Writing your own Will has become quite a popular idea, especially since the economic downturn, with many people looking to cut costs in all areas of their lives. Most people consider the use of a ‘Do It Yourself’ Will kit to be completely safe, but is this really true?
Whilst writing a Will with a DIY kit may seem like an easy thing to do, the reality is not so straight forward. The consequences of your cost savings may not come to light until after you die, when the results could be devastating for your family members.
There are many simple mistakes which can be made using a DIY Will kit and whilst they may seem relatively minor, in reality, they can render your Will null and void and mean that you die intestate, leaving the Government to determine how to divide your estate.
The effects of dying intestate can mean that your spouse will only inherit a percentage of your total estate, which could result in financial issues which were completely unintentional on your part.
In addition, if both you and your partner die and your children need a legal guardian, if your Will is not valid due to a mistake you made when writing it, your children may be placed into care and a court will decide where they will live without any of your wishes being considered.
Some of the more common mistakes made when drafting a DIY Will are:
- Signing a Will and using witnesses who stand to inherit from the estate (meaning that they will be unable to do so);
- Not updating a Will properly following births, marriage or divorce; and
- Not having a tax efficient Will, meaning more inheritance tax is payable than might otherwise be necessary.
So you can see that making a Will yourself exposes you and your family to a certain amount of risk of your Will being invalidated as a result of any mistakes or omissions you’ve made. Therefore, using a specialist solicitor to draft your Will for you will protect your loved ones and ensure that their future is safeguarded once you die. In most cases this will be a small price to pay in comparison to the risks of a DIY Will.
This information provided in this article is not intended to constitute legal advice and each relationship breakdown requires careful consideration in our view by a fully qualified Solicitor before decisions are made and before you embark on a certain course of action.
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