Will writers are often members of professional bodies and provide a range of estate planning services.
A Will writing service is generally taken to mean a company that writes Wills that is not a solicitor. Generally, a Will writing service is provided by an individual Will writer or a small company.
Many people think that you have to be a solicitor to write a Will, but this is not the case.
Will writing is not one of the “reserved legal activities” that can only be done by authorised professionals like solicitors. The Government considered making it a regulated profession in 2018 but decided against it.
The Government decided against making will writing a reserved legal activity because it considered at that time that there was insufficient evidence that statutory regulation was necessary.House of Commons Library Research Briefing
This means that Will writing services are unregulated. However, many Will writers are members of bodies like the Institute of Professional Willwriters (IPW) and The Society of Will Writers (SWW). These bodies act as voluntary regulators with professional codes of practice.
What are the differences between a Will writing service and a solicitor?
It is very hard to generalise because there’s so much variation in both Will writing services and solicitors.
The main difference is that a Will writing service is probably more likely to send a Will writer to your house to meet you face to face. Solicitors tend to have offices and you would go into the office for an appointment.
Many Will writers also work on evenings and weekends, making it more convenient if you’re busy at work during the day.
In addition, Will writers in your local area may be cheaper than solicitors while still offering a bespoke, face-to-face service.
What are the advantages of using a Will writing service?
The benefit of using a Will writer is that they write Wills every day. They are specialists rather than having to keep up with many areas of law at the same time.
Will writers who are members of professional bodies like the Institute of Professional Willwriters (IPW) are typically up to date with the very latest knowledge in the area. Professional bodies provide regular training sessions and conferences to keep them up to date with current law and best practice.
Many Will writers also provide far more than just Wills alone. They offer holistic estate planning services, covering all aspects of estate planning and later-life planning.
Such products and services can include inheritance tax planning, asset protection planning with Trusts, and Lasting Power of Attorney.
It makes sense to discuss all of these in the same conversation. You may only want to get a simple Will now, but by understanding what’s available, you can make a more informed decision later on.
If it turns out that you need advice on other areas, Will writers can refer you to a network of contacts including financial advisers, insurance and mortgage providers, and divorce solicitors.
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