These very sad times have increased the realisation by many people that making a Will is a necessary task to help your family, should you unexpectedly pass away.
Many have seen adverts for Will writing with charges under £50, sometimes as low as £19.99.
As solicitors we question how it is possible to provide individual advice, and a personal document, for such a low fee. We know that it is not possible. Often the companies that offer these prices either:
1. State this is a basic fee and, after meeting with you, increase the quote to many hundreds, if not thousands, of pounds, selling you services that you may not need to make up for any losses made on the Wills.
Our philosophy is that we offer value for money. When you instruct us to make a Will we start by chatting to you about your family, your assets and your personal situation. We will be unable to act if our clients do not agree to share this information with us as we would not be carrying out our duty if we did not have it.
As Solicitors, our Code of Conduct governs that we cannot encourage you to buy a service from us which we do not think you need. We have sadly found over many years that many clients are mis-sold services or products by Will writers which are completely wrong for their circumstances.
2. The Will writer may have no specialist training and may be using a ‘one size fits all’ template.
We offer specialist and individual advice by trained and supervised experts, fully backed by our Professional Indemnity Insurance. Jane Lodeto, who heads our Wills team, qualified as a solicitor in 2003. This was after 3 years studying law at university, a year studying for her Legal Practice Course and a two-year training contract with a law firm. She supervises the writing of all our Wills. Victoria, who supports Jane, is currently studying to become a Legal Executive doing specialist exams and coursework in the area of Wills and Probate.
We also keep up to date with compulsory additional training each year, taking part in seminars and courses when there are changes in the laws or tax systems. We work closely with specialist accountants and financial advisors so that we are giving you the most up to date advice.
3. The Will writer may not have full and comprehensive insurance so that, if a mistake was made (which can happen either due to human error or negligence), you or your family would not be able to obtain financial compensation.
Solicitors are required to have full Professional Indemnity Insurance, so you are protected. We are further required to have clear complaints procedures and the Legal Ombudsman can assist if a firm does not deal with your complaint.
We cannot offer that service for £19.99. We provide what we believe to be a very competitive price for Wills, and a value for money service. All our fees can be found on our website.