Latest figures reveal only 59% of the UK have written a Will. Of those people, 6% have chosen to write a DIY Will. While there are some advantages to ‘create-your-own’ Wills, there are even more pitfalls. Here, we explore some of the reasons why DIY Wills may not be the answer…
Whilst most of us have come across DIY Will kits or online Will creation websites, far fewer of us are likely to have considered whether the Wills themselves are legal. Thankfully the short answer is yes, although they must still meet all requirements of a professionally written Will.
A DIY Will kit may not provide sufficient help and guidance for the more complex circumstances in your life. This includes, for example, if you are not married to your partner, have children from a previous relationship or hold an inheritance in a trust until a child’s 18th birthday. Using the services of a Will writing professional means you have access to all the assistance you need, greatly reducing the risk of mistakes in your Will.
Although a DIY Will may cut costs initially it could cost you in the long-term. All Wills must be written using the correct terms and language, and need to be ‘witnessed’ by the right people. If this is not done properly then the Will is invalid and could cost your heirs their estate or money intended for them. Hiring a Will writing professional helps you to avoid this pitfall; a well-written Will is more robust when faced with any potential objections.
Even if your Will is still valid there is a bigger chance that distributing assets to your heirs could take a lot longer than usual. This can come with additional fees and, in some cases, unnecessary tax. According to the Co-operative Legal Services (CLS), 38,000 families a year experience prolonged probate ordeals due to poorly written DIY Wills.
It can be daunting and stressful to make a Will if you are already going through a death in the family, a divorce or financial issues. Calling on the help of a Will writer can greatly reduce stress and the worry of whether or not your Will has been rewritten correctly.
For help and advice on amending or drafting a Will please get in touch.