In my last blog, I wrote about the difference between a solicitor and someone operating as a Will Writer only. I also wrote a little about my background and gave the assurance that I’m a paid-up member of The Institute of Professional Will Writers. So, this blog builds on that one by focusing on 4 questions to ask a solicitor or Will Writer before you decide if you’re going to use them to draft your Will.
How long have they been drafting Wills?
Why do you need to ask this? Well, the professional you’re considering might only be recently qualified and not been drafting Wills for all that long. Experience has to come from somewhere of course and if your Will needs are simple you shouldn’t worry.
But if you feel your Will needs are complex then you may want to consider seeking someone more experienced.
What is their area of expertise?
Is drafting Wills a big part of their role? Many solicitors undertake many different legal functions, conveyancing for example. If Will drafting is only a small part of a solicitor’s role and not a main area of expertise then that’s something you should think about.
You’ll feel more confident with someone who, like me, has spent twenty years drafting Wills.
What qualifications do they have?
If it’s a solicitor that you’re considering using you know that they’ve been through a lot of studying and a lengthy training process. There’s no doubt that they’ll have a certain level of qualification.
But, if the person you’re considering going to is a Will Writer then you really should dig. You want to know:
- What level of qualification they’ve got.
- Have they done Will Writing courses?
- How in-depth were they?
- Did the course/s deal with inheritance tax?
You need to ascertain such things because there are different levels of Will Writers and different levels of qualification.
In my case, I worked as a solicitor in a legal practice for many years where I wrote many Wills. I retired from that and now I’m a Will Writer. So, I have all the qualifications that I needed as a solicitor and all that experience as a solicitor and I bring all that to my Will Writing business.
I would expect any potential client of mine to ask me such questions as these and you should do the same with whoever you’re thinking of using.
It’s important you get a clear idea from the outset of what it’s going to cost you.
Many solicitors will tell you that their starting price is £xxx. So you need to know at what point it starts to cost more. When does the meter start whizzing round?
I’m very clear on my costs and have everything on my Swindon Will Writing website. I start with a base cost for a straightforward Will and then the costs increase. But I’m clear and specific about both why the cost rises and how much it will be.
Whoever you’re considering employing, make sure you’re clear on the cost.
I trust that, when you’re thinking of getting your wills drafted, you’ve now got a clear idea of the questions you should ask before you commit. I would expect questions like this – and any other Will Writer worth their salt would expect them too.
If you would like a review of your existing wills to see if they need updating, then please simply email me at email@example.com and I can review them for you. And that’s a complimentary service.