The Importance of Using a Solicitor When Writing Your Will

The Importance of Using a Solicitor When Writing Your Will

Daniel Hall 28/05/2024
The Importance of Using a Solicitor When Writing Your Will

Some people write wills themselves, but professionals don’t recommend it.

It is easy to make mistakes on some important parts of the will, and the consequences can be devastating. 

Online will-writing services are another option but have significant drawbacks, including expert guidance from a solicitor who will understand and advise on your circumstances and help you draft a will that suits your exact needs. 

For this reason, most responsible individuals use solicitors. Legal professionals can ensure wills are valid and reflect owners’ wishes. 

This post explains the value of using a solicitor for will-writing. It outlines the key reasons legal counsel is essential when deciding on an estate’s future. 

Precise Wording


Writing a will requires precise wording to ensure conflicts and misunderstandings don’t occur. Your wishes need to be set out clearly and the beneficiaries must be outlined in full. Misinterpretation may lead to costly and extensive legal battles between beneficiaries and other financial dependants.. 

Courts may also permit legal challenges to wills if the wording is unclear or ambiguous. Online templates or self-written statements may contain ambiguities parties can exploit or the formalities are not met. 

As legal professionals, solicitors draft wills carefully, removing any ambiguity. Their writing reflects the owner’s intentions accurately. 

Legal Knowledge

Will-writing solicitors also have extensive legal knowledge of will writing, allowing them to tackle complex areas, such as inheritance tax laws and trusts, if required. Self-written wills are unlikely to consider these matters properly or structure estate instructions to minimise losses. 

For example, solicitors can assist clients in structuring their wills by including testamentary trusts. These financial entities may avoid taxation or allow the owner to determine how recipients should use financial proceeds when they are gone. 

Solicitors can also advise on inheritance tax situations and how it may affect beneficiaries. Some arrangements may reduce the burden of HMRC more than others. 

Effective Questioning

Solicitors can also ask clients the right questions to determine whether a given will structure is optimal.  

For example, solicitors ask their clients about their marital status and dependents. In the case there is no will, the estate would pass the rules of intestacy to a surviving spouse or immediate descendants.

Lastly, on this point, solicitors may ask single parents of young children about provisions for appointing a guardian for their children should they pass away. Wills might state money should go into a trust, being released slowly over time to take care of the kids. 

Mistake Avoidance

Avoiding mistakes is another reason why using a solicitor is essential when writing a will. Legal professionals ensure their clients meet legal requirements before making the document official. These include: 

  • Ensuring valid signing and witnessing of the will to avoid challenges in probate court

  • Drafting the will clearly to avoid ambiguities in the language or wording

  • Using legal documentation to avoid intestacy – standard legal procedure for passing on an estate without a written will

  • Ensuring the document doesn’t create any beneficiary issues that might lead to disputes

  • Future-proofing the document to allow clients to make straightforward changes should their circumstances change over time

DIY wills often contain significant hidden mistakes that can affect outcomes. Furthermore, template-based wills may avoid wording errors but fail to communicate individuals’ wishes effectively. 

Understanding Family Dynamics

Finally, solicitors can help clients with more complicated finances and family structures. Legal professionals can advise on matters such as stepchildren, dependents from past relationships, estranged relatives, children with special needs, and blended families. These situations often require solicitors to draft special clauses to prevent disputes and enable family members to agree seamlessly on who should benefit and how. 

Solicitors will use legal precedent in some cases to ensure wills reflect current laws. These can change over time and lead to disputes and challenges if not considered properly. Governments may adjust the scope of intestacy laws or include broader definitions of “dependents.” For example, solicitors can draft a will to ensure your stepchildren inherit a suitable portion of an estate. These can apply even if the spouse is still alive. 

Stepchildren under 18 may also benefit from a trust structure for your estate. Solicitors can set these up, managing the release of funds to them until they reach adulthood (or a specified age). These help estate owners manage their dependents’ financial situation even after they are gone. 

Peace Of Mind


Ultimately, using a solicitor gives people peace of mind. Individuals know their estate will pass to their loved ones when they are gone with minimal risk of disputes. 

Clients should work with solicitors regularly to ensure they will reflect their current wishes. Circumstances can change, and wills should reflect this. Some individuals who have used a solicitor to write a will have them reviewed and updated every year or two.

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Daniel Hall

Business Expert

Daniel Hall is an experienced digital marketer, author and world traveller. He spends a lot of his free time flipping through books and learning about a plethora of topics.

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