Why Use a Professional to Prepare Your Will

27th January 2023Manisha Chauhan0

You’ve decided now is the time to put documentation in place to protect your estate. What next?

There are different options available to you when it comes to making a Will:-

  • See a professional; or
  • Write a Will yourself

Many have the misconception that it’s “easy enough” to prepare a Will as it simply is a case of naming their beneficiaries and listing who should get what and there are even places on the high street where consumers have the option to purchase a DIY kit. However, issues can arise if you write your own Will.

DIY Wills
  1. Your estate may be complex and without specific planning, inheritance tax could be payable on your death which could have been avoided
  2. Certain gifts could fail – did you know that if a beneficiary witnesses your Will, any gift to them will be void?
  3. Your estate could be challenged – by excluding a loved one from your estate it could give rise to a challenge of your Will on your death
  4. You may not appoint a guardian to care for your minor children in the event of your death which would force them into care
What will a professional do?
  • Consider the size of your estate by asking for a list of your assets and liabilities so they can offer estate planning advice to reduce IHT payable if IHT is likely to be an issue
  • Consider your family circumstances
  • Offer advice if you wish to exclude someone from your estate and the risks of this
  • Discuss various trusts to protect your estate/beneficiaries
  • Assess your capacity
  • Consider any risks of undue influence

Using a professional can save you a lot of stress and give you and your family peace of mind. They will consider everything and offer tailored advice to ensure your wishes are met after your death.

Make sure to choose someone who is trained in succession law and insured for their work, as all members of The Society Will Writers (SWW) are. You may also consider a Solicitor who is regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), some of whom are also members of the SWW.

By using a professional Will Writer who is a member of the SWW, you are safe in the knowledge that the person who is attending to you will know and understand your needs and have the necessary expertise to advise you properly on how your Will should look and how it will work, especially if your estate is complex. SWW members adhere to a form of self-regulation, which whilst voluntary, imposes minimum standards and requirements on them. All SWW members are bound by the SWW Code of Practice and must also keep their knowledge up to date through ongoing training and CPD as well as carry a minimum of £2 million Professional Indemnity Insurance. Only those who do are permitted to be members and will be issued a certificate of compliance and ID card confirming their SWW membership.

You should ask to see the SWW member’s ID card on which you will see their membership number and expiry date. You can also confirm if anyone claiming to be a member is a member by looking for them on our Find a Member page. Not all SWW members have a web presence though, so if you can’t find an SWW member online, please contact us directly and we will check our database for you.

If you’ve not yet written your Will, or it’s time your existing Will is due for a review, get in touch with one of our members today.

Manisha Chauhan

Manisha joined the Society’s Technical Advice Team in July 2019 having previously worked as an Employment Solicitor in Warwickshire before relocating to Lincolnshire. Manisha provides advice on technical queries for Society Members and ongoing support on our professional drafting software, Sure Will Writer.

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About The Society of Will Writers

The Society of Will Writers is a non-profit making self-regulatory organisation whose primary objectives are the advancement, education and ethical standards within the will writing profession.

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