New wills research reveals solicitors are still the best option

Research by Will Aid, a charity will-writing drive held every November, has found 62% of people used a solicitor to write their will in 2016.

Although this is down from 66% in 2015, the survey revealed that most people choose to use a solicitor to manage their will because they believe it’s the best way to ensure their wishes are met.

Research also showed that 38% of people chose to write their own paperwork in 2016 – up from 34% in 2015.

Will Aid’s survey found that of the people who made a will, 62% used a solicitor, and 12% used a will writer (up from 10% in 2015).

Homemade wills came in at 9% (up from last year’s 7%), and DIY kits totalled 6% (this was just under 6% in 2015).

While 5% of people used a bank or high street service (down from 6% last year), and 4% used an online service (slightly up from last year’s total of just under 4%).

Will Aid’s Campaign Director, Peter de Vena Franks, said:

Drawing up a will is a vital financial planning step but the lure of the cheaper alternatives to solicitors can mean the document is not properly written nor legally binding.

“This can leave a family with nothing but a legacy eaten away by legal bills or unnecessary tax.

“While an off-the-shelf will might seem attractive to those who are watching the pennies, it could be money wasted rather than saved. After all, if errors are made the document could be invalid.

“Will Aid solicitors offer a gold standard of will writing which means those people who prepare wills with us also get peace of mind too.”

Every November, solicitors from across the UK offer free, professional advice in the hope that clients will then make a donation to the Will Aid charities.

The suggested donation level is £95 for a single basic will, or £150 for a pair.

The money raised will be shared by Will Aid charities to help transform the lives of people in the UK and around the world.

The scheme supports nine of the UK’s best-loved charities: ActionAid, Age UK, British Red Cross, Christian Aid, NSPCC, Save The Children, SCIAF, Sightsavers and Trocaire. And has raised more than £17 million since it launched more than 25 years ago.

Peter de Vena Franks added:

“Will Aid only works with professional solicitors who take care about how this document is drawn up to prevent it being challenged or disregarded further down the line.

“With the fee going to charity, it encourages people to speak to a solicitor rather than risk a botch job.”

Sources: Will Aid & The Law Society Gazette

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