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Employing a Will Writing Company

By: J.A.J Aaronson - Updated: 23 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
Will Testament Deceased Beneficiary Tax

If you are reading this article the chances are that you have begun to think about having a will drafted. You are probably aware of the immense benefits that this will bring, and, indeed, of the immense hardships that failure to write one can force upon your family. Bearing in mind the consequent importance of this document, it would seem to make excellent sense to ensure that the process is carried out properly.

Going it Alone

If your affairs are very simple (essentially, if you are leaving less than your non-taxable allowance to a single beneficiary), then it is often possible to Write your Own Will. If you are intending on taking this course of action, you should get as much information as you can on the correct methods before you begin. Much of this is available in articles throughout this site, but you may also find it useful to contact your local Citizens’ Advice Bureau or visit the government’s Directgov service.

In the vast majority of cases, however, you should seriously consider employing a professional to help you draw up your will. This is an important legal document which, as such, needs to comply with certain requirements, and be presented in a certain structure, in order to maintain its validity.

A professional engaged in will writing can ensure that this is achieved. Many people are tempted by the ‘DIY’ will-writing kits that can be found in many stationers, or by the instant, low-cost services available on the internet. However, these both have the flaws; again, while they may be suitable for those who are drawing up the simplest of wills, they are of little use if you require even something as basic as a trust. Similarly, the capacity for error is enormous bearing in mind the fact that you will have no face-to-face contact with an expert in the field.

Expert Advice

For these reasons, employing a solicitor or dedicated will-writing company to aid you in the process of putting together the document is highly recommended for a significant number of people. While it is true that the majority of testators simply leave their entire estate to their spouse, an expert will be able to advise you on more tax-efficient methods of disbursing your estate.

Similarly, if you wish to place assets in trust, perhaps in order to protect your assets from creditors, to minimise your tax liabilities, or to set aside money or property for a child, then you will require the help of an expert. These can be complicated legal matters and, in order to ensure that you get the most out of them you should always seek professional help.

It is important to check that the will writing company you use is a member of the Institute of Professional Will Writers or the Society of Will Writers as they receive rigorous training and ongoing CPD in order to qualify for membership, and will carry Public Liability and Indemnity Insurance for the protection of their clients. Some will writing companies are untrained and carry no insurance which can obviously be disastrous for the client. The IPW are in discussions with the OFT with a view to the creation of a regulatory body to govern Will Writers.

While it is laudable for an individual to be writing a will at all, there is little point in doing so unless it will be valid. There are more cases than one might imagine of testaments being challenged on the grounds of their validity; the upholding of these challenges can lead to the discounting of parts of, or the entire document. In order to avoid the distress that this can cause, employing a will-writing expert is heartily recommended.

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