Do you need a Solicitor to write a Will?

Writing a Will never seems to make it to our New Year’s resolution list. Quite often than not writing a Will is requisite for a couple of reasons. The foremost reason is to have your say in how your assets/properties will be divided upon your death. For that very reason, you need a Solicitor who will ensure that you have a legally binding Will.

Should there be a case of unexpected happenings and you miss writing/making a Will, the law of intestacy will decide what to do for your assets which you may want to avoid in particular due to the strict limited provisions for partners and children. Let’s find out how a Solicitor helps you prepare a Will.

What is a legally binding Will?

A legally binding Will means that you, the testator,  has agreed all the written terms of the Will and has testamentary capacity. The Will must also fulfil all the legal requirements some of which are outlined below.

Your Will must be signed by you in the presence of two witnesses (who must sign the Will at the same time and should not be beneficiaries of the Will) and also include provision for your executors and trustees to be appointed.

Do you actually need a Solicitor to write a Will?

Well, if you are planning to write a Will, there are no obligations for you to appoint a solicitor. There is plenty of online information available on making a Will, the legal requirements, and so on. In addition, there are vast options available online for the tools and templates used for writing a legal Will.

That said, you should know of the disadvantages and risks in making your own Will. If you make mistakes on your written Will, for example, you do not ensure both witnesses are present at the same time and witness your signature and both sign the Will,  your Will may be deemed invalid, leading to various issues for your Executors and Trustees to deal with upon your death.

If you want to avoid getting yourself into those kind of pitfalls and extra workload, you may instead prefer to appoint a Solicitor to prepare your Will.

The role of a Solicitor in helping you write a legally binding Will

With the expertise and years of experience, a Solicitor’s most crucial part will be to make your Will documentation process as easy as it can be.

Let’s look into a Solicitor’s role in helping you write a legally binding Will:

  1. A Solicitor will know the right questions to ask you – be it your assets or complicated family relations, such as ex-partners and children from former marriages. It will enable the Solicitor to segregate your properties and assets accordingly, practically and legally.
  2. It won’t take long for a Solicitor to understand which will type to prepare for you such as Single/Mirror/Trusts/Business/Property Trust wills.
  3. With that information, they will be able to give you the best legal advice on asset division, the rights/obligations towards your partner and immediate family minimising risks of a dispute on your death.
  4. A solicitor will consider all your assets (such as savings in bank accounts) and properties including moveable personal possessions, intangible assets, real property (houses, commercial buildings), Pension schemes, and Self Invested Personal Pensions (SIPPs) as well as foreign property, business and premiums from intellectual property.  The Solicitor will then advise you on the best format for your Will and prepare the Will accordingly.