The Pitfalls of DIY Wills

For many people making a Will is the last thing they want to spend their hard earned money on. This is reflected in the fact that more than 60 per cent of the UK population do not have a Will. The importance of a Will should not be underestimated though and perhaps this is why there have been a rise in the use of ‘Do-it-Yourself’ Wills.

Whilst a DIY Will can indeed save you money, there are some very real concerns that you should be aware of before you decide to entrust your family’s future to a DIY Will.

Firstly, a Will has a function. Its function is two-fold. First, it ensures that when you die your wishes are carried out as per the instructions detailed in your Will. Second, it is designed to to protect your family and the loved ones you leave behind.

Without a Will, the laws of intestacy apply and these laws could leave your spouse without access to your full estate or if you are not married and have been cohabiting, with the very real possibility of being homeless and financially ruined as a Will only recognises people who are blood relatives or a spouse or civil partner.

This situation won’t happen to you though will it? After all, you are making a DIY Will and therefore everything will be fine won’t it?

No one can give you those guarantees when it comes to a DIY Will. There are a number of different elements to a Will and those are what make it valid. If there is one small error made on your Will, this may render it invalid. Your estate will then be divided by the laws of intestacy as if you had never even made a Will.

The only way you can be certain that your wishes will be carried out as per your Will and your family are protected is by getting your Will drafted by a specialist solicitor.

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 Solicitors before decisions are made and before you embark on a certain course of action.

Shak Inayat
Solicitors
0207 183 2898

Divorce Centres And What They Mean For Divorce

The beginning of July heralds a new beginning for divorce in England and Wales when it will be possible for couples to head to a Divorce Centre and end their marriage there and then. These centres have been championed by the current government who, in an attempt to cut the cost of the court service in the UK, will divert nearly all of the 120,000 divorces that are granted each year in England and Wales away from court.
From July, there will be 11 centres nationwide, processing divorces from England and Wales, as the legal process is different in Scotland. The biggest of these centres will be in Bury St Edmunds, handling divorces from London and the South East.

These regional offices will be processing divorces in a similar way to how a production line works, and instead of a judge reviewing the paperwork, an administrator will. It is not clear currently whether the cost of a divorce will fall as a result of these ground-breaking changes. Currently, you pay £410 to get divorced and it takes around eight months from start to finish. However, the time it takes to get a divorce looks set to fall dramatically, with paperwork being processed on the day of receipt or when there are big backlogs, within 48 hours.

This process only applies to non-contested divorces, where both parties agree to it and many people in the legal profession feel that this process is standardised enough to work effectively through these administration centres.

However, there are others that see the move to an admin based function as belittling the divorce process and devaluing it to something administrative such as applying for a passport or driving licence and in addition, diminishing marriage in our society.

In particular, Ann Widdecombe, former Conservative MP has been very vocal in her disapproval of these new divorce centres, commenting that “the idea is most unwelcome” and that “the state should show stronger signals in support of marriage”.

This new admin process does not change the grounds for divorce, nor removes any other part of the process, it just takes all divorces where both parties agree out of the court function.

It remains to be seen how this process works in practice and whether the governments processing targets can be met.

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 Solicitors before decisions are made and before you embark on a certain course of action.

Shak Inayat
Solicitors
0207 183 2898