Will drafting risks are on the rise

A Will is one of the most important documents that someone will write during their lifetime. As well as dealing with sentimental and often emotional matters, having a formal Will is the only way to ensure that an estate is distributed in line with final wishes.

Whilst clients may feel that making these decisions is a huge burden, the real responsibility lies with the professional who’s drafting the document, namely, the Will writer.

With a growing number of estates being challenged – up 11% year-on-year* – and PII premiums potentially rising, it is increasingly important that Will drafters follow a thorough process when drafting a Will, and the right software will not only steer this but also provide an audit trail.

Many professionals in the Wills and Probate sector invest in undertaking rigorous training, obtain formal qualifications, or apply to join industry organisations before setting foot in the market, demonstrating to the consumer that their services meet a certain standard. Having made such an investment, why would you compromise when it comes to choosing the tools of your trade?

Consumers turn to professionals to draft their Will as they trust that it will be both reflective of their wishes and accurate to minimise the risk of challenge. Wills can be highly complex documents, so the client will choose to put their faith in professional services, after all, it’s where their expertise lies.

Why is it that mistakes continue to be made?

As already mentioned, Wills can be complex. This means that they require high levels of consideration and attention to detail, both of which can be subject to human error. Rather than a lack of care, mistakes will usually be symptoms of external factors; stress, heavy workloads and even a minor distraction can all lead to an error being made. Unfortunately, the impact of these errors is often anything but minor.

Some common drafting mistakes:

  • Typing errors are one of the most common factors which can compromise the legality of a Will. These can range from a misspelt name to missing paragraphs. Errors are often caused by cutting and pasting from a previous document, accidentally removing a particular section which should have been included or including a section that should have been deleted.
  • Clauses without context in Wills can also result in problems later down the line, as well as being confusing for clients. For example, standard clauses may be inserted into the document without real consideration as to their effect, rendering them useless or worse, creating a conflict.
  • Incorrect use of legal terms in a Will often resulting from a lack of technical understanding and an inability to apply this to a client can cause confusion or disputes.

As well as being one of the most important documents, Wills can also be one of the most complicated. Naturally, therefore, there’s always a risk that something could go wrong, no matter how much time is dedicated to getting things right.

In addition to playing a key role when it comes to enhancing your business, using quality professional drafting software will ensure that the service you provide to clients is at the highest level – and will protect you in the long term. Promoting both reliability and accuracy, drafting software can ensure that the documents you produce meet a consistently good standard, providing you with greater peace of mind in terms of service delivery. What’s more, Will writing software can save you both time and expense, improving efficiency on a wider business level.

To discover how Arken could help your private client business, please email us at sales@dplprofessionalsolutions.com or call us on 01732 867792.

 

*2016 High Court cases where children have challenged their inheritances

This article was submitted to be published by DPL Professional as part of their advertising agreement with Today’s Wills and Probate. The views expressed in this article are those of the submitter and not those of Today’s Wills and Probate.

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