The Dangers of DIY Wills

12 May 2021

The recent lockdown has seen a rise in DIY enthusiasts transforming their home spaces, so why not give a DIY Will a go too?

Over the years we’ve seen many examples where this has gone wrong, resulting in disappointed beneficiaries, costly and lengthy processes – and even court cases – to sort out what could have been prevented with a professionally drafted Will.

Cheap Online Wills and Will Writing Kits

DIY Wills appear to offer a cheap alternative to professional Will writing and can often be initiated at the click of a few buttons online.

Whilst a DIY Will may seem attractive, it is a risky approach to take with something so important. When errors are made or the strict witnessing rules are not followed correctly, your Will can be deemed invalid upon your death and the implications can be serious. Something as simple as a misspelling can change the meaning of the whole Will. Problems may also arise if your circumstances change, as most DIY Wills won’t accommodate such changes.

Disputes and Costs Related to DIY Wills

Coming to terms with your death and dealing with your affairs is a heavy burden for your loved ones to carry. A long drawn out probate process can also mean your loved ones don’t even benefit from your wishes because your legacy has been eaten up by legal fees or unnecessary tax payments.

From failing to dispose of large parts of an estate that then had to be distributed in accordance with the intestacy laws, the creation of a trust seemingly by accident, the appointment of the testator as executor (perhaps he thought he’d be able to deal with the paperwork from beyond the grave?); we have a case study for all sorts of problematic situations that have arisen as a result of a DIY Will.

Using a Professional Will Writer

A professional Will Writer takes the time to review your circumstances to ensure that your Will fully meets your needs, check that you understand the potential implications of the gifts you are intending to make under the terms of the Will and drafts the Will using carefully chosen legal wording that has stood the test of time for hundreds of years.

We believe that drafting a Will is a skill and doing it yourself could result in problems that you won’t be able to rectify once you’re gone. So, don’t try this at home – contact us to find out how we can help you.

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