemnity insurance.
Check tax consequences of your will
Always consider and seek legal tax advice regarding tax consequences of terms of your will. Any inheritance planning should be considered well ahead in order to obtain relevant tax benefits.
Read the Final Will!
The final precaution is vital. Always read the will and check it for any mistakes or concerns before you sign. In any legal document your wishes are the most important aspect; especially in wills. Be sure that there are no mistakes which may affect you or family members later and if you believe there is a mistake then always bring it up before signing any documents.
If you follow the steps above then you should have a clean and fully legal will written up for you. However, if you have any further questions regarding will drafting then please contact our solicitors.
Tulin Kiranoglu, Solicitor & Tax Advisor
Aston Bond’s will writers in Slough can assist clients across England and Wales with wills and probate. For more information please call us on 01753 486 777 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, you can visit our offices at 135 High Street, Slough, Berkshire, SL1 1DN.