Carla Brown

Partner, Solicitor and Head of Wills, Trusts & Probate

DATE PUBLISHED: 01 Feb 2022 LAST UPDATED: 23 May 2022

Why it’s wise to invest in your Will

The recent case of Reeves v Drew & others, recently reported in the Law Society Gazette highlights the importance of getting the right advice in connection with the preparation of your Will. In that case, the Solicitor was asked to prepare a Will for a client whose estate was worth around £100m, but said in court that he could only provide a “Primark” level of service because the client had negotiated a fixed fee of £140 plus VAT.

Firstly, my advice would be to anyone with a significant estate that it is well worth investing time on obtaining the right advice from a specialist estate planner. There are many pitfalls and areas for contention which clients may not realise without appropriate guidance. The stress for those left behind of any challenges to a Will, not to mention the cost implication and delay in the estate administration can be enormous.

Of course, you can never completely guarantee that there won’t be challenges to a Will but with careful planning and an appropriate structure, the risks are significantly mitigated. Further the testator will be well informed about the possible issues that may arise after death and may seek to share that with close family, to try to stave off the possibility of problems.

I am afraid that you really do get what you pay for with estate planning advice and anyone with a significant estate, or complex family relationships, should invest accordingly in a suitably qualified expert.

Secondly, this case highlights the importance, to Solicitors and other Will writers, of the need to price work properly for the amount of time and expertise any matter needs, in order to be done correctly and in our clients’ best interests.

If you need any help or guidance in respect of the preparation of a Will or indeed any challenges to one, contact our experts on 01202 525333.

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