This article is the third and last in this series by our bestof professional Will Writer and Estate Planner – Rob Abell. In this article Rob looks at the importance of getting the Will written carefully and keeping your costs down. Rob says …
Ensuring that your Will is well written really comes down to who you choose to write it for you, so what are your options? You could:
do it yourself;
use a bank;
instruct a solicitor;
appoint an independent Will-writer.
The biggest worry for us all in this choice (the public and the profession) is that ‘Wills & Probate’ is unregulated (unlike financial services for instance). Wills and Probate is also a complicated area these days because life just isn’t simple any more for any of us.
Doing it yourself - is possible but as said above, it is a complicated matter to deal with and you may require some professional help with this. It can be false economy if you do it yourself only for it to go terribly wrong at the time when it should really be a great help to your family!
Banks and solicitors – these institutions will generally undercharge for setting up a Will as a loss leader. Then having kept hold of it for years will expect to prove your Will and charge your estate handsomely when they execute the Will (often built in as a charging clause of the Will). We are talking of costs anywhere between 2 to 5% of the value of your estate (eg £2,000 - £5,000 on an estate of just £100,000), and that’s a lot of money, which should be going to your loved ones.
Independent - there are a lot of ‘Independent’ Will writers available but with being an unregulated industry how do you know who you can trust? A good indicator for you is whether the independent Will writer is a member of the Institute of Professional Willwriters (IPW). Only IPW members follow an agreed Code of Practice laid down by the IPW that is approved by the Office of Fair Trading. This can give you the peace of mind that your Will writer is fully trained, insured and competent in the area of Wills and Estate Planning.
As an example, the IPW code of practice will not allow its members to appoint themselves as executor of your Will (unlike banks and solicitors – see above) but will make recommendations to help you appoint family executors. They will also provide free help and guidance should your appointed executors need help in managing your affairs when the time comes.
If you would like further advice or guidance on any aspect of Will Writing or Estate Planning (FREE and with no obligations at all) do please contact me - Rob Abell at Will Planning Solutions on 01455 268 677.
The first article in this series by Rob abell - One in three of us die without leaving a valid Will in place! was published on the 15th December 2010. CLICK here if you would like to read this first article. CLICK here for the second article - What is the cost of having a Will prepared and when the time comes, getting it administered? Which was published 31 December 2010.