Wills: A Practical Guide
Lesley King and Peter Gausden
£39, Wildy, Simmonds & Hill Publishing
Drafting wills can seem simple to the uninitiated. However, any private client solicitor worth their salt will tell you that this is not the case. It is an expansive area where solicitors have to consider a wide range of topics, including technical drafting points, tax issues and practical matters. There are many pitfalls for the inexperienced or unprepared practioner.
Texts in this area fall into two camps. One is academic tomes often spanning a number of volumes and the other is more compact ‘practical’ texts. This book falls very squarely and purposefully into the latter, as the title declares.
Given the breadth of topics to consider when drafting wills, a shorter text could be disjointed with each section deep diving into its specific area without much context. However, this text tells a story and could be read as a book from beginning to end. It stays on message as a practical guide by providing good examples to give colour, but does not give a whole treatise on technical areas. This makes it a good starting text to those new to will drafting.
Despite the compactness of the book, it covers a breadth of areas needed to ensure that this text is useful. It covers a range of topics from best practice for taking instructions to international considerations. It is also pleasing to see considered discussion of more recent areas causing difficulties, such as the residence nil rate band. This, together with the ease of navigation, means it is also useful for the more experienced practitioner who needs to refamiliarise themselves fn a certain area.
The book will not give you in-depth discussion on a specific topic to help with a particularly complex or ambiguous issue. What it does do, is offer an easy-to-use introduction to someone new to will writing, or a useful reminder for the more experienced professional. In short, this book does what it says on the tin: it is a practical guide.
Hilesh Chavda is a senior associate and head of private client at DKLM, London
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