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Important points to consider before signing or reviewing your Will
Signing or reviewing your Will
A Will is one of the most important legal documents that you will prepare during your lifetime. An incorrectly prepared Will can cause severe and long-lasting difficulties on death. After all, it is not possible to have a second attempt at getting it right!
So, why should you use Buckles to prepare your Will? The reasons are many, but we have set out the main seven below.
There are both good and bad Will-writers, good and bad attempts at drafting a homemade Will, and even good and bad solicitors who prepare Wills. However, at Buckles we are highly skilled and experienced in preparing Wills, having undergone years of legal training. Furthermore, our team is hard to beat in terms of size, experience and knowledge.
Like all solicitors, at Buckles we have:
- a complaints procedure to deal with any issues that may arise, and ultimately our clients can go to the Legal Ombudsman
- Professional Indemnity Insurance in place to cover any negligence in relation to the preparation of the Will
We work extremely hard to avoid ever having a complaint or an error in a Will, and these basic levels of protection are not a requirement for a Will-writer, given that the preparation of Wills is an unregulated activity.
Families, relationships, assets and life in general are more complicated these days. A homemade Will or one prepared by a Will-writer will not necessarily take account of issues such as:
- assets which are jointly owned by the person making the Will and someone else
- protecting assets from care home fees
- Inheritance Tax planning, such as ensuring the availability of the Residence Nil Rate Band (RNRB) or Business Property Relief (BPR)
- protecting vulnerable beneficiaries
- potential claims against the estate, and how to make them less likely to succeed to include consideration of the mental capacity of the person making the Will
- foreign assets or potentially foreign domicile
At Buckles we routinely deal with the above points when preparing a Will, often in conjunction with our International Department where an international element is involved.
- Additional advice
Whilst preparing a Will, at Buckles we will also give advice about associated matters, such as Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs), which allow Attorneys to make financial, medical and care decisions if ever this were needed in the future.
Whilst a solicitor who is skilled and experienced in the preparation of Wills and LPAs should not “dabble” in other areas of law, as a full-service law firm Buckles can involve other lawyers in the firm as appropriate to give advice on things such as:
- the structure of an interest in a business, such as a Partnership or limited company
- matrimonial matters, such as the divorce of the person making the Will or one of their beneficiaries
An executor is a person who is appointed by a Will to carry out the wishes of the person who made the Will.
Many individuals choose family members to act as an executor, but often family members are not in a suitable position to deal with the complicated work that can arise especially if the Will establishes a trust. By choosing Buckles to act in this role, this removes the responsibility and burden from family members.
Over the years, there have been numerous reports of original Wills being left on the street or even lost or destroyed after a Will-writer has gone out of business. We also often hear of a homemade Will which the family “know” was made yet cannot be found because it has been lost or destroyed.
At Buckles, we have a strongroom for the storage of Wills, Powers of Attorney and Title Deeds and, in the unlikely event of the firm ceasing to trade, the Law Society has a responsibility to appoint an Intervening Solicitor to take charge of all documents held by us.
It is commonly believed that a Will-writer will be cheaper than a solicitor. However, this is not always the case. To provide certainty on cost to our clients, at Buckles we offer a no obligation appointment to discuss Wills, at the end of which we can quote a fixed fee based on what is required. If this fixed fee quote is not accepted, then there is no charge for the meeting.
In addition, storage of your legal documents at Buckles is free of charge, whereas Will-writing services and some firms of solicitors can charge an annual fee for storing documents.