Do It Yourself Will- Is it really that risky?
If you are thinking about making a Will, you may be tempted to follow the Do It Yourself route. It will surely save a few pennies, as the cost of a pack will be considerably less than a solicitor’s fees. However, we urge you to reconsider this position. Yes, they certainly seem cheap, but there are a number of dangers associated with DIY Wills that could prove extremely costly.
The biggest and most problematic pitfall is that most people will not have the right knowledge to draw up a legal document. This is hardly surprising – it takes years to qualify as a solicitor, so it is very unlikely the average consumer would possess the professional expertise required to create a watertight Will. But the fact of the matter is that a Will littered with errors may well be found invalid. This is particularly common amongst people who fail to ask two witnesses (who aren’t beneficiaries) to sign the Will at the same time.
If your Will is found to be invalid after your death, this will spell significant trouble for your loved ones. This is because you will have died intestate, meaning you have died without a legally binding Will. Your estate must then be dealt with according to the rules of intestacy, rather than according to your wishes. Therefore you completely lose control over who inherits what, as your beneficiaries will be dictated by the law. This could leave certain family members, friends and dependents without the provision you had intended to leave them. Sadly this often leads to bitter disputes between family members.
Furthermore, mistakes in a DIY Will can mean that more money goes to the Government in taxes than was necessary. This will deplete your estate, leaving less for your beneficiaries to enjoy. There may also be problems if your children are under the age of 18, as guardians will need to be officially appointed. The court may also have to be consulted upon trusts and trustees, the expense of which will reduce your estate even further.
When it comes to Wills, you get what you pay for. You may think you are saving money with a Do It Yourself Will, but this may well be a false economy that could leave your loved ones with nothing. If you want it done properly, you need to pay a reasonable fee and ask a qualified solicitor to help. A cheap Will is not something to risk.
For more information about this article or any aspect of our Wills, Probate & Trusts services (including Care home fees recovery and powers of attorney), please call us on 01772 424999 or email email@example.com or fill in the form below (there is no charge for initial telephone discussions).