We are frequently being asked why people should use a solicitor to draft their Will rather than writing one at home. This is a question that I dislike answering, I mean why pay people to do anything for you when you can just do it yourself?
There are of course many benefits to paying a professional to draft a document that will only come in to force when you are no longer around to discuss your wishes. It can be very clear to the Testator, who they want to receive their property when they die however people must bear in mind the fact that once you are gone it is only your Will left which quite clearly is incapable of representing itself.
In a recent case, four Charities defeated a families claim for the probate of a home-made Will. The reason being, the Charities argued that the Will was invalid as it had not been witnessed correctly. The original Will where the Testator divided her Estate between the four Charities was written by a Solicitor, the Estate was worth £1.8 million. The second homemade Will divided the Estate between two of the Testators life long friends. With no disrespect to any Charities as donations of this nature are always a grateful gesture, it is no wonder they disputed the circumstances in which the later Will was executed.
These two Wills where made 17 years apart and as everybody is aware, a lot can change in that amount of time. The deceased is no longer around to speak up for herself identifying which wishes she intended to be valid upon her death. Had the second Will also been written by a Solicitor it would have been attested correctly then there is no doubt that it would have been admitted to probate instead. In this case, the Charities won the argument and the friends where left with nothing.
There you have it, the first and most important reason for having your Will drafted by a solicitor.
Evangeline is a paralegal at Posada & Co. She mainly deals with property and private client matters. A farm-girl at heart, she hails from the Isle of Wight and currently lives in East London with her sister.