Solicitor for will writing service: which is right for you

Feb 6, 2024

Writing a will is essential for securing your financial legacy and ensuring your wishes are respected after your passing.

A startling one in three UK adults over the age of 55 don’t have a will in place, increasing to well over 60% for younger generations.

While solicitors have traditionally been the go-to professionals for will writing, this has changed in recent years. You can now purchase DIY will writing kits, create wills with online services, or collaborate with financial advisors.

This guide will help you navigate these options and decide which service is right for you.

Understanding your options

There are four leading options for writing a will. They are:

  1. Solicitors: Solicitors bring legal expertise to the table, which is especially beneficial if your estate or family situation is complex. They’re ideal if you have overseas assets, own a business, your estate is over the Inheritance Tax (IHT) threshold, or you have special arrangements, such as provisions for children or disabled persons​​.
  2. Online will writing services: These platforms offer a convenient and cost-effective way to create a will and provide user-friendly templates and guidance, allowing you to complete a will in as little as 10 to 15 minutes. They might suit someone’s first will if they’re young with no dependents.
  3. Financial advisers: Specialised in wealth management and financial planning, financial advisors can offer tailored advice on how your financial situation impacts your will. This is particularly useful if you have a range of financial assets or investments.
  4. DIY will kits: Available online or in stores, these kits are the most affordable option. They are suitable for straightforward estates but come with the risk of errors, which can be costly in the long run.

Factors to consider

So, how do you choose between will writing options? There are four initial factors to consider:

  • Complexity of estate: If your estate involves multiple assets, businesses, or overseas properties, a solicitor’s expertise is invaluable.
  • Cost: Online services and DIY kits are more budget-friendly, but weighing the cost against the potential risks of an improperly drafted will is essential.
  • Convenience: Online services offer flexibility and speed, ideal for those with straightforward estates and a clear understanding of their wishes.
    Personal guidance: Solicitors and financial advisers provide personalised advice, which can be crucial in complex or unusual situations.

The role of financial advisers in will writing

Financial advisors are becoming a more popular option for will writing. After all, wills primarily handle your estate – your wealth – and interact with financial and tax laws and regulations.

Here’s why partnering with a financial advisor for your will is a shrewd strategy:

  • Financial planning: Financial advisers will work to understand your financial health. They consider your assets, debts, investments, insurance policies, etc. A comprehensive approach here ensures that all aspects of your financial life are considered when drafting a will, ensuring that your estate plan fits seamlessly with your broader financial strategy.
  • Customised estate strategies: Every individual’s financial situation is unique. Financial advisers understand this and work to develop customised estate planning strategies.
  • Tax efficiency: An essential aspect of estate planning is managing the tax implications, particularly regarding IHT, but also capital gains tax. Financial advisers are adept at recommending strategies to minimise inheritance taxes, capital gains, and other tax liabilities that might affect your estate.
  • Addressing complex situations: If you own a business, have assets in multiple countries, or have a blended family, financial advisors can work in conjunction with solicitors to address legal complexities and ensure all aspects of your financial life are cohesively integrated into your will.
  • Risk management: Advisers often incorporate risk management into estate planning. This includes assessing potential risks to your assets and recommending insurance or other financial products to mitigate those risks.

Summing up

The decision on which will writing service to use depends on your personal, financial, and family circumstances.

A solicitor’s expertise is invaluable for those with complex estates or specific legal needs.

Online will services and DIY kits are suitable for more straightforward cases and those comfortable with handling legal documents independently.

Financial advisors are perfectly positioned to optimise your asset and tax positions, helping you effectively pass on your estate and handle complex financial circumstances.

No matter which service you choose, the important thing is to ensure your will is clear, legally valid, and aligns with your wishes. Regular reviews and updates are also recommended, particularly after significant life events.

Consider consulting a financial adviser at Bulley Davey. We deliver expert advice tailored to your unique financial situation.

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