How “Dead Good Wills” came about: Where I discover that naming a Will Writing business isn’t easy …

Titles are always the hardest part of any creative venture, don’t you think? You put all of the hard work into the idea and the content and the planning but it’s all for nothing if you can’t grab attention with a catchy title to pull people in.

Going out of the comfort zone

I started mulling over the idea of starting my own business during the first lockdown in 2020. As did so many other people whose lives were put on hold by the pandemic.  I’d been working for law firms as a Probate Paralegal in West Yorkshire for eight years at that point and had often dreamed of what it would be like to set up my own Will Writing business. Of course, that was always something to do “in the future”… until the pandemic hit…. Then all of a sudden the future was an uncertain place and bringing forward all your plans and dreams seemed like a no-brainer. When everything goes upside down you might as well go the whole hog, eh?!

So those early days were spent in formulating a plan, researching professional memberships, getting insurance in place, finding someone to build an amazing website (thanks Sam!), crash courses in social media, marketing, networking, business development – you name it. Way, way out of my comfort zone. But the pandemic was way out of everybody’s comfort zone and so that didn’t seem like a reason not to do it.

I was a qualified Will Writer but of course that is not enough to build a business on. I had to take advice on EVERYTHING from accountancy packages to writing business plans all on a shoestring budget. Whereas before, I’d worked for firms with great marketing departments helping to line up clients, now I had to go out and find clients. And then drag them kicking and screaming to make their Wills….. well not really, but you know what I mean.

The D Word

Making a Will is not something ANY of us want to think about because it means considering that unmentionable word that begins with “D” and ends with “eath”! I wanted to find a title that would grab the attention and make people feel relaxed enough to give it a go. Laughter is always the best medicine.

What I discovered is: finding a title for a Will Writing service is really hard!  There are lots of firms out there with rather generic names involving “horizons” and “safe hands” and “reliability”. Also – titles that reflect a place or region.  Well, I do base my marketing around my HQ in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, but actually, because my intention was to do all my meetings by the power of the internet – it doesn’t matter where in England or Wales my clients are based, so being “Wakefield Wills” or some such seemed a bit pointless.

You can’t take it with you

My fall-back position if I couldn’t come up with anything better was to use my name but, I kid you not, my surname is Horder and even “Horder Wills” has negative connotations – Horder/hoarder?! I laughingly concocted a strapline to go with it: “Ho(a)rder Wills – You can’t take it with you!”

Mulling over the possibilities with my hubby – he suddenly came out with “Dead Good Wills” and I burst out laughing. Followed by the thought that it’s actually quite catchy. Followed by the thought that you can’t be so flippant in the middle of a pandemic. Can you?! We pitched some opinions and it turned out to be a bit of a Marmite idea – a few people hated it but a lot of people loved it and thought it was memorable.

Taking the chance

I decided to take the chance. I provide a serious service but there’s no need to be morose about it. I’m a Geordie living in Wakefield and wherever I have lived – it’s been amongst people who like to call a spade a spade. I’d also had the unthinkable experience of being widowed at the age of 38. Going through the nightmare aftermath of my first husband’s death, what I couldn’t bear was people going into hushed tones and finding anything else to say to avoid saying the word “dead”. Phrases like “passed away”, having “lost” my husband, being at “eternal rest”, being in “the next room” only served to make my grief worse. I was greatly relieved when people could be matter-of-fact, open and honest about the fact that my husband was dead. Of course, looking back I realise that people were trying to be kind and mindful of my feelings and did not know how to express themselves without causing pain, and I do appreciate that. But I still feel that it is easier just to say and hear the truth with honesty and compassion.

So I’m not afraid of the word Dead. And I’m not afraid of the word Wills. And I want to provide a Dead Good service and so the whole thing marries up and here I am: Dead Good Wills!   

Come back soon

I hope you’ve enjoyed my first blog post! Please check back for future posts when I will be combining useful (I hope!) information with some light-hearted stories about life as a Wills and Probate paralegal.