Partner Caroline Casagranda, in our leading Wills, Probate, Tax & Trusts team, explains the problems that can result from writing your own Will using a DIY "Will kit", rather than seeking advice from a solicitor.
You may be familiar with the DIY “Will kit”, available in various high street stores. You may even have been tempted to take the plunge: to make the purchase, put pen to paper and set out your wishes once and for all. However, there are many pitfalls of taking this route, some of which are outlined below.
A Will is a legal document that states how you wish your estate to be distributed after your death.
Whilst using a “Will kit” saves the legal fees involved in drafting a Will (which might not be as much as you think – see below) and the time involved in meeting with a solicitor to discuss the document, awaiting the draft, amending it (if necessary) and then arranging for its signing, it can often prove to be false economy, as a home-drafted Will may actually cause serious complications for your loved ones following your death.
This is because DIY Wills are not proofed and as such any mistakes you make or important matters you leave out will only be known after your death, when it will of course be too late.
Furthermore, many of the mistakes are made when it comes to signing and witnessing the Will. If this is done incorrectly it invalidates the entire Will.
In addition to this risk of errors, there is still the concern that a badly written Will could result in your estate going to the wrong people which could cause untold hardship or distress.
In fact, given that the majority of Wills are fairly straightforward, it is not expensive to have one drawn up. Even if a complicated Will is required, meaning slightly higher costs, you can be sure it is a good investment, buying peace of mind for you and your family.
Our specialist Wills, Probate, Tax & Trusts team can assist with writing or updating your Will.
For further information or legal advice, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0118 951 6800.
This article is intended for the use of clients and other interested parties. The information contained in it is believed to be correct at the date of publication, but it is necessarily of a brief and general nature and should not be relied upon as a substitute for specific professional advice.