John has a fulfilling career with 25 years as a financial planner. During this time, he wrote wills, powers of attorney and trusts and built his own business. 7 years ago, John was in the fortunate position to sell his financial planning company however, he still wanted to keep himself busy and occupied. Therefore, he set up Plymouth Will Writing Service to deliver wills, powers of attorney and trusts at a competitive price to the local community. He can charge a fraction of the cost of most main line solicitor practices because he keeps his overheads low which makes him stand out amongst competitors.
John and his small team like to explain everything in full and they don’t use complicated jargon that can sometimes be intimidating to people. Where possible, John will use flow charts to indicate how things might progress, this allows the client to visually understand.
Most people are unaware of when they should start to think about writing their will. John informs us that most people should start to think about writing a will in their 50’s. Sometimes this will vary if life events make you think about your own mortality.
The process of writing a will is fairly simple, they just require complete honesty when you are providing the information. John uses a fact find form which consists of 20 pages, not all of the pages are used but this goes to show just how deep a will planning can get.
Initially he will ask questions about the testator and his or her spouse. These questions include; Who do you want as executor and who do you want as beneficiaries? Do you have a property and how do you want that to pass onto beneficiaries? Do you want to protect at least half of the property value etc. Are their vulnerable people to consider, life time trusts? Do you wish to be buried or cremated? Any funeral wishes or organ donations? Any assets to pass onto individuals before the residual estate is divided up? John spoke about a recent clients will that he wrote where a man left all of his wood working equipment to one son. He will essentially ask a lot of questions such as this and record the whole process to then be written up professionally by John and his team.
When we interviewed John back in 2018, he spoke about how the majority of his appointments were held at the client’s home, where they are at their most comfortable. Given the pandemic, the social distancing guidelines, and the average age of his clientele, this is no longer viable to make safe for the clients. He now encourages people to come to his new office on Exeter Street as this environment can be carefully controlled. John has splash guards, hand wash, face masks and he can control the distance between himself and the client to keep them all safe at these times. A short questionnaire is to be filled out regarding the client’s recent movements and their contact with people. If the client is in a high-risk category from Covid-19, then a transaction over the phone or videocall would be instigated.
In the future, John would like to see his business in the same shape it is now, promoting similar products and services but maybe with some additional staff members.