The answer is absolutely not! At the time of writing I have almost 8 years of experience in the world of estate planning. I have met may fellow will writers, been to multitudes of Society regional meetings and listened to many expert talks.

The conclusion I have drawn is this- in every service in life there is the good, the bad and the ugly. I have seen some excellent wills drawn up by solicitors and I have also seen some horrendous ones and heard stories from families where distress was caused when things needed to be sorted out.

Some solicitors in their shiny high rise offices may not do the best job for you-they could miss out important information they need to tell you. Likewise, a self-employed estate planner working from a home office may do a sterling job for you. We are not a one-trick pony, our area tips into the realms of conveyancing, inheritance tax and income tax, capital gains tax, all these areas can and may, be affected by a will.

I will give an example for you. I met a client who lived in a house and was given a right to occupy it if the owner died first. He would not inherit it by will, just live in it until he died. What the solicitors who drafted this will had failed to mention to him, was the effect on his inheritance tax bill when he died was huge. Having a RTO loads the value of the house you are living in onto your estate value if you die whilst living there as if you owned it. In his case, his beneficiaries would have had to pay off an IHT bill of £114,000! Luckily, he came for a will re-draft and I was able to inform him and help him take a different route.

Pick your estate planner carefully. Make sure they are experienced and have constant up to-date training. Make sure they are members of a body such as the IPW, SOWW or CILEx. Make sure they carry personal indemnity insurance to cover work undertaken. Check there are plenty of happy client testimonials.


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