Parker’s Will Precedents (10th edition)
Bloomsbury Professional, £187
Parker’s Will Precedents has always professed to be a simple and concise guide to will drafting. In my opinion, the 10th edition once again merits that description.
The content is straightforward and easy to follow. Bloomsbury continues to make precedents available electronically via online access, with the ability to purchase the text as an e-book. Dipping in and out could not be simpler.
It is worth noting that certain chapters, such as chapter 18 (vulnerable beneficiaries) and chapter 34 (letter and other support materials), have been expanded on. It will be interesting to see if the editor chooses to add a section on gifts of and/or to pets going forward.
The edition is accurate as at 19 October 2019. For that reason, some information is unfortunately already out of date. On 6 February 2020, the amount bequeathed to a spouse/civil partner under the English intestacy rules was increased from £250,000 to £270,000.
Furthermore, as of May 2020, England will follow the ‘opt out’ system, whereby a person will automatically be considered an organ donor unless they meet certain criteria or have expressly opted not to donate their organs on death.
Care should also be taken at chapter 2 paragraph 2.4, which inadvertently merges the rules pre- and post-1 October 2014 for spouses/civil partners inheriting under an intestacy.
This is no way a criticism of the text, which is a good, no-fuss reference tool. The precedents continue to be a helpful starting point for drafting and are easily adapted to one’s requirements.
Overall, the text stands as a solid starting point for any practitioner, be they new or seasoned at will writing, with succinct yet comprehensive discussions of the basic principles. There is also some guidance on where to look or what to do if one requires something more complex.
Sangeeta Rabadia is a senior consultant in the private wealth department at Allard Bailey Family Law, London