Last Friday night’s BBC 2 programme about making a Will, ‘Can’t take it with you’, should have encouraged anybody contemplating preparing their Will to pick up the phone and call their local independent Willwriter. There were some technical issues to gripe about and it dealt with some sensitive and personal situations rather bizarrely. Nevertheless, I thought it presented two typical family situations similar to ones Willwriters deal with everyday.
The Willwriter is there to listen to the wishes of the client (the testator), and will advise occasionally if a more elegant solution is available. Sir Gerry on the other hand, was not only critical but also influential and by involving friends and family, he may have subjected the testator to their influence. This is something a well trained and qualified Willwriter will never do because if the Will is contested they may find themselves in court. Even so, the programme highlighted the difficulties of deciding on the distribution of the estate and the emotional turmoil that often arises. However, it demonstrated that there are solutions for everyone.
There was an interesting outcome to the selection of the executors for one of the testators. He clearly voiced his disagreement about leaving legacies to animals rather than people. He definitely was not the choice for the lady choosing to leave a large sum to the cats home.
The main message from Sir Gerry was that making your Will is a very important task, but because it can give rise to emotions, it is a sensitive process. One that a good qualified Willwriter is trained to deal with.