Advice Column: Making a Will

Thursday 18th April 2024

As part of the Citizens Advice Exeter and The Express and Echo weekly advice column this week we focus on making a will

Our circumstances recently changed and my spouse and I are considering re-writing our will. We had a leaflet through the door advertising will writing services which seemed quite reasonable. Is this method recommended?

We would not recommend will writing firms as they are not regulated by the Law Society so there are few safeguards if things go wrong.

It is generally advisable to use a solicitor or to have a solicitor check a will you have drawn up to make sure it will have the effect you want. It is easy to make mistakes and, if there are errors in the will, this can cause problems after your death.

However, if you don’t use a solicitor, it is better to use a firm which belongs to the Institute of Professional Will writers. These firms must follow a Code of Practice which covers the training and assessment of will writers. There is also a complaints and conciliation procedure which can help you sort out problems if things go wrong. You can find details of The Code and of firms which belong to the Institute on the Institute’s website at www.ipw.org.uk.

If you belong to a Trade Union they may offer a free will writing service. There are also books which provide guidance on how to draw up a will. These can help you decide if you should draw up your own will or if any of the pre-printed will forms available from stationers and charities are suitable. It is also possible to find help on the internet. However, you should only consider doing it yourself if the will is going to be straightforward.

For more information on making or changing a will visit the Citizens Advice website

The information contained in these articles does not constitute advice. Citizens Advice Exeter and The Express and Echo accept no liability for the information published. Citizens Advice Exeter is unable to respond to individual requests for advice through these columns. Copyright Citizens Advice. For the most up-to-date information, please visit www.citizensadvice.org.uk