About Bristol Wills & Estate Planning
Bristol Wills & Estate Planning Ltd is a Will Writing service owned by me, Graham Southorn.
I know how confusing it can be when you want to make a Will. I didn’t know where to turn when I first made one.
I ended up using a remote service from a solicitor, filling out a questionnaire and receiving a Will in the post. However, it had some errors and I found the company difficult to contact. They would only reply by email as they were seemingly too busy to answer the phone.
Worse, I wasn’t even sure if I was witnessing the Will correctly as the instructions were vague. I was happy I’d saved money by going for a cheap Will but then I was uneasy because I wasn’t sure it would work as intended.
Back then, I didn’t know about Will Writers – professionals who specialise in this area of law. So when I became a Will Writer myself, I wanted to give my clients a better experience. I want to talk to you and see the process through from beginning to end.
I also believe in being completely transparent about costs. I’ll tell you the fees upfront, before you commit, in accordance with the IPW (Institute of Professional Willwriters) Code of Practice.
That said, it’s impossible for me to predict what kind of Will is best for you before we meet. Some Wills can be a bit more complex and so I have to charge a bit more for them. But rest assured that even if I do recommend something more expensive, I’ll always give you the choice.
Face to face
I’m a strong believer in face-to-face meetings and personal service – you miss a lot when you only do things on the phone or email. I understand that making a Will is very personal, so I will try to get to know you and your family circumstances so I can advise you fully.
If you have questions, I will personally answer them in the meeting, or over the phone or by email afterwards. You won’t have to go through a helpdesk or hold on the line (if I’m in a meeting I’ll call you back as soon as I can).
I conduct most of my face-to-face appointments in person by visiting your house. I’ve found that most people prefer this, especially if it’s hard for them to get out. But a lot of professionals prefer Zoom calls, so I offer video appointments too. That said, wherever possible I’ll do the witnessing in person.
Another option is to visit me at the HERE building on Bath Road, where I book private rooms for meetings.
If you’ve driven down Bath Road, you’ll know the big white building. It’s adjacent to the Holy Souls Catholic Cemetary, slightly further on from Arnos Vale and opposite Burger King. You might know it as the ITV building (who are still based there).
The name “HERE” occasionally causes confusion, as you might imagine. But that’s a minor drawback because the staff are so helpful and friendly. I love walking down through Arnos Vale to get there, especially in the Spring.
I began my Will Writing business in 2019. In 2022, I changed the name to Bristol Wills & Estate Planning to better reflect my ethos of helping local people in Bristol and the surrounding area.
I’m a qualified member of the Institute of Professional Willwriters (IPW), which means I adhere to a Code of Practice approved by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute and have £2m professional indemnity insurance for your protection.
Another condition of being an IPW member is taking regular training courses on all aspects of estate planning. Keeping my knowledge up to date helps me give you the best advice and it’s something I enjoy. I log into live webinars and other training almost every week.
I moved to Bristol over 15 years ago, having previously lived in Bath, and love it here. When I’m not meeting clients or writing Wills, I enjoy getting out on walks with my wife (that’s me at Silbury Hill near Avebury).
We feel blessed that there’s such varied scenery within easy reach: Somerset and the Mendip Hills, Forest of Dean and Wye Valley, the coast at Clevedon and Weston-super-Mare, the chalk landscapes of Wiltshire… I could go on.
If you have any favourite walking spots, let me know!