The Will Writing Process
A will is probably the most important document you will ever write.
For total peace of mind, you need to be confident that your will is:
- written by a trusted professional
- backed up by a suitable safety net and insurance
- able to stand up in a court of law; and
- a true reflection of your wishes.
Anyone can try writing a will. You can write one on a beer mat, but it probably won’t cover all aspects of your life. You can buy a will pack at most stationers, make sure it’s not an English Law one! It’s easy to make a mistake and expose the will to challenge. You may get a free will through your company or Union, but they often don’t cover everything you think they do or all that you’d like covered.
You can get other professionals to write it but most have no specific training or, at best, only a few hours of training on will writing and estate planning. Your safest option by far for making a will is to use the services of a fully-trained, specialist member of the Institute of Scottish Professional Willwriters. I also happily check existing wills, for free, to ensure they cover all your wishes.
Once you’ve made the decision to make a will with Saltire Will Solutions, the process is fairly straightforward.
Your first consultation with me will be at my expense. We can meet in your home, or at another location if you prefer. I will discuss your priorities and needs with you. We will fully explore your thoughts and wishes, and I will offer advice on what might be right for you both now and in the future.
I will also discuss my fees (which are fixed) and your payment options at this point, and leave you free to decide whether you wish to proceed with making a will.
Even if you feel your family life is ‘complicated’, your situation is rarely unique. Although all wills are particular to their owners, my experience allows me to offer tried and tested methods and creative solutions to individual problems.
For added peace of mind, you can be assured that I will be bound by strict professional codes of discretion and ethics, and will not divulge the substance of our conversations to others.
My goal will be to produce a current legal document that will accurately reflect your wishes and requirements for when you are no longer here. The most important things we will need to discuss are:
- the executors who will ensure your wishes are carried out: they don’t have to do the work themselves and it be sensible to have professional help with your executry
- the beneficiaries who will receive your estate, and at what age you want them to receive it
- the guardians for any children under 16 in Scotland (or 18 in the rest of the UK)
- the gifts of specific items to specific people
- the details of your funeral, which you might never have considered before
- the protection of the disabled and vulnerable
We can also discuss any other issues that may be of concern to you at the same time. At this point you legally have 14 days to decide whether to continue with the process or to pull out.
If you decide to go ahead, I will then explain the next steps in the process and the timescales involved. I will send you drafts as required, and arrange with you to have witnesses present for signing the will when it is complete.
A will is not legally valid until it is signed and witnessed, so we will aim to complete the process within a strict timeframe. Time to completion from time of engagement is usually about three weeks, but this can be reduced in emergency or hospice situations (when it is also useful to have other family members present during our discussions).
And what about the cost? It’s often far less than you think – I’m regularly told I should charge much more – and it’s always less than your surviving spouse or partner losing part of your family home or business to the taxman, or the cost of a week’s accommodation in a care home.
My services can be paid for by cash, cheque and debit or credit card and do not attract VAT. I can also take your financial situation into account, if you advise me of any complications during our discussions.
This firm complies with the ISPW Code of Practice.