We are now in an era when anyone can come along and set themselves up as a Will Writer and no one blinks an eye, some even using a business name that suggests that they are a Legal Firm when they are not. Over the last few years I have come across several businesses that lead you to believe that they are a Legal Firm or a firm of Solicitors and there is not a Solicitor in sight. Then on top of that you have companies advertising cheap Wills and not disclosing that there are possible other charges up front, they wait until they are sat in your home and then give you the hard sell on all the extras, so what you thought was going to be a £40 Will ends up being closer to £1,000. 
So lets look at the first problem, people setting up as Will writers and some of them misleading you into believing that they are a legal Firm or a Solicitor when they are not. You should do some research, find out if they belong to any of the Memberships or bodies that carry a code of practice such as the Society of Will Writers, whom all their members have to have full Insurance, they have to follow a code of ethics and be compliant with society's guidelines, they also have to undertake 24 hours of Training each year, of which a minimum of 12 hours has to be structured, meaning that members are always up to date. Although the Will writing industry is currently unregulated, groups such as the Society of Will Writers, regulates their members, ensuring that their members are as regulated as anyone can be in an industry that isn't.  
Then lets look at problems of people using company names that could be misleading. Having the word legal or Law in the business name to my way of thinking implies that they are a Legal Company and as such they are a Solicitor, or have a Solicitor that works within the company. There is no law to say you cannot use the word Legal within your company name, however I would suggest that doing so if you are not a Solicitor or a Firm of Solicitors, you are doing so to get people to think that you are. 
The Internet is a wonderful thing, we are also in a very competitive market, Will Writers popping up here and there, some working on a commission basis for large national firms, but claiming to be your local independent Will Writer, advertising on the internet with some Wills I have seen as low as £20 for a Will. What they fail to tell you, is that they will then give you the hard sell on how you need this clause and that clause, which yes you may well need, but they over inflate the costs of such clauses and Trusts, so often what you think was a cheap Will often costs you an arm and a leg, and they have got you to sign paperwork so you are in effect tied in. 
Speak to someone on the phone first, get them to explain what sort of costs are likely to incurred, what extra's are likely to bee needed to be added to your Will. Any Will Writer that is worth his profession will explain what costs could be before seeing you. It can be difficult sometimes as every ones circumstances are different, but a good Will Writer will ask you some questions before going through costs to establish a little about you beforehand.  
Tagged as: Wills
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