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When you’re writing your Will, you’ve got a few options. You could write your own, you could use a DIY Will kit, or you could use a simple, online Will service – but you’re on your own then, and if you get it wrong the whole thing will be invalid (and worthless). Since a Will’s one of the most important documents you’ll ever make in your entire life, that’s not a risk worth taking. Even Evel Knievel wouldn’t chance it.
A lot of people think you need to use a solicitor to write your Will, but you don’t. They’re trained and they’ll draw you up a sound Will – I’m not against solicitors at all. But we’ve often heard the question get asked – are Will writers as good as solicitors? – and I’m here to tell you why they are.
When I was doing my research for this article, I had a little Google. I’m nothing if not thorough. I searched ‘benefits of using solicitors for Wills’. Most of the results were numbered lists, like ‘5 reasons to use a solicitor to write your Will!’ or ‘5 advantages of getting a solicitor to draft your Will’. I read all these articles, and you know what I noticed?
Pretty much every reason that they gave for using a solicitor was also applicable to us here at Vital Documents. And, generally, we’re cheaper.
So I thought I’d spread the good word and make my own list, but why stop at 5? Pfft. I can think of like, a million reasons to use us – the dashingly handsome content writer, for a start. But no one’s going to bother reading a million reasons, are they? So I settled on 7.
1. Your Will will be properly drafted
That’s kind of the whole point of paying someone else to write your Will for you, isn’t it?
Your Will needs to meet certain legal requirements to be valid. If you use a DIY Will kit, draft your own, or even use an online Will’s service it’s easy to miss these. If you use a Will writing specialist like Vital Documents, you can have peace of mind knowing that your Will will be valid and legal. It’s our job to make sure of it.
Just to give you extra peace of mind, though, our Will writers are members of the The Society of Will Writers, with indemnity insurance – if we make a mistake, you’re covered for the value of it of up to about £2 million. We’re sure it won’t ever come to that, but it’s handy for you to know in case pigs ever start flying.
2. We know what to ask
Our Will writers are fully trained members of The Society of Will Writers – we know what we’re doing. We know exactly what questions to ask to make sure your Will’s going to be legally sound.
If you use a DIY Will kit, write your own Will, or use an online service it’s easy to forget stuff or miss out information that you don’t think is important. When you’re making a Will, everything’s important. We’ve got you, though – we’ll ask exactly what we need to to cover all bases.
In covering all bases, we’ll also be able to help you make the most out of your assets. Writing a Will’s one thing, but you might be able to take certain precautions to make your assets go further. We’ll ask the questions, though, and give you some advice on what might work for you.
3. We know how to word a Will
A Will’s a legal document, so you need to get the wording spot on. It’s hard to write a Will on your own – even Shakespeare, the greatest wordsmith in the entire history of the world ever, made a few questionable phrasing choices when he wrote his own Will.
Guy gifted his wife his ‘second best bed‘. What’s that all about? Why not the best bed? Weird. That aside, if he’d have wrote that Will in current times, it could have caused problems. It’s too vague – it’s not worded clearly enough.
‘Second best bed’ is open to interpretation. If you put a nest of twigs and a comfy pillow in front of a cat, the cat’s probably going to prefer sleeping on the pillow. If you did the same in front of a bird, the birds probably going to prefer sleeping in the nest. It’s a matter of opinion. You can’t leave your Will open to differing opinions.
If you do, you’re gonna have a bad time. It could get contested – that’d lead to arguments and disputes, and things could get messy. Contestations can be pretty time consuming. They’re also costly, upsetting, and often avoidable – you just need to make sure there’s no ambiguity in your Will.
Our specialists are experts in Will writing. We know exactly how a Will ought to be written, and we know how to word it to avoid any potential complications. We’d have told Shakespeare to gift the ‘oak, king-sized bed, serial number: 2273’ to Anne – no dramas, then.
4. We can do more than just a Will
Luckily for you we offer both. We can help you write a Trust into your Will to protect your assets, or we can help you appoint an LPA to look after your affairs (if you’re ever in a position when you can’t look after them yourself).
We aren’t solicitors, and we don’t pretend to be experts in all areas of law. Don’t come to us if you get arrested or something. I mean, you could do, but it’d be a bit of a waste of your phone call ‘cos we wouldn’t be able to help. We are, however, completely trained in death and estate planning. Anything to do with Wills, Trusts or LPAs, give us a shout – we’d love to help.
