Is a Home Visit Will Writing Service Better than an Online Service?
A Guide to Writing your Will
Let’s face it! The reason you’re pondering whether you can get away with writing your Will online is probably because the alternative seems problematic …. and a bit more expensive!
But, even if you only need a simple Will there are some snags buying online:
How will you know if you’ve written the Will correctly? Are you sure it does what you want it to? Is it a legally fool proof document? Have you covered all the points you should have covered? Are there other things you should have considered like Inheritance Tax or Residential Care fees? Has the Will been signed and witnessed correctly?
All these questions really add up to one issue: Peace of Mind!
What if things do go wrong? Would the online company’s disclaimer prevent your beneficiaries from claiming against any loss they may incur? Would the online company still be around?
Writing your Will is supposed to give you the satisfaction that you’ve done the right thing for your family and have got things sorted. In other words, it should give you peace of mind.
Perhaps it’s being old fashioned, but there’s nothing quite like dealing with a human being face to face. You can ask questions about issues of which you’re not sure, get professional advice on things you may have overlooked or not really considered. Have a real person to complain to if things go awry.
However, deciding to go the more traditional route has its challenges!
You’ve got to find a local solicitor, ask how much they’re going to charge, make an appointment (do they work on weekends or evenings?). What sort of documents and information should be brought to the meeting?
Another option is to find a specialist Will Writing firm to come to your home? If you choose this option, how good are they? Can they be trusted? Will they give you top notch advice? Would they try and sell extra services? Do they have Professional Indemnity Insurance should things go wrong? Are they members of a professional body?
So, how do you find the right company?
How about the following criteria:
The will writing company
- The Company should have been in business for at least a dozen years or so.
- The Company should have in excess of ten thousand clients. If so, you can be pretty sure they know what they’re talking about.
- The Company should be reasonably local. You don’t want to be dealing with a company with an HQ a hundred miles away.
- The Company should have Professional Indemnity Insurance of at least £2 million for each Will they produce. More if you’re worth more.
- The company should be regulated by a professional body. This gives you recourse if there is some dispute in the future.
The will writer or individual
- The individual who takes your instructions and gives advice should have practiced for more than ten years. You don’t want a novice dealing with your affairs!
- The individual should be a senior partner or director of the company. That way you know he or he has something to lose if they give duff advice!
The will writing appointment
- You should know the cost before the meeting. You should be told how long the process should take. If it’s more than an hour ask “Why?” The chosen firm should fit in with your diary. After all, you’re the customer!
If you follow the above points you should be OK.
The last bit of advice is perhaps the most important. Don’t put it off any longer! Once it’s done it’s done and you’ll feel good!
This blog was written by Gerry Fitzgibbons. Gerry has written thousands of Wills during his career and is now enjoying his retirement. He has one more thing to say:
“It’s always a good idea to have somebody recommend you to a specialist. I know I’m biased but if you want someone that meets all the criteria and you live or work close enough to Croydon, Surrey, you couldn’t do better than to ‘phone Sam on 020 8681 8451. OK! He’s my son and now runs the family business but he’s a really honest lad!”