Expert Will Writing, Even Lawyers Need Help

Expert…

Expert, it wouldn’t surprise few if there was a word for it in some other language.

Sciolism

Regular readers know I’ve clients from several professions, occupations and vocations.  And I get referrals from these clients. I’m grateful for all these referrals as they account for more than nine-tenths of my business.

Oh, how to put this? It’s rare there’s something new in my experience.

I’d been referred to Maxine who lived a couple of miles down the road. We had our appointment, talked about her needs, and we agreed the fee for the service… and oh, she further introduced me to several further clients.

Maxine gave me a cheque in payment.
My mother told me: ‘if anybody gives you money, even you mother, count it’.

Maxine noticed my brow furrow on observing the cheque had been drawn on an account in the name of, and had been signed by a third party. The account holder had an unusual and uncommon name. It happened the account holder was Steph, an intellectual property barrister who was by co-incidence a client of mine from many years past. Steph was Maxine’s cousin.

On recognizing her need to put her affairs in order, she thought a money-saving stratagem would be for her barrister relative to draught her will and estate plan. But she’s no expert.

Expert Will WriterMissing Experience

Steph reminded her cousin she was an intellectual property lawyer, therefore she had scant, zero experience of wills and succession. Further, Steph said as Maxine would not be paying her, they would not be forming a contract, therefore, there was no obligation on her part. In the contemporary phrase, there would be no duty of care to Maxine. In the event anything went wrong, there would be no recompense. It would be better all round for Maxine to engage me. She gave her cousin a blank cheque.

The Opposite of Sciolism

There’s the Alexander Pope saying about the danger of a little knowledge. Steph understood it perfectly. In giving the cheque to her cousin, she’d muttered the word ‘sciolism’, saying it best described the extent of her knowledge. She further said such scant knowledge should not be relied upon – not in such important matters. Giving her cousin the cheque was the opposite of sciolism.

Avoiding  a DIY Will

Something of a roundabout way of saying, ‘the DIY will is an example of the dangerous thing that arises from too little knowledge’.

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