Reasons to choose Wilson Browne
One of the questions we are frequently asked is “Why come to a solicitor?” instead of preparing a DIY Will or going to see a Will Writer?
Other than the fact that Solicitors are regulated and insured, one important reason why you should see a Solicitor or Legal Executive is because of how thorough the advice is. Seeing a Solicitor to have a Will prepared does not mean you are simply paying for the preparation of a document, it is the advice and expertise you are given during your meetings with the Solicitor that is vital.
Looking at the recent case of Carlton Aldo Watts v Jobyna Watts, the disinherited son claimed that his mother had forged his late father’s Will in order to become the sole beneficiary. Fortunately, the father had seen a Solicitor in 2000 and had the Will prepared professionally. Although the file was no longer in existence by the time the father had died, the Solicitor remembered him as he was a longstanding client of the firm and “quite a character” and she was able to provide detailed evidence at the Court hearing concerning his instructions. Master Clark confirmed that ‘It is conceivable that a solicitor might have no recollection of these occasions, but, in my judgment, inconceivable that she would misremember them with the level of detail that [the solicitor] has recalled.’. The Judge, therefore, accepted the Solicitor’s evidence and ruled that the Will was not a forgery.
The level of detail a Solicitor goes into with their clients at their meetings means there is a higher chance that they would be able to remember individual cases. In addition, as most firms are becoming paperless or paper lite, there is even less likelihood that a professional firm wouldn’t have access to original file notes that would become evidence at a hearing like in Watts v Watts. Had the deceased in the Watts case prepared a DIY Will, there would not have been evidence produced by a professional that assisted the Court in ruling in favour of the Wife and ultimately the deceased’s wishes being upheld. Clearly, we cannot guess what the outcome would have been in those circumstances, but the possibility of successful claims being brought against an Estate is reduced when professional advice is sought.