Legalising a Will
12 October 2016
We are often approached by people asking us to “legalise their Will”. Their wish is not usually for us to actually write their Will but to validate a document or letter they have written themselves setting out their final wishes.
This is an interesting request because what is being asked is for us to make the document ‘legal’ rather than actually discuss the customer’s circumstances and draft the Will professionally.
Unfortunately this type of ‘legal validation’ is not a service that we or most other firms of Solicitors can provide. The reason for not offering a document legalisation service is because, without a discussion about your affairs, we are unable to advise on the consequences of your Will and this isn’t in our client’s best interests.
Also, making a Will yourself, without the use of language that has been accepted and interpreted legally is highly risky. Our professional Will writers draft Will clauses in a way that is recognised by English law so that we can ensure that, after death, they are interpreted correctly and meet the deceased’s wishes.
Some people may believe that they are saving money if they write their Will themselves and then get an endorsement from a law firm. Unfortunately this wouldn’t make the Will any more or less effective unless the person is prepared to let the professional actually write the Will using tried and tested wording.
Anyone can try and write a Will themselves and then sign it in the presence of two witnesses in accordance with the Wills Act to make it legal. Unfortunately this doesn’t mean that the Will is fit for purpose or that it will be legally interpreted in a way that they wanted it to be.
Our advice is always to have your Will written by professionals, it’s a small price to pay for such an important legal document. You also get the peace of mind knowing that your wishes are clear in a way the law recognises.
We offer fixed fee Wills and once we have provided you with a written quote for the agreed work to be done, that price will not change.