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Will Writers – the perils of leaving Wills to chance.

Reasons to choose Wilson Browne

Don’t gamble with your Will –  choose carefully as the wrong choice could cost you dear.

If I told you that the other day, whilst reaching for the semi-skimmed milk in my local supermarket, I bumped into a professional-looking chap and handed him all my worldly possessions you might think that I had taken leave of my senses, and yet in the UK it is entirely possible for clear-thinking, careful and intelligent adults to do just this any day of the week.

Giving a stranger control of everything you own (or will come to own) is not as unusual as you would think.

In England and Wales the practice of making a Will is one that requires no qualification.

Anyone can set up as a “will writer” and start drafting Wills for someone.

How hard can it be? You need some executors, you need to say which family members inherit if you are not around and you need some administration clauses. Google probably has a few hundred examples to choose from. Sign the document and that’s it…job done.

The making of a Will is one of the most important things you can do.

It literally says what happens with every single thing you possess. It looks after your house, your money, your grandmother’s jewellery, that painting of a horse no-one quite likes but equally no-one wants to get rid of. The lot. Not just what you own now but anything else you come to own or value before your death. In some cases, it also says who should look after your children.

If you think about the importance of a Will it is incredible that anyone can write one without being carefully trained and fully insured. Make no mistake about it, a Will that does not do what you want it to do, leaves someone out or, worse, forgets to provide for the people it should, can leave a legacy of hurt and worry that no-one intended.

In fact, although making a “cheap” Will – whether with a Will Writer or via a Will pack or online deal – can seem to save money, in the long run, it is likely to cost substantially more in legal fees and tax paid from your estate.

There is simply no substitute for a properly made Will, drafted by a qualified professional solicitor who specialises in that area of the law. Someone who can talk you through the range of “what if’s” and advise you about the most tax-efficient way of organising your affairs.

Peace of mind is priceless so please, don’t chance it with your Will – instruct an experienced solicitor and make sure that your Will is properly drafted and executed. If you do unfortunately find yourself in the position of having to contest a Will, for whatever reason, then we are equally able to help.

Case Study / Real Life Example

We were recently approached by a client to review her current Will which had been prepared by a will writer.

The will writer had visited this client on the day that her husband had died: the meeting had been set up at the request of her son.

Given her recent bereavement and emotional state at the time, the client told us that she was in no right mind to give instructions to change her Will: given her state of mind she could easily have signed her life away!

The Will was drafted to benefit the son which the client then signed, again not being sure of what she was signing.

On reviewing the Will, she said it did not reflect her true wishes including the setting up of a trust which was not required. There was incidentally no letter of wishes to support this trust and as such the Trustees would have been unaware of what she intended the trust to be used for.

This genuine case study highlights the need to ensure that such an important document is handled by a professional solicitor who is regulated and fully qualified to give accurate advice.

Vicki Pearce


Vicki Pearce


Vicki is a Partner and head of our Private Client Team and our Care Funding and Court of Protection Team . She is based in Northampton. As head of both teams she is able to bring her expertise and obvious overlaps into both areas of…