What is the process and how long does it take to make a Will?
Before we meet I will ask you to complete a Questionnaire which will help us both prepare for our first meeting (click on the yellow button to download a copy). This initial consultation usually takes about an hour and a half. If you wish to proceed after that, I will prepare a first draft and send it to you for your approval. We can then discuss any additions or alterations. Once we have perfected your Will, I will prepare a final draft.
I will then personally supervise the execution of your Will, which is when you and at least two witnesses sign it and it becomes legally binding.
This process should take no longer than a maximum of four weeks – provided that you give me all the information I need, and you read and approve the drafts in the timescales we agree!
If you need your Will to be drafted urgently please let me know and a shorter timescale can be arranged.
Is there a discount for couples?
I can usually offer a discount if you both instruct me at the same time and I see you together. It will also depend on your financial circumstances and intentions concerning your estates being broadly similar. If you both complete and return my questionnaire, I will be able to advise you of this before we meet.
You no longer practise as a solicitor – what does this mean?
I qualified as a solicitor in 1989 and worked in private practice and for the public sector in the field of litigation for twenty four years. I have not practised as a solicitor since 2013 and do not have a current practising certificate. This means that I am not regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
As a Will Writer I am registered with the Society of Will Writers (membership number SM61073108/15). I am compliant with the Society’s Code of Practice and continuing professional development requirements. I carry public indemnity insurance up to a limit of £2.5 million.
What happens to my Will after it has been executed?
You can keep your Will at home if you have somewhere safe and secure, but most people prefer to deposit their Will with an organisation offering secure document storage facilities.
I cannot store your Will myself but I can make arrangements for secure storage on your behalf. There will be an additional charge for this service.
The important thing is that you and your Executors know where your Will is and can access it quickly and easily.
I will always provide you with a copy of your Will for you to keep or give to your Executors but remember that it is the original that is needed when you die.
How often should I review my Will?
At least every three years, to make sure it still matches your circumstances and reflects your intentions.
In addition you should review your Will when there are significant changes in your personal circumstances, such as the birth or death of a close family member, or separation or divorce – or in your financial position, for example when you retire, or if you receive an inheritance or otherwise acquire more property.
Remember that by law your Will is automatically revoked if you get married or enter into a civil partnership, and a new Will is required to avoid Intestacy.
What is your geographical area and your hours of business?
I am based in Stoke Newington, London N16. I will visit you in your home or office if you are within a radius of one hour’s travel (or further by agreement). I am available for appointments in the evening and on weekends, as well as during normal working hours.
What happens when you are no longer about?
You can be assured that there are arrangements in place. The Society of Will Writers will take over any work that I am unable to complete owing to illness or death.
When I have completed all the work you have instructed me to do, I (or my successors in business) will retain copies of your Will, my records of our meetings and correspondence until six years after your death. This is important as there are circumstances in which they could be needed. When I retire, or on my death, you will be contacted at your last known address to be told where your records will be stored.
What if I am not happy with your service?
I hope that I you find your experience of making your Will much easier and less stressful than you may have anticipated. My aim is to make things as clear and straightforward as possible, and I want you to be totally happy with the service I provide.
If things do not live up to your expectations, however, please raise your concerns with me at the earliest opportunity so that I can put things right. Any complaints will be taken very seriously. In accordance with the Society of Will Writers’ Code of Practice I have a written complaints procedure which is available on request.
I am always looking at ways to improve what I do. If you have any suggestions please don’t hesitate to let me know – feedback is always very helpful.