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Dangers of Unregulated Will Writing Services

View profile for Amanda Gait
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When obtaining and paying for legal documents and services, it can seem to many as an unnecessary expense. Also, with the advent of online “quick wills” and standard pre-printed packs, many question why they should go to the expense of instructing a Solicitor.

Many online Will services offer the convenience of home visits and draw people in with headlines claiming Wills at rock bottom prices. It is therefore not surprising that over the past few years these services have become a lot more popular.

...in many cases clients find that their Wills might be drafted by a Will writer who is not in fact a Solicitor and has no legal qualifications at all.

In line with the increase in popularity of quick wills, there has been a massive increase in people who are dissatisfied with the service they receive and ultimately, when they come to rely upon the documentation, they find that it does not necessarily provide for what they require.

I have unfortunately, over the past few months, had a number of Clients in my office who have fallen foul of these unregulated services. Many people genuinely do not appreciate that in many cases their Wills might be drafted by a Will writer who is not in fact a Solicitor and has no legal qualifications at all.

The advice that they can therefore give will be limited, and one would question, in those circumstances, whether they are able to provide their clients with the appropriate, independent, and measured advice they require.

I have seen many cases where Clients suddenly find that they have also and unknowingly appointed the Will writing service as their Executors, where they have been talked into Family Trusts who have appointed these companies as Trustees, and where they have been charged for the storage and for the return of their documents. The company has effectively disappeared, along with their original Wills.

What is an Executor of a Will?

An Executor of a Will is the appointed person who shall deal with the estate of the person who has died. An Executor is someone who is named in the will as being responsible for dealing with the estate.

It is also very common for Will writing services to be offered at bargain basement prices but once the Client instructs the firm, suddenly the Wills become more complex and, in a lot of cases, Clients end up paying substantially more than they would have been charged should they have chosen a solicitor in the first instance

I appreciate that over the years Solicitors have got a bad press. Many think that all of us are in it for the money and many may dismiss this article as sour grapes from a Solicitor who has been provided with healthy competition by Will writing services. That could not be further from the truth. Having been instructed on a number of occasions recently by relatives of a deceased family member who chose a budget will writing service, I’ve seen first-hand the issues caused by unregulated Will writing services and the clients have spent time and money as we try to unravel and sort out the issues.

Solicitors are very heavily regulated... there is a highly regulated process which will resolve any issues yourself or your relatives would have. 

Solicitors are very heavily regulated. In most high street practices you will deal with an individual Solicitor personally. That Solicitor will often have a number of years’ experience. In my case, I have been qualified for 32 years! A Solicitor will be able to provide you with independent advice based on your requirements and to produce the documentation in accordance with your instructions. If, on the very rare occasion, your Will does not comply with your instructions, there is a highly regulated process which will resolve any issues which yourself or your relatives may have.

We do not charge for the storage of your Wills and you are also provided with certified copies for your records.

Furthermore, there is little chance that a solicitors will simply disappear as the regulations ensure that all Wills (and indeed all other legal documentation) is stored and retained in such a manner that even if the solicitors firm were to cease trading, your files would still be obtainable and likely be transferred to a differently, regulated, law firm. Again there are strict rules relating to the succession of practices and therefore your Will can never just disappear.  Our firm personally does not charge for the storage of your Wills, you are also provided with certified copies for your records.

It may seem at the outset that the Will writing services are a means by which to save money, however, it should be seen in the context of the long-term implications of the huge costs which will be incurred for rectifying any errors.  The costs are far more to put these issues right than it would be to instruct a Solicitor in the first instance.

If you need a Will or wish to update an existing Will then call us to speak with one of our team and to make an appointment.


Contact us

☎️ Call our Wakefield office on 01924 290 029
☎️ Call our Garforth office on 0113 246 4423
☎️ Call our Sherburn in Elmet office on 01977 350 500
☎️ Call our Mapplewell office on 01226 339 009
☎️ Call our Ossett office on 01924 586 466


About the Author

Amanda has worked in the area for over 30 years and was a partner in the firm of Green Williamson for many of those.

Amanda previously specialised in all aspects of Family Law but is also experienced in Private Client work and is now working across both the Family Team and the Private Client team as this area of work continues to grow. Amanda is now ably running our Ossett office where she enjoys being part of the community and advising clients about their future retirement planning and helping people deal with probate and estate planning.

Amanda has two children and is very proud of them both along with her husband who she has been with since she was a slip of a lass!

Amanda is an accredited Family Mediator and is a real asset to the team here at Thornton Jones.

#WakefieldSolicitors  #MapplewellSolicitors #OssettSolicitors #GarforthSolicitors #SherburninElmetSolicitors #SolicitorsInLeeds #SolicitorsInWakefield ... 


The content of this blog post is for information only and does not constitute formal legal advice and should not be relied upon as advice. Thornton Jones Solicitors Limited accepts no liability for any such reliance upon this content. Where the post includes links to external websites, Thornton Jones Solicitors Limited accepts no responsibility for the content of such sites. Any link to a third party website should not be construed as endorsement by Thornton Jones Solicitors Limited of any content, products or services which are outside our direct control.

All detail is correct at the time of writing and is subject to change. Please contact us for more information.

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