DIY Wills – What’s the Problem?
DIY Wills are becoming increasingly popular. They are marketed as being a cost effective way of making a Will without the need to consult a legal professional. Some Will packs even boast that they are approved by a lawyer. So what are the problems with DIY Wills packs?
- The use of the term lawyer can be a somewhat misleading as this doesn’t necessarily mean that the “lawyer” is a solicitor who specialises in Wills and or Probate. A lawyer is simply a generic term given to those working in the legal profession.
- As Will writing isn’t a regulated area of law anyone can prepare and provide DIY Will packs.
- If you make a mistake either in the content of the Will or in the signing of the Will it may not become apparent until you’ve passed away at which point it may be too late to rectify your mistake, and if it is possible to rectify it, it will be at the cost of your estate. For example most people don’t understand that there are different ways of owning property and sometimes it is not possible to simply gift a property in a Will. There are occasions when an extra legal step is required that cannot be achieved in a Will alone. This problem was recently highlighted in a case where the testator (person making a Will) had instructed a bank to prepare his Will and unfortunately his beneficiary suffered the consequences click here to read more about this case.
- The only people liable if things go wrong with your Will are you or your estate. It is not possible to seek a legal remedy from the provider of the DIY Will Pack.
- You wouldn’t operate on yourself so why would you risk your estate, that has for most people taken an entire lifetime to accumulate on a DIY Will pack?
So why seek professional advice?
- One size does not fit all and you will be given advice tailored to your individual needs.
- Diligence and care will be taken into the preparation of your Will and appropriate checks will be made to ensure that your wishes are made clear.
- Most reputable professionals will arrange for your Will to be properly witnessed and finalised to ensure that it is valid.
- If something does need to be rectified at a later date then it is possible to seek a remedy from the firm who prepared the Will.
If you would like further information on making a Will, or updating an existing one, then please do not hesitate to contact us.
The information contained in this article is for general guidance only and is not intended to be legal advice. Professional advice should always be taken on the application of the law in any particular situation.