I’ve recently had a couple of enquiries from people looking for help with residential conveyancing and will writing. Although conveyancing is part of the Legal Practice Course and will writing/probate is something I did a little of as a Trainee, I have very limited knowledge of either area.
Lawyers specialise early (arguably a bit too early in a way that means a lot of us miss out on seeing some of the connections between fields). But the end result is I know as much about conveyancing as most of the people reading this. I know a little more about will writing because it’s an area of law where there was a capacity test that pre-dates the Mental Capacity Act 2005. It’s also an important area to consider for parents with offspring who lack capacity to manage their own finances as part of long term planning. But I’m not somebody who drafts wills.
If you’re looking for someone to help you with conveyancing, I suggest:
- get a personal recommendation from people who’ve moved house recently.
- consider the location of the solicitor’s office and proximity to your [current] home / work locations. [this may be less important during COVID-19, where so much is being done remotely].
- use the Law Society’s Find a Solicitor search function.
In relation to will writing, I suggest:
- look for personal recommendations, but be prepared to discard them if the person doesn’t have the right expertise.
- stick to Solicitors for this, don’t go for non-regulated will writing services.
- use the Law Society’s Find a solicitor search function – look for firms with expertise in both “private client” work and Court of Protection work if you’re trying to leave money to a disabled relative who lacks capacity to manage their own finances.
- if your situation is really complex, bear in mind you may need advice from Counsel on some aspect of it.