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Online wills vs. Solicitor wills

We often receive instructions to deal with the estate of a person who has just died, and the first step is to obtain the death certificate and any original Will of the deceased.

If we are told that the deceased had prepared their own will, be it online, post office pro-forma or one they have drafted themselves, we pay very careful attention to it and, unfortunately, those Wills sometimes contain errors in their drafting or execution which affects the validity of some clauses or in the worst case, the Will itself which then means the estate may well have to be dealt with under the Intestacy rules.

“We have had one recent example were the deceased had completed a pro-forma Will but it had only been witnessed by one person, which meant the Will was invalid. Unfortunately, this meant the estate will now be distributed to beneficiaries that were not mentioned in the incorrectly drafted Will” says Kathryn Doogue, Director at Kirkham Legal, a firm that specialises in Private Client and Conveyancing work.

There are now many firms offering online Will writing services which are significantly cheaper than the fee charged by law firms, but their sites should be approached with caution says Kathryn “It is all well and good in saving a few pounds in preparing your will, but unfortunately if there is an error in a Will when you die, it will be too late to change it and the cost of dealing with the problems that can arise will far out-weigh the original savings. In addition, most law firms have very reasonable charges for Will preparation, often lower then people realise, so I would strongly advise people considering a home-made Will to shop around before doing so and obtain some quotes for a professionally drawn will. Further, a Will done with a lawyer is only prepared after a meeting with you, and during that meeting your full instructions will be taken to ensure that your wishes are correctly recorded, and the lawyer can also advise on such other issues as tax and estate planning, if necessary. Such a bespoke Will ensures that your intended beneficiaries receive your estate, and should also make provision as to what should happen if one or more of your beneficiaries dies before you. The lawyer should also offer to hold your will securely for you, at no extra cost.”

If you need any advice on the issues raised above, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0161 3932297

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Our Practice Licence Number is 11250.

Kirkham Legal

Kirkham Legal