Amanda Harris, Founder of ALH Legal Will Writers
Providing a professional service in clients’ own homes
I worked all my life to get a high-powered corporate job; then I didn’t like it. When I became head of HR at my local city council, I spent all my time in meetings making decisions. My world was more about strategy than people. I worked from 8am to 6pm every day.
In 2011, my son was aged four and about to start school. I couldn’t see how the pieces of my life were going to fit together; then I was offered voluntary redundancy with a generous package. It was one of those moments that almost felt fated. Everything pointed to taking the leap.
I started thinking: ‘What’s next?’ before I left. During my Law degree, I learned about Wills & Probate. My husband said: “People might pay you to do Lasting Powers of Attorney.”
I looked the Society of Will Writers up online and went to an open day. A new career as an independent will writer sounded perfect! I’ve always enjoyed putting together legal documents and being around people. I became a member of the society and completed my training. The only issue was: How would I get to their houses? I was born visually impaired and I’m not allowed to drive.
All the things I worried about came true on one of my first appointments. I went to visit a client in the dark on the bus. It was raining and, when I got to the street, I couldn’t see the house numbers. My passion is helping others, but I also know when to ask for help myself. I called the client, who was more than happy to guide me there.
These days, I pay drivers to get me around. As a lone woman going to strangers’ houses, it has its advantages. No-one has ever been negative or unkind, just the opposite in fact. I’ve had lifts and been invited to stay on for another cup of tea whilst waiting for a ride. There are things I can’t do, but I’m not going to let them stop me.
I always found HR to be adversarial… someone always felt they had lost. These days, people thank me for giving them peace of mind.