A matter of life and death
David Gilman is partner in charge of Blacks Connect
Death isn’t most people’s ideal topic of conversation but as brokers you already understand the importance of ensuring your clients are fully prepared.
Many of you advise your clients on life insurance and you understand the vital role this plays in people’s personal finances.
It’s the same with will writing. While it’s not necessarily what your bright-eyed, first-time buyers may be contemplating as they daydream of decorating their new home, it is really important that they understand why they should be writing a will now.
Divorcees, growing families and downsizers are also prime candidates for a will writing service, as well as any of your clients that are going through a change in circumstances.
Take five minutes
All it takes is five minutes of your time to highlight the benefits of writing a will with the help of an experienced solicitor. Not only will you be giving your client a vital service, you could also earn a referral fee for passing the business on.
Just make sure you refer to a trusted legal partner, because the whole point of a will is to protect the client’s interests and wishes – if not done properly it’s a complete waste of time and money – and can be worse than not having bothered in the first place.
Remind your client of the following reasons to use a solicitor to help them write a will:
• If they die intestate, without having writing a will, their assets will be distributed according to the law and not necessarily as they would wish. Writing a will means they get to decide what happens.
• An unclear or badly worded will could mean your client’s family faces expensive legal bills trying to sort it out. Using an experienced solicitor will make sure everything is clear and water-tight. It makes things much easier for a grieving family if your client’s wishes are spelt out with no room for dispute.
• If they are wealthy there can be tax advantages, such as setting up a trust. They need an expert to help work out the best option for their individual circumstances.
• Even if they are not wealthy, or don’t have significant assets, if your client has children they should appoint guardians for them in the event of their death. Otherwise their family will not be clear about their wishes and there could be arguments.
• Remind them that if they get married, divorced, have children or any other circumstances change their solicitor will help them to adapt their will to suit. Plus they will safely store it for them.
It’s a fact of life that many of your clients will experience the death of a family member, and may require a probate service. They may not know where to turn so it can help to have discussed this service with them in advance of them having to use it.
Letting clients know you are able to refer them to a trusted legal partner can help reduce stress at what is already a difficult time and can mean that they get an efficient, professional and personal service.
At Blacks Connect we have recently added our Wills and Probate services to our intermediary proposition and will be fully integrating them onto our website shortly. We are already highly experienced in these two areas through our parent firm, Blacks Solicitors. Now we are combining this expertise with the dedicated intermediary service and cutting-edge technology we provide through Blacks Connect, giving brokers a trusted referral option.