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Advice on becoming a will writer

(8 Posts)
WhateverNext0 Mon 12-Oct-15 22:53:22

Hi, I'm a primary school teacher who has spent the last few years at home with my two children. I'm at that stage of re-evaluation that I think a lot of us reach when trying to find a balance between our home and working lives.

After a recent discussion with a friend I have been seriously thinking about becoming a will writer. I believe that lots of my skills from my teaching career are transferable and a good foundation to training in this area. Before I invest time and money in training I would love to hear from anyone who does or knows someone who does this as to whether my ideas about this as a potential career are realistic.

Is it possible to get work in this area, once trained, without previous law experience or do most people look for will writers who have spent their career in this field ?

Could I work for myself straight away or would I need to spend time and gain experience first working for a company ?

I know this is a somewhat unregulated area, which has led to a lot of competition. How difficult would it be for me to find work ? I'm prepared to work hard, could I earn a salary to match what I could earn teaching ?

If you have any helpful insights I would love to hear from you.

AnthonyBlanche Sat 17-Oct-15 13:04:56

The world of unregulated will writing is full of cowboys who take advantage of people who aren't aware that the person preparing their will has no legal qualifications. There are good will writers out there who have come from a legal background. Without a background in law, I would steer well clear OP unless you plan to join one of the unscrupulous organisations who take advantage of the ill informed.

AnthonyBlanche Sat 17-Oct-15 13:07:04

p.s. I can't think of a job which has less in common with law than primary school teaching. The skills needed for will writing are a sound grasp of law and tax.

WhateverNext0 Sat 17-Oct-15 20:19:00

Hello Anthony and thanks for your reply, I was getting a little lonely here !
I most definitely do not intend to join an unscrupulous organisation taking advantage of the ill informed.
I believe that as a primary school teacher I have some transferrable skills, I don't however have the knowledge or experience, this is why I'm considering re - training.

AnthonyBlanche Sat 17-Oct-15 21:01:32

As far as I know most people go to a solicitor to have their will drawn up - certainly anyone who has anything much to leave in a will is likely to do so. Is there any sort of professional body for will writers who you could ask for information about potential jobs? Or were you planning to set up on your own?

Have you looked into the possibility of becoming a legal executive or paralegal? You could look for jobs in private client once qualified.

WhateverNext0 Sun 18-Oct-15 10:54:25

Hi Anthony,
I have spoken to one of the two trade bodies that exist, the Institute of Professional Will Writers, about a number of things, including routes to employment after qualification.

They assure me that there is work for someone like me after the appropriate training and said that some people prefer to use will writers whose training is specialist. However I do have reservations, namely competing for work with law professionals working in this area. Even more concerning to me is that if the general consensus is that there are a lot of "cowboys" about it could be an uphill struggle to convince potential clients that I am not among their ranks ! Conversely, in an industry that has been open to exploitation by some surely there has to be room for someone who wants to provide a fair, honest, fully qualified and regulated service ?

As you can see I am very much in the thinking through stage of this idea and I really appreciate your opinion and advice as you are giving me lots to think about. I hadn't yet considered becoming a legal executive or paralegal so thanks for the suggestions.

AnthonyBlanche Sun 18-Oct-15 12:05:17

Perhaps I am biased OP as I am a practising solicitor in Scotland where there is no separate industry of will writers. I know many solicitors who work in the area of wills, trust and executries. It is a specialist area of law and I can't see that anyone would want to use a will writer, rather than a solicitor specialising in wills, other than on the grounds of cost.

Most solicitors these days specialise in one particular area of law. There are fewer and fewer general practitioners around.

WhateverNext0 Mon 19-Oct-15 10:15:06

I would say that rather than bias you have the professional insight I was asking for in the first place, whether I wanted to hear it or not !

I do understand exactly where you are coming from, I am from Northern Ireland where organising supply teaching is still the job of the local education authority. I work in England where almost exclusively it has been handed over to private recruitment agencies. As a result of the practice's of some of these agencies, in my opinion, the pay, conditions and morale of supply teachers here is at an all time low. It's not the same situation as the one you describe but I believe there are parallels.

Thanks for your help, I'm off for a long walk and a long think.

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