It is not compulsory to use a solicitor to write your will, but there are definite advantages in doing so.
A solicitor who specialises in will writing can give you expert advice on your options for disposing of your estate, and can explain the relevant legislation. They can ensure no mistakes are made in the will writing process. Some people who adopted the DIY approach to their will have inadvertently invalidated their will, or other problems have arisen, as a result of failing to follow the correct process.
If something does go wrong with your solicitor, then you are protected. Solicitors are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, and if you make a complaint about your solicitor and the firm does not handle it to your satisfaction, then you can refer the complaint to the Legal Ombudsman. The Ombudsman has the power to make your solicitor pay compensation if it decides that you have lost out as a result of their actions.
Another advantage of using a solicitor is that they can provide safe storage for your will once it has been completed.
Another service your solicitor can offer is to act as your executor, and take care of distributing your possessions to your estate.
Making a will is very important. Thinking about death may not be a pleasant prospect, but by making a will you can spare your family a great deal of additional aggravation were the worst to happen.
Some people assume that if they die, their spouse will automatically get everything. However, this may not be the case. For example, if the deceased has children or grandchildren, and did not write a will, then these relatives are legally entitled to a share of the estate.
Co-habiting partners who were not in a marriage or civil partnership with the deceased person also have no right to inherit if there is no will.
So the only way to ensure your estate is distributed in line with your wishes is to make a will.
Another important point is that, under the law of England and Wales, a will becomes invalid on marriage. So if you marry, you need to write a new will as soon as possible.