Today's DIY is tomorrow's disappointment

Blummin’ internet! It makes everything so simple and readily accessible. Who needs a fat-cat lawyer to draw up legal papers when there is a toolkit online that will do it for a fiver with a free pen thrown in?


It is all neatly boxed off.  Life insurance, funeral cover, wills, powers of attorney, pre nups, cohabs, trusts, separation agreements, divorces, PPI claims, claims against the PPI companies.


So why are we at Poole Townsend not just sitting there twiddling our thumbs? What is it that keeps us busy?

Well, I think there are several sides to this.  Firstly, we have clients who see the value in face to face advice, from a human who knows what they are talking about, from training and experience, takes responsibility for what they tell you and will still be there next week, month, year, or decade when you want to go back to talk to them about it, change what you did and, possibly but hopefully not, complain about it!


And the other side of the coin is that we see some real rubbish being produced by unregulated providers pushing buttons on DIY legal-toolkit software. We do try to complain but the providers are not always there or not properly insured. If they are, their complaints handling is not always that great.  You have to watch for are the add-ons too. A free Will is not really free if you are charged £15 a year for them to store it, or £50 to retrieve it when you need it. We don’t charge for that.


Software driven DIY sites are often blinkered to providing only what you have asked for. That is advice, Jim, but not as we know it. When someone comes to see us for advice, they get the benefit of our knowledge on the whole area they are looking at. I never advise someone who wants a Will on just their Will. That would be silly. I dive as deeply as clients will let me into their overall financial and family situation to ask, ‘have you thought about this, that or the other?’. If all you want is the Will, fine, but at least you know everything else that might help you now or in the future.


Getting a Grant of Probate on your own might be easy but might only be half the story. There are a lot of planning opportunities that might arise after someone has passed away. I know that sounds mercenary, but if you miss an opportunity to protect your inheritance you may regret it later when you see what could have been done.


So, when your first appointment with us is free anyway, what have you got to lose? Ring us now - do that yourself.

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