The dangers of will writing companies

Most of us know very little about wills, outside of the fact that they are there to ensure our estates – our properties, money, and other assets – are distributed among our chosen beneficiaries according to our wishes.

They are vital documents. Dying without a will means that your entire estate – not to mention your family – is left in a precarious position, to be distributed according to the rules of intestacy.

Wills are legal documents, so it should come as no surprise that it’s highly recommended that you work with a solicitor to create a will. However, most of us would rather spend as little time as possible contemplating the distant future – a fact which has given rise to the fast-track option of DIY wills and will writing companies, which promise to make the process a lot quicker. Ironically, however, these alternative services may mean your loved ones need to turn to will dispute solicitors after your death.

Here’s why…

The service is rarely bespoke

There is a reason why every will is unique: because no two estates are exactly the same.

Remember that your estate is much more than the sum of your bank accounts. It’s represented by your home, investments, any businesses you have a stake in, any cars, any offshore properties, digital wallets (or other digital assets, like NFTs), bonds, photographs, sentimental possessions, and everything else that surrounds you on a daily basis. True, not everything needs to be accounted for in the will, but there is a lot to consider, even if you consider yourself to have a relatively simple financial background.

With a solicitor, you can talk through everything, and they can bring up elements that you may never have considered yourself. With a will writing company, the service is often much more generic (for the sake of efficiency).

There are no guarantees

By the time our wills need to be used, none of us will be here to explain the finer points, clear up any mistakes or misunderstandings, and ensure our family gets the financial protection they need. That’s why we need to be able to put 100% of our faith into their validity and clarity. 

This is what a solicitor can provide. Their expertise ensures a level of quality that can’t be matched by anyone else – even a company that claims to be adept at streamlining the will-writing process.

Any doubts over the strength of your will are going to weigh heavy as the years pass by. It’s a mistake to allow that to happen to you, or your loved ones.

You may be overcharged for an inferior service

Many people don’t know how much it costs to write a will, but assume that solicitors will be the dearest option – much more expensive than a readymade programme or kit.

Keep in mind, however, that the service offered by will writing companies can be inferior, so even a minor saving (if that) will never be worth the sacrifice. There are some things you just shouldn’t save money on.

There’s a distinct lack of regulation

In the legal world, solicitors are upheld to rigorous standards. Throughout their careers, they are constantly learning as the legal world evolves, and have more insight into matters like this than anyone else.  Solicitors are regulated and there are routes to financial compensation if things go wrong.

Will writing companies are very different. There are no specific regulations in place to ensure that the wills they create are valid and capable of fulfilling the needs and wishes of the testator. This means a lot of risk – and, potentially, a lot of heartache.

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