What’s the differences between Will-Writers and Solicitors?

Many people do not know that there is no requirement, under English law,  for will-writers to have any formal qualifications or ongoing training or any other means of demonstrating their competence before they prepare a will or before they advise on estate planning.

There is no requirement that they have insurance to cover their clients, should they make a mistake and no requirement that they make arrangements to protect any wills stored for their clients should the business close down.

Practising, qualified, solicitors are required to have professional indemnity insurance in place, so that if they make a mistake their clients are protected. Rules of conduct require that they safeguard their clients wills and have contingency plans in place. If they don’t the Solicitors Regulation Authority will step in to sort the situation out.

Rules of conduct require that solicitors cannot adopt high pressure sales tactics towards clients and in particular, they should not encourage clients to appoint them as an executor, when this is not necessary. No similar restriction is placed on will- writers

Many people are in second or subsequent marriages or in unmarried relationships and/or have young children to provide for and the issues to be addressed can be complex. The value of their estates can, commonly, be several hundred thousand pounds and getting a will or estate planning wrong can have very serious consequences for those left behind. It is assumed that the cost of using a will-writer will be less than employing a solicitor, but that is not necessarily the case and even it if is, there is no real comparison when you consider the protection afforded by using a solicitor.

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