Solicitors remain first choice for wills

The number of solicitors being instructed to draft wills increases while DIY wills also on the rise

Solicitors have increased their share in the will writing market over the past four years, despite growing concerns of an increase in poorly drafted wills by unregulated will writers.

Research from Will Aid shows that in the period from 2011-2015, the number of people using solicitors to draft a will increased by two per cent in comparison to the period from 2008-2011.

There has recently been a spate of cases involving wills drafted by unregulated providers such as that of Ebenezer Aregbesola, who was unable to inherit her father’s share in a property as it had been incorrectly bequeathed under Barclays’ £90 will writing service.

Conversely, the research also shows that the number of people using a will writer has declined from 19.9 per cent in 2008, down to 10.5 per cent in 2015, while use of will writing services provided by banks and other organisations has declined from 8.7 per cent in 2009 to 5.9 per cent in 2015.

Will Aid’s campaign director, Peter de Vena Franks, believes that although the use of will writers in general has declined, solicitors remain popular due to a sense of trust clients feel about their services.

‘It is evident both from research and from the popularity of Will Aid that the public prefer to use a solicitor to write their will, wherever possible. They are aware that with a solicitor you can be assured of a valid will and if anything does go wrong, there is proper insurance and redress.

‘This may not be the case with an unregulated provider and certainly isn’t the case if you write your own will.’

I’ll do it myself

Meanwhile Bolt Burdon Kemp have also conducted research around the use of will writing services, and have found that 19 per cent of people draft their own wills without taking any professional advice.

This is in line with Will Aid’s findings around DIY wills, which show that the use of online will writing services more than doubled from 1.6 per cent in 2009, to 3.4 per cent in 2015.

Homemade wills also increased from 3.6 per cent in 2010 to 7.7 per cent in 2015.

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