You have a number of choices when deciding how to make a Will:
- Write a Will yourself
- Buy a form from a supermarket
- Download a form from the internet
- Instruct a Will writing company
- Instruct a solicitor
At MACKS we consider there are a number of advantages in choosing a solicitor and in particular one of our specialist solicitors:
Amazingly, many Will writers do not have any legal training. Poorly drafted and ambiguous Wills can lead to unnecessary distress, expense and family disagreements post-death.
All of the solicitors in the MACKS Wills Department originate from the Cleveland area, hold a law degree, have had extensive legal training, completed their training with local firms and have significant experience in this area of law. They are long serving members of STEP (Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners) and Solicitors for the Elderly.
It is essential your Will is unambiguous and can be easily understood by you, your executors and beneficiaries.
At MACKS we pride ourselves on providing clear advice and producing Wills and letters written in plain English with minimal legal language. Where legal terms are used a full explanation is given.
Wills made by Will writers or using standard forms are often obscure, imprecise and confused. Problems may not appear until after death when it is often too late to rectify them. The cost of dealing with such problems can be considerable and difficult.
At MACKS, because of the experience and knowledge of their specialist solicitors, we can point out matters which you may not have considered or realised could be an issue or difficulty.
At MACKS we will advise on the steps you can take to minimise your liability for inheritance tax, create trusts for infant children or vulnerable beneficiaries, reduce disputes and avoid court action by disappointed or distant beneficiaries.
At MACKS we will act as witnesses to your Will and make certain the strict formalities are met. Your Will may be invalid if it is not witnessed correctly and this problem may only come to light after your death, when it is too late.
Will writers are completely unregulated. They have no governing body and they do not have to carry insurance.
Solicitors are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and must have annual professional insurance.
At MACKS we are extremely proud of our high standards of client care and the majority of our referrals are from existing satisfied clients and other professionals.
- Storage of your Will
Your Will can be stored in the strong room at MACKS at one of our three offices in accordance with the guidelines of the Solicitors Regulation Authority at no cost to you.
Will writers have no such guidance, the majority are not local or regional and they charge an annual fee for storage.
If a Will writer goes out of business your Will may be lost.
MACKS have been in business for nearly 20 years and, should there be any changes, the Solicitors Regulation Authority require the firm to write to all clients advising of such changes.
By instructing MACKS to prepare your Will, you will receive independent advice.
MACKS believe you should instruct the firm to make your Will. MACKS do not insist on the firm being appointed as your Executors.
Usually the administration of an Estate can be handled by family or friends with the help of a solicitor. Your Executor should be free to choose who to engage to help with the administration of your Estate.
It has recently been highlighted that many banks and Will writers offer cheap deals when preparing Wills but require their trust department or directors to be appointed as Executors. They then charge considerable amounts for acting in your estate.
At MACKS we leave you to decide who to appoint as your Executors.
What is the next step?
Everyone’s circumstances are different. MACKS strongly recommend a face-to-face meeting with one of our specialist solicitors who will be able to explain things in greater detail and advise you to ensure your specific wishes are met.