When dealing with a loved one’s estate during a stressful time, attempting probate on your own can be risky. Isabelle Gulliver, a Paralegal in WSP Solicitors’ Private Client Department specializing...
More People Use Solicitors for Making a Will
Making a Will puts you in control. You can leave clear instructions on how your estate is to be distributed and you avoid your assets being subject to statutory intestacy rules.
If you do not leave a Will when you die, the law (known as the ‘Intestacy Rules’) will decide who will inherit your assets. The Intestacy Rules provide a list of beneficiaries who can inherit your assets if they survive you. The problem is that the Intestacy Rules do not cater for all family situations and may result in those you wish to benefit from your Estate on your death not receiving anything at all. There is a common misconception that unmarried partners, often mistakenly referred to as ‘common law spouses’, will benefit automatically on death. The Intestacy Rules do not provide any benefits for unmarried partners. There is also no provision in the Intestacy Rules for step-families. Any beneficiaries not adequately provided for under the Intestacy Rules would need to apply to make a claim against the Estate, which is a court process and can be lengthy and costly, with no guarantee of success.
Will Aid, the charity Will writing scheme, recommends using a solicitor to ensure that you obtain comprehensive, professional advice and that your Will is accurate and cannot be challenged.
Statistics produced by Will Aid have revealed that 62% of individuals making a Will in 2015 did so using a solicitor, compared to 12% who used a will writer, 9% who made a homemade Will and 6% who used a DIY Will kit, which can be obtained from high street retailers.
A homemade or DIY Will does have its attractions, principally in saving money. However, any errors made may result in the Will being invalid, causing unnecessary stress and anxiety at what is an emotional time.
It also appears that the general public is unaware that Will writers are able to practise without regulation, training or insurance.
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