What’s the difference between a Solicitor and a Will Writer?

You can of course Google the answer to the question ‘what’s the difference between a solicitor and a Will Writer?’ But as it happens, you don’t need to! Why? Because I used to be a solicitor and now I’m a Will Writer. So, you can get it straight from the horse’s mouth as it were.

Before setting up my Swindon-based Will Writing business, I worked as a partner in a Kent law firm. The reason for switching from working in law to running a Will Writing business arose from pure pragmatics. That of relocating the family to Swindon and a growing family necessitating a more equal work/life balance.

The Training

The training one undergoes to qualify as a solicitor is extensive and lengthy. It’s also quite different to the training one must undergo to become a Will Writer. Indeed, and this may shock you, but Will Writing isn’t a regulated industry.  You or your next-door neighbour could go on a weekend course about how to write Wills and then set themselves up in business as exactly that!

On the other hand, the Will Writer you’re considering using could be someone like me – a retired solicitor. Or something between the two.

The difference

The main and palpable difference to you is that of cost. In general, Will Writers are cheaper than solicitors. That’s because Will writers:

a. Tend to work alone or at least in smaller units than a firm of solicitors with large staff costs.

  1. They often, like me, work from a home office so don’t have the overheads associated with running business premises.For those reasons the services of a specialist Will Writer should be cheaper than a solicitor’s. And that’s something to consider if cost is an issue.

Further, you’ll pay more to see a solicitor because, in general, they’re qualified to a higher level than a Will Writer. Thus, they may have greater expertise than a qualified Will Writer, in such areas as inheritance tax planning and setting up trusts etc. All of which comes at a higher cost.

How to decide

When you speak to a Will Writer ask them how long they’ve been operating and what are there qualifications? Also enquire if they’re a member of an institute. I myself for example, am a member of the Institute of Professional Will Writers.

If you’re approaching a solicitor, ask them how long they’ve been qualified. It’s unlikely that a newly-qualified solicitor will have the same level as one that’s been operating for twenty years. And, even if they have, it’s not a foregone conclusion that they’ll be skilled at writing Wills. It’s almost certain that there are solicitors out there drafting Wills but whose main expertise lies in conveyancing or family law. Such a solicitor will not best serve your needs and I wouldn’t recommend that you see someone like that.

The person you’re looking for is someone who drafts Wills day in and day out and has had years of practice at it. That’s the person you need.


I trust that this has helped clear any uncertainty you might have had about whether you need a solicitor or otherwise for the vital task of getting your Will sorted.

If you’d like to book an appointment with me to discuss getting your Will/s drafted don’t delay. You can drop an email to me at: info@swindonwillwriting.co.uk

If you prefer you can fill out the contact form on my website here.  Either way, I’ll get right back to you and of course I’m happy to help.

Of course, if you’d like to find out a little more about me before making contact then my Facebook page is a good place to start. There’s some reviews there too.




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