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Convenient Wills     The home visit will writing service

Stoke (01782) 639716

or     0800 072 5510

So, which of the two conflicting viewpoints is correct?

Why have Online Wills such a poor reputation?

If you are considering making your Will using an online will-writer there are a  number of factors to consider.

- Perceived Value for Money

On the face of it online Wills often appear to be a good solution for a person looking to make their Will. They are cheap. Sometimes unbelievably cheap. But if you scratch away the veneer of ‘value for money’ they have a number of significant potential weaknesses.

- Learning Curve and Time

The first problem with online Wills is that you have to input the data.This means that you have to undertake all the research yourself before starting the process.  

The website will usually provide guidance but, due to the limitations of the Internet, that guidance is itself limited. This means that there is a high probability that you will be unaware of all the aspects you should be considering when making your Will.  

- Time

Even so, the amount of time you spend reading up on making your Will could be substantial.  If you place a value against your time spent on this task you will soon realise that the money savings (being made from a low price) are not as great as you first thought.

- Typing Errors

The second problem with online Wills is error detection.  After a period of time you become ‘word blind’.  You miss the obvious errors, even when you have read the document several times over. (And yes, the errors in the screen image above are deliberate!) Some websites claim to check your input for errors, but most take your data is just mail merged into their template. Therefore any mistake you make is repeated in the final document.

- Undue Influence, Mental Capacity, Lack of Knowledge

If you use the services of a professional will writer  (e.g. a solicitor or an established specialist home-visit will-writer) you will note that they make substantial notes while talking to you about your distribution wishes.  These notes are not just about the distribution of your estate but also cover who was present in the room when you gave your instructions, your state of mind, whether you appear to understand what was being spoken about, and more.

These notes can be used by the professional will writer to defend your Will if ever your Will is disputed. See ‘Contentious Wills’ on the menu above.

If you use an online will writer you do not have this defence because there was no one present when you submitted the data who can say that you inputted the information yourself - without undue influence or lack of knowledge.

- Quality

A fourth drawback to using an online will writer is the quality of the finished product is often poor. The cutting of price to entice business is endemic on the Internet: everything is driven by price rather than quality.  The problem with this is that your Will needs to be a quality product otherwise costs would be incurred at the time of your death, and/or your beneficiaries will be disappointed.

We have seen Online Wills that use poor quality administrative-precedents, or even none at all. (Administrative-precedents provide the administrative powers required by most executors.)

Further, some online Will providers send the applicant an e-mail containing their Will for the client to print off themselves, rather than the provider supplying the finished product.  Most people then print off their Will not realising that a professional will-writer uses high-grade paper, some form of high-grade binding of the document, and quite often incorporate an element of security features that protect the Will from being fraudulently altered.

To overcome this shortcoming some Online Will Provider offer to print the finished product, subject to payment of an additional fee – the fee for this service though often increases the total price paid to a similar charge that would be made by ourselves doing a home visit.

- Knowledge

The third drawback to using an online will-writer is that you do not know the level of the knowledge and skill of the will drafter, assuming that there is a will drafter and the document is not generated electronically by a mail merge system. In many cases the drafting is done automatically by the insertion of the data you type in on your keyboard into a template. Anyone can claim to be a will-writer.                                        

- The Solution

Our Wills by Phone Service is designed to compete on price with online will-writers but provide a superior end product.

Please read ‘About Us’ to see why you can buy from us with confidence. And then contact us to discuss which service is best for you.



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The Secrets of Online Wills

Search the Internet for online Wills and you will find:


Common mistakes

People who try to make their own Will often include one or more of the following errors.


Technical errors:  

A Will must comply with the requirements of the Wills Act 1837 (as amended) or risk being rejected/disputed.  


Not knowing the Law:

When drafting a Will you need to understand how property law, trust law, and estate administration law impact upon the Will.


Ambiguous wording:

Both the beneficiary and their gift must be clearly identified in a Will, otherwise the gift will fail. For example: Are the testator’s ‘stepchildren’ to be included when the testator refers to his ‘children’?


Poor drafting of the Will:  

Errors include the omission of key words, using the wrong gender, creating a ‘general’ legacy rather than intended ‘specific’ legacy, and in cross referencing precedents.


We have seen a number of poorly drafted Wills (including some by solicitors) that contain very simple mistakes.


Trying to Control the Future from the Grave:

Where a person tries to control an asset after their death they risk creating an implied trust.  


A typical example is ‘I give to my daughter this [gift] but if she should subsequently divorce then I give the [gift] to my son.’


And the solution - now taken by the Courts - is not what the testator wanted.

Two witnesses are required for a Will to be valid. A witness will not be able to benefit from any Will they witnessed.


Did you know … Wills-by-phone