5. We’re self-regulated
One of the main benefits of using solicitors for Wills is that they’re regulated. A solicitor’s bound by law, so if something goes wrong you can go to the Legal Ombudsman. You’ve got that extra cover. This is the main reason people use solicitors – they’re regulated, and generally Will writing companies aren’t.
We’re self-regulated. Third time mentioning it now, so get ready for one of their representatives to pop up like Beetlejuice – our Will writers are members of The Society of Will Writers.
The reason I keep banging on about that is it’s a pretty big deal. They’re the largest self-regulatory body of Will writers in the UK. You can’t just wander in off the street and join, though. Every member has to pass an exam process and prove their expertise. No chancers allowed.
Any Tom, Dick or Harry can claim they’re a Will writer (not to disparage any Will writers called Tom, Dick or Harry). Anyone who has a pen and paper can tell you they’ll write you a Will. You need to make sure you’re using a legitimate, qualified company – and if they’re a member of The Society of Will Writers, you know they are.
Who doesn’t love Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis? Absolute hero. This is his advice on Will writers:
‘If you’re considering using a Will-writing service, it’s worth checking whether it’s a member of a recognised professional or trade body, such as the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners, the Institute of Professional Willwriters (IPW) or the Society of Will Writers (SWW).
These bodies have codes of practice/conduct which members have agreed to follow, and you can take complaints to them about member firms.
IPW and SWW members also have professional indemnity insurance… which can provide compensation if something goes wrong.‘
You should always, no matter who you use, check that they’re a member of a professional body. You’ve got absolutely no guarantees, otherwise. Might not even be qualified. It’s not a risk worth taking, especially not with something as important as a Will.
All solicitors are qualified, not all Will writers are. We are.
Want to know something? I lifted those 5 reasons from the articles listing reasons to use solicitors for Wills. Google it yourself – go have a look. They’re the 5 main benefits of using a solicitor to write your Will. Sure, you could use a solicitor – or, you could use us, with all the same benefits plus more.
You know what? Have a couple more reasons, exclusive to us, just ‘cos I can.
6. We’re always up to date
You won’t catch us brawling dinosaurs and painting on cave walls. Not during office hours, anyway. We make sure we’re always up to date and providing the most relevant information we can.
Throughout the year, our Will writers take part in ongoing CPD training. They undertake regular exams with The Society of Will Writers to ensure they’re meeting the highest possible standards. How’s that for your peace of mind? You know that the advice your getting is up to date, correct, and legally sound.
7. Will writing is our expertise
One of the main reasons people use a solicitor is because they’re fully trained in law. That’s great – it’s what you need. But I’m cynical and I’d argue that might not always be a good thing. Hear me out.
Solicitors are experts in law. That’s their job. The thing is, because of that, they could potentially cover lots of different areas. Might have their fingers in loads of pies. Thumb in a Will writing pie, index finger in a notary pie, middle finger in a probate pie. I’d carry on but I can’t remember what the next finger’s called. Lots of fingers, lots of pies, basically.
But at Vital Documents, we’re focused on just one pie – Will writing. We can spend all our time improving the recipe. We can crimp the crusts and make sure it’s beautifully presented. We know how to cook it to perfection – this one pie takes up all our time and attention. We don’t have to worry about anything else – Will writing is our expertise.
I could go on for hours about more benefits, but I won’t. I’ll just give you a cheesy little bonus reason. I’m pretty new to the company. I’ve only been here a few months. I know I’m biased, but fully – Vital isn’t some dry, stuffy, corporate office. It’s a vibrant place to work full of amazing people who are passionate about helping you. They’ll go above and beyond to do anything they can.
When you ring Vital Documents, you aren’t talking to someone who’s pure hating their life and can’t wait to hang up. You’re talking to a genuine, caring person who wants to do all they can to help.
I’m not just saying that for brownie points, as well. This article is about the main benefits of using our service, and I genuinely think that’s one of Vital Documents’ biggest draws – friendly, down-to-earth service from proper, proper lovely people. If that’s something you’re looking for when you’re sorting your Will, why not give us a call? If you’d prefer, you can schedule an appointment with one of a Will writing specialists – just visit the link below!