[Skip to main content] [Skip to secondary navigation]

Why a Solicitor should prepare your Will

We always recommend that your Will is professionally prepared by an experienced lawyer.

The recent Court of Appeal decision in the case of Hawes v Burgess (2013) EWCA Civ 74 confirms that if a will is prepared by a qualified solicitor it is more likely to be upheld in the event of a challenge, particularly if the mental capacity of the testator is questioned.

The Court held that a will should only be set aside “on the clearest evidence of lack of mental capacity”. Relevant factors in the Court`s ruling were (1) the will appeared rational, (2) the will had been properly executed (signed and witnessed), and (3) the will had been drafted by an experienced solicitor.

If the will had been prepared without legal advice and assistance (such as a 'home-made' will) then the legal challenge could have succeeded. This would have had profound implications for the estate and the distribution of assets to beneficiaries.

If there are doubts about a testator`s capacity and understanding to make a will, then we can provide advice and recommend appropriate steps to minimise the risk of a later challenge to the will. A failure to take legal advice could lead to considerable problems in the future, uncertainty, a risk that your intended beneficiaries may not receive their inheritance, and additional costs borne by the estate.

There are many other reasons for seeking professional advice when making your will.  Even if you consider that your will is 'straightforward' there are often issues that require careful consideration and advice. These include the choice of a suitable executor and trustee, guardians for children under 18 years, inheritance tax, whether part of the estate should be held in trust and, in particular, if you intend to make an unequal distribution of the estate between your children.

A will could also be challenged if the terms are not drafted properly, the will has been incorrectly signed (or not signed at all), or the will has not been properly witnessed. We therefore recommend that you contact our specialist private client team and obtain advice about your new will and the choices available to you.

Our office is conveniently located at Ventura House, Ventura Park Road Tamworth B78 3HL with dedicated client parking at the front and disabled access. All our conference rooms are on ground level. We can arrange home visits for your convenience.

Call for a no obligation competitive quotation on 01827 311411 or email t.illsley@rutherfordslegal.com

Solicitor Tony Illsley is the appointed panel lawyer for the Midlands Air Ambulance for the South Staffordshire area assisted by Sarah Hassall and Natasha Bartosik and a dedicated team of support staff.

Return to news list

Copyright © 2019 Rutherfords Legal LLP. All rights reserved.

Site by Carousel Marketing, powered by Big Room Internet