Do you need a solicitor to make a will?

Making a will can seem like an arduous task especially as a will is an important legally binding document. Many people visit a solicitor to make their will and entrust them in keeping it safe until after their death, whereupon the solicitor retrieves it on your behalf and carries out your wishes as desired. Writing your will should be seen as an essential part of planning your family’s future. You work hard all your life to save and acquire assets so it seems reasonable to spend a little time deciding how they should be distributed after your death. Further making a will can save much time, effort and expense for grieving loved ones who have been left behind following your death.

It is possible to make a will yourself with aid of a D.I.Y kit or a guide which are available from many bookshops and stationers. These kits enable you to cover the basic elements of your estate such as your house, money and personal items. However there is also a chance that the forms may be interpreted incorrectly or errors may be made rendering the will invalid. If your will is invalid, your estate may not be distributed according to your wishes.

If your affairs are complicated then it may be best to visit a solicitor to have a will drafted to suit your personal circumstances. However although this guarantees a legally valid will, solicitors fees can be anything from £100-£400 per hour making this an expensive option. You will also have to make an appointment and travel to your solicitor’s office with your documentation to enable them to draft a will.

An alternative is to make a will online with an online will writer. You can do this in the comfort of your own home and complete the forms at your own pace. Some sites simply offer an automated system which produces a will purely based on your answers and offer little benefit over a D.I.Y kit. The better sites, such as Harmony Wills, offer a service which personally drafts a will based on your personal circumstances before it is manually checked for errors. In addition you are then provided with clear instructions on how to sign, date and witness your will correctly. A will has to be witnessed by two people who cannot be beneficiaries or executors of your will, or be spouses or civil partners of beneficiaries or executors of your will. Any deviation from the signing instructions could render your will invalid.

Your will is an important legal document which should be stored safely and securely, your executors and beneficiaries should be made aware of its existence and know where it is kept. A will can only be used to have your wishes executed if it can be found.

About the Author:
Christopher Spiers, Director and founder of Harmony Wills online will writers.
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