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While it is often a task many choose to put off, most people understand the importance of making a will to ensure that wishes are accurately carried out after death and to provide security for loved ones left behind.

However, the process can be expensive and some people may have wondered if they could save themselves time and money by drafting a will without engaging a solicitor.

While this is an option, it is important to note that there are a number of reasons people choose to place their trust in solicitors when creating a will, with potential consequences at risk if it is not handled correctly. 

Expert advice

Whether dealing with a young couple who have just purchased their first home, or a divorcee with multiple assets overseas, solicitors specialising in wills, probate and trusts can offer trusted, expert advice tailored to each client’s particular circumstances. A full service firm, such as Mincoffs, also benefit from the ability to consult colleagues working in corporate or family law who can weigh in on more complex cases if needed.

Ensures validity

Like any other legal document, a will must meet certain conditions in order to be legally valid. A will created without the advice and guidance of a solicitor may open itself up to challenges of its validity, which could ultimately result in it being classed or considered as invalid after death. In these circumstances, assets would be distributed according to intestacy rules and, as a result, may not reflect the wishes of the deceased.

Awareness of broader issues

While some wills can be simple and straightforward, others require more attention. When these circumstances arise, solicitors are highly trained in how to manage them in the most efficient way for their clients. This can include dealing with pensions, life insurance, foreign assets, complex family structures or inheritance tax, among others.

Regulated and insured

Unlike will writing services, law firms are regulated by the Law Society and are required to have professional indemnity insurance, which means there are protections in place for clients if something goes wrong. For example, if someone instructs a law firm to draft their will and then years later the business closes down, it must still follow specific requirements for the safekeeping of client’s documents even if the firm ceases to exist.

Peace of mind

A will is one of the most important documents a person will ever have to sign and will be relied on after death. Knowing that assets will be distributed according to a person’s wishes and that loved ones will be taken care of is a huge relief to many, so it is imperative that a will outlines this clearly. A solicitor knows the right questions to ask and how to draft the document so it doesn’t leave anything open to interpretation further down the line.


For friendly, sensitive advice about writing or updating a will, contact Lydia McCaslin, head of wills, probate and trusts on

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