Don’t DIY, use a Solicitor
19 October 2020 by Amy Burton
Following on from last week’s Law Society Solicitor Chat, Amy Burton from FJG’s Wills, Life Planning & Probate team has provided some answers to a few frequently asked questions about why you should use a Solicitor. She talks with a particular focus on DIY Will writing.
What are the most common issues that occur when someone chooses to deal with a legal issue alone?
The scope for uncertainty is unfortunately a lot greater and if there is one thing in law that is not ideal, regardless of the area of law, it is uncertainty. Law requires black and white and there should be as little chance of grey areas as possible. This can be hard to address when dealing with a legal matter yourself.
Taking a DIY approach to dealing with legal issues can be seen as a way to save on costs, how does your legal advice provide clients with value for money?
It may save costs in the short term but often can have dire consequences in the long term. In the instance of DIY Wills, we have had many cases where a testator has died and the family has had to instruct a Barrister to provide their legal opinion on the contents of the Will if drafted poorly or there is scope for interpretation of the testator’s wishes. The cost of this advice far outweighs what the cost of having a professional Will would have been.
Why is it important to give tailored and unique advice to clients?
Everyone’s circumstances are different. Even if you find ‘advice’ online, it is likely to be generic and can often be misleading if it doesn’t relate to your exact scenario. There is a reason that we are experts at what we do and one of those reasons is being able to apply the law, effectively and correctly, to your personal circumstances.
What are the key times in life someone should speak to a Solicitor?
Important at all times of life, preparing a Will is often seen to be the most important document to have prepared by a solicitor. Quite simply, you will not be around to fix any problems if anything turns out to be wrong with a DIY Will. It is your family that will have to deal with the fallout; which is usually contrary to your initial intention.
What would you say to someone who is considering dealing with a legal issue alone rather than consulting a Solicitor?
As with everything in life, there are experts in certain fields. If your boiler breaks, you would consult a plumber. If your car broke down, you would consult a mechanic. The same applies to legal issues. A Solicitor should be consulted to ensure that any action is the appropriate action, that any documents are correctly drafted, and that the outcome is that which you desire.
FJG Solicitors have an experienced Wills, Life Planning & Probate team who can assist you in getting your affairs in order. The team has continued making Wills throughout the Coronavirus pandemic under their free Wills initiative; where Wills are put together free of charge in return for a donation to charity. If you want to make or update your Will, please contact FJG’s Wills, Life Planning & Probate team, call 01206 700113, or email [email protected].