Cornwall Living 2018

Will power

Don’t cut corners on Will drafting, says Tracey Wright, partner at Stephens Scown.

We are all under pressure these days and it can be tempting to take the cheapest and easiest route. But sometimes these offers are just too good to be true. One crucial example is when it comes to preparing your Will.

A worrying trend has emerged of direct sales people going door to door, selling Will drafting services. These businesses are unregulated and are normally not local. With as little as five days of training, they lack qualifications or experience. As sales people, the chances are that what starts out as a simple Will may end up with insurance and other services sold on top.

“I’ve made my career helping people to draft Wills and plan their estates”, explains Tracey Wright, a partner and head of private client at Stephens Scown LLP, which has offices in Truro and St Austell. “You may say I’m biased, but I’ve been there to pick up the pieces when things go wrong. With a qualified solicitor, specialist in this area of law, you know that you are dealing with an expert, who has spent years in training.”

Importantly, law firms are regulated, which means that there is an independent body which sets standards that we must adhere to. If things go wrong, you can complain to an independent body that can impose financial sanctions.

Solicitors will be able to offer expert advice on wider issues such as inheritance tax planning or property issues. “We can also advise on areas like Trusts, which some people find useful to help with tax planning”, continues Tracey. “Many of our clients have been with us for a long time and we are able to build up a relationship and gain a great understanding of their unique circumstances. Family dynamics are becoming increasingly complex, with divorces and remarriages adding additional elements to consider.”

There is an increasing number of Wills being contested in the courts. This can be incredibly expensive and cause a great deal of stress at an already difficult time after the death of a loved one. The risk of this can be significantly reduced with a well-drafted Will prepared by a specialist lawyer.


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