Parker’s Will Precedents (9th edition)

Richard Dew, Leon Pickering

£159.50, Bloomsbury

The 9th edition of Parker’s Will Precedents blessedly remains the same concise, accessible digest of will drafting as recent previous editions. The editors are both relatively new but have resisted tampering with the format, recognising ‘the elegance and simplicity of the precedents’ as being this book’s raison d’être.

Begun in 1968, Parker’s Will Precedents was originally viewed as ‘too radical’, but clearly the longevity of this work has proven otherwise – and it is precisely its modern, straightforward style which makes this a useful reference tool.

While focusing on supplying the busy will-drafter with workable precedents, these are accompanied by solid but very basic commentary. Any practitioner should therefore also have access to more in-depth resources – Parker’s does not attempt to be an all-encompassing  handbook to will-drafting but rather to act as a guide for the most common will-drafting topics.

New in this edition are chapters on flexible life interest trusts and the inheritance tax residence nil-rate band. The chapter on EU succession regulations has also been largely revised.

Previous editions came with an accompanying CD. Bloomsbury has changed this to online access, making the precedents available for electronic download. The layout of these precedents is the same and therefore the ease of use remains.

The book itself can be purchased in hardback or in two formats of ebook. The chapters are generally short and the book is exceptionally easy to navigate. Somewhat unexpectedly, in addition to the will-drafting chapters there are some post-death variation precedents, a chapter on statutory wills, and one providing letters and other support materials. The appendices provide a good selection of relevant statutory material.

Parker’s can be of great use to both the new and experienced will-drafter. Those who are already familiar with previous editions will find the ninth as handy a reference tool as ever. Any will-drafters unfamiliar with Parker’s should be urged to give it a try.

Siân Thompson is a solicitor in the private client team at Swayne Johnson, Llandudno