Who will write your will?

They say there is no such thing as a free lunch, but there is such a thing as a free will. Yes, it is perfectly possible, and legal, to make a will and pay nothing for it. Just write one yourself and hope it might be valid, although no-one can be sure until after you have died.

If your final wishes are unclear, your grieving family may be left with a hefty legal bill for expert advice. But why stop there? Anyone and everyone can set themselves up in business as a will writer. You do not need any special knowledge or qualifications; you are not obliged to hold indemnity insurance; and you are not answerable to a professional body. If you form a limited company to run your business and you make a few mistakes, just cease trading and escape the complaints. If you do not wish to go to the expense of buying, or renting, secure storage facilities for your files and documents, then don’t. Without these hefty overheads, your profit ratio will be high.

The government, in its wisdom, has recently decided will-writing is not to be a 'regulated activity,' making it a free-for-all, which is quite scary, considering it involves your life savings. Although it does provide a business opportunity for those seeking to diversify. Do not be deceived by use of the description 'lawyer' or 'specialist', as these are generic terms that can be used by anyone, including yourself, when setting up your will-writing business. The one description you must not use is 'solicitor'. It is a criminal offence to describe yourself as a solicitor, unless you qualified after many years of examinations, carry full indemnity insurance cover, hold a current practising certificate and have undertaken on-going professional training. In the unlikely event of your solicitor making a mistake, their compulsory insurance cover compensates you, or your loved ones, for all or any financial loss.

Moreover, if your solicitor goes out of business, the profession as a whole steps in to provide continuity. If you do not wish to write your own will, and you decide that a will-writing business is not for you, ask your local solicitor to write your will. That way, you know what (or rather who) you are paying for, although it won’t include that free lunch.

Summary: 

They say there is no such thing as a free lunch, but there is such a thing as a free will. Yes, it is perfectly possible, and legal, to make a will and pay nothing for it. Just write one yourself and hope it might be valid, although no-one can be sur