Why you shouldn’t make a Will online or use an unqualified “Will Writer”

It is so important to have a current valid will as it will dictate as to how your assets and your estate generally will be distributed as per your wishes.

Your estate will not automatically pass to your spouse or your partner if you are married or in a civil partnership so it is imperative that you have your will written in order to set out clear instructions on how you would like your estate to be administered.

It is extremely difficult to cope with the loss of a loved one as it is and not leaving definitive instructions can cause a tremendous amount of upset and stress for family, friends and business associates.

Notwithstanding this, a large percentage of people in England and Wales do not hold a valid will simply because they have never found the time to deal with this aspect of their life’s plans. In these circumstances, “online services” may attract individuals because they think that their Will would be dealt with quicker, or the process would be more straightforward in terms of form filling etc, solely because they don’t need to speak to, or visit a qualified solicitor.

If your will is straightforward it can be made via an “online service” but that does not guarantee its validity once it has been executed, and you may not necessarily receive the kind of advice as you would usually from a qualified and experienced wills and probate lawyer.

These types of services also do not provide you with advice on inheritance tax liability and minimising tax generally, or if you hold assets abroad, if you have an estate which is worth over 1 million pounds. The competency of such online companies have been called into question and frowned upon because the person who is drafting your will may not have had any legal training, or even taken any A-Levels.

Qualified solicitors have to go through extensive training and keep up to date with the areas of law that they practise which is a compulsory requirement that is imposed by the Law Society.

Firms of solicitors also hold professional indemnity insurance of up to £2,000,000.00 or £3,000,000.00 should any complications ever arise. As law firms are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, the storage of your will becomes more secure.

We deal with many Wills having taken instructions electronically online which is no different to what an “online service” offers. We also arrange consultations with clients who prefer face-to-face contact and who need complex advice which is easier to explain in person, although we can discuss the advice over the telephone and confirm the advice in letters and emails. If a will is not drafted and executed in the correct way, intended beneficiaries won’t find out until the donee has passed away and the will is produced. This will also cause unnecessary stress and expense to all those concerned.

We can also store your will for you and not charge the types of fees that the banks and other storage facilities do.

Please call us on 0207 183 0084 or email us on info@olaleslie.com to request further information about our will writing service; we are always happy to assist. We also deal with probate and the administration of estates if you require assistance with administering the estate of a loved one who has passed away.

Ayesha Leslie, Partner
Ola Leslie Solicitors