DIY Wills, they’re easy right?
You know you need to get around to writing your Will. You’ve been putting it off for years. You ring your local solicitors and they charge anything between £150 to £300 plus to take your Will instruction, so you think to yourself, “why can’t I write my own? I can have a DIY Will!”. Well, you can, but we really wouldn’t advise it! Writing a Will properly can be a thought-provoking and emotive business. Getting it wrong can be a complex and costly one for your loved ones. Sometimes running into thousands of pounds to put right! Read on to find out what could go wrong with a DIY Will
Here we look at the most common mistakes when writing a DIY Will
- Not Properly Witnessed: this is the most common mistake of all. You spend time and consideration, wanting to leave your possessions to those you love, however you fail to have your DIY Will correctly signed, dated or Witnessed, rendering it totally invalid;
- Using the wrong wording: although many clients do not like ‘legal jargon’, it is there for good reason. By not using the correct legal terminology in your Will, your instructions may not be followed, as they may not be legally binding;
- Foreign Properties or bank accounts: self-written Wills will not be recognised abroad. If you own foreign property or have money overseas, you either need a Will drawn up in that country or a correctly drafted UK Will detailing your foreign assets;
- You need Inheritance Tax Advice: if you have an IHT issue, we recommend you take specialist advice;
- Family members living in your home: if you have an elderly relative or family member living in your home who is not to inherit, but is reliant on you to keep a roof over their head, then you need a professionally drafted Will by an expert who will advise you how to protect those people;
- The financially dependent: you may be divorced, be part of a blended family or have ex-partners who are still financially dependent on you. It is difficult to make provision for the financially dependent in a DIY Will as this type of provision normally needs to be written into some type of Trust;
- Disinheriting someone: sadly, families argue, fall out or lose touch. If you disinherit a family member, they may well claim against your estate after your death. Unless you have taken specialist advice and followed the correct legal process, there is every chance they would win their claim and may well end up with a large chunk of your estate.
Now, what do I do?
You may be wondering how to proceed now. You need a Will and you always thought that you could just write your own or pick up a cheap Will pack online. Whilst a DIY Will is fine for some people, they only work in the simplest of cases. If you have thought ‘yes, that’s me’ to alternatively have a look at some of the products and services we offer, you might be interested to read about our Will writing services.