WHY WRITING WILLS MAKES ME SO HAPPY!
I’d forgive you for thinking I’m a bit strange – but I do enjoy writing Wills for my clients. It makes me happy and puts a smile on my face. I get even more excited in the moment after I’ve witnessed them signing their Wills when I see the look of relief on their faces. Job done!
But how did this happen? How did I end up as a Will writer? It’s not the sort of thing most people have a desire to do when they are young and full of hopes and dreams for the future! Where did it all go so right for me?
Well, make yourself comfortable and I’ll tell you!
I’m skipping over the school bit where I wanted to be a doctor but had my hopes dashed fast when I kept blowing things up in chemistry. That and the dawning realisation that I’m somewhat squeamish.
So, I went to university to study politics and philosophy. I’d like to say that was where I started to question the meaning of life and began to envisage a life in law.
The truth of the matter was less high-minded: I’d been having way too much fun and wasn’t too keen on looking for a ‘proper’ job at the end of my studies. Most of my friends were going to work in accountancy firms but I saw no attraction in that whatsoever. So, I persuaded my parents to let me remain in study mode. With that agreed, I embarked on a law conversion course with a view to obtaining a training contract at a firm of solicitors afterwards.
Oh, the irony! When I found that training contracts were hard to come by and I ended up working for one of the top five accountancy firms how my friends laughed!. I became what people affectionately termed an “android” – some of you may recognise the firm I worked for from that term. So I spent two years trekking up to London working relentlessly long hours and found myself taking tax exams; how did that happen?!
I discovered I’m not a good commuter. I don’t travel well. I also discovered that I didn’t have much free time. I didn’t need to discover that I was not a great fan of sitting tax exams! What was great about the job though was the work ethic it taught me, the travel, and the experience of working in London for a global firm. It was invaluable and I’m grateful to this day for the opportunity.
Yet this was not a long-term career for me. I rather enjoyed the law when I was studying it and I wanted to get back to it somehow.
An opportunity arose when a training contract became available in a local law firm in Tunbridge Wells, where we were living at that point. I applied and got the position and my career in law began.
I loved the firm I was working for and at the end of my training contract I had a choice to make. Both the family department and the private client department wanted me to work with them. I enjoyed the work in both departments but I wasn’t sure that I could cope with the long-term effects of dealing with divorce and child protection issues. I’m not the sort of person who can switch off and I knew I would spend sleepless nights worrying for my clients. I’m full of admiration for family law solicitors. I think they must have enormous mental strength to cope with the traumas their clients face every day. And, I have to say, that private client law attracted me because it’s so diverse and intricate. Drafting Wills, advising on inheritance tax, dealing with trusts and probates and powers of attorney. No day was ever the same as the next and the work provide a constant intellectual challenge.
So I made my choice. I enjoyed several years at the firm where I became a partner and head of the private client department.
After many enjoyable years’ things changed – as they inevitably do. We found ourselves, for a variety of reasons, relocating to Swindon. All of them positive I might add.
This move turned into the perfect opportunity for me to have a ‘contemplating the meaning of life’ moment. Always a philosopher at heart! The conclusion drawn from my soul searching was that returning to Swindon represented an ideal opportunity to try something new.
I’ve always been a bit of a control freak. Hence I had the idea that I’d set up a couple of businesses where all the decisions would be mine and I could control how much or how little work I could do. It also meant I would be around for the children. Something that’s always difficult when you are a full-time working parent and have a gazillion things to juggle all the time.
So here I am, happy as Larry, keeping it simple and writing Wills, drafting Powers of Attorney and advising on inheritance tax. It keeps me out of mischief, I still meet lots of lovely people – because I only work with lovely clients of course! And I make them all happy because they finally get around to that pesky, but rather important job of having their Wills written.
So, if you would like to join my gang of fabulous people, do get in touch and I’ll be more than happy – and a little excited – to help you!
Apropos of nothing at all to do with Wills and lasting powers of attorney, there is another thing that excites me. And that’s my second business: Ishbel’s Wardrobe. Why not step inside and see what it’s all about?