Monday, 25 June 2018
A Will is one of the most important documents you will ever sign. A properly drawn up Will ensures that your assets and personal possessions are shared in accordance with your wishes after your death. It can also set out how you would wish your children to be cared for and can establish a trust for them until they reach an appropriate age to inherit.
While it is possible to write your own Will, or complete a Will online or use Will-writing companies (who are not legally qualified) this can be a minefield. Recent research shows the public are generally unaware of the rules and regulations governing Will-writing companies and are shocked to discover these companies can practise without proper training, regulation or insurance. Homemade and DIY Wills (whether completed online or in a kit form) can also be fraught with difficulties. Mistakes are often not revealed until after the testator’s death, leaving their loved ones with much uncertainty and expense to sort things out. These types of Wills also tend to be more easily challenged than those drawn up by a professional Solicitor.
The Law Society of Scotland has published guidance for the public, setting out some of the reasons why it is best to use a Solicitor to draw up a Will including:-
- Regulation and insurance
All Scottish Solicitors must meet the high professional standards which are set and upheld by the Law Society of Scotland. Solicitors working in private practice are covered by insurance and must also pay into a fund which covers members of the public for monetary loss in the event of Solicitor dishonesty. If a Solicitor makes your Will, you and your loved ones are protected in the unlikely event that something goes wrong.
- Years of experience and training
Becoming a Solicitor means many years of studying and training. After they qualify, Solicitors must also complete training to keep their knowledge up to date. When you come to see a Solicitor about writing your Will, you have the reassurance of knowing that we have the right expertise to guide you through the process. For something as important as a Will, the peace of mind is very important
- Knowledge of other relevant areas
Being able to write a Will is one thing, but what about the Inheritance Tax implications that may go with it, or the legalities of appointing executors and protecting your online assets? Solicitors are experts in many different areas and can ensure that your Will is comprehensive and complies with all relevant laws.
- Satisfaction levels
Research has shown that the vast majority of people (82%) who use a Scottish solicitor would recommend them to family and friends. In the same survey, almost everyone (97%) said they thought their own solicitor was either ‘very’ or ‘fairly’ trustworthy. And when it comes to legal knowledge, 89% of those asked said their solicitor was an expert in the law.
At Stevenson Marshall, we have a team of highly experienced Solicitors ready to help you make a Will. If you would like to discuss Wills or indeed any other aspect of Lifetime Legal planning then please contact one of our Lifetime Legal team on 01383 721141.