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This article was published on June 24th, 2020
When it comes to ensuring your final wishes are respected and your property and savings are distributed to the people you want to have them, a will is an essential document, however many see a DIY wills as a cost-effective option to protect their assets and interests.
Whilst DIY wills may be seen as a far cheaper alternative, and relatively easy to access, with some providers selling DIY wills for what is perceived as more reasonable price, over the counter, they are not risk-free alternatives to having a qualified solicitor draft your will.
If mistakes are made, or the witnessing procedure is not adhered to, the last will and testament will be invalid and completely useless.
Common mistakes found in DIY wills include unsigned or undated wills, damaged paperwork due to improper storage, or even minor mistakes such as not using your full name, or there may be evidence of multiple staple or paperclip marks.
Not only could all of the above lead to your wishes being ignored by the Probate Registries, but you also run the risk of leaving your family with a financial and emotional mess, whilst your assets and savings are eaten away by unnecessary tax and escalating legal bills.
For those who have an invalid will, intestacy rules come into play.
These are Government prescribed rules that define who should receive the money and assets depending on which family members survive the deceased.
DIY wills also increase the possibility for potential disputes, especially for those who created their will when they were elderly, as their mental capacity may be questioned.
Should the validity of the will be questioned and the matter gets taken to court, the legal fees can be astronomical, and will most likely be taken out of the deceased’s estate.
For all of the reasons outlined above, you should make it a priority to have your will drafted by a certified legal professional.
They can assess your mental capacity, and if you are deemed competent by them it will act as evidence of your mental capacity which will deter any disputes to the validity of the will.
However, it is important to point out that even if you have your will drafted by a legal professional, problems can still arise.
If a person fails to deal with their whole estate during the will-making process, intestacy rules may come into play for the assets which were not included in the will.
Therefore it’s important that wills are re-visited when any significant financial change is made in a person’s life.
So, when all this is taken into account one has to consider whether it’s really worth spending less now, only to potentially lose thousands of pounds in legal fees should a mistake be made whilst drafting a DIY will as well as causing your loved ones further stress and suffering at an already difficult time?
At Thorneycroft Solicitors, our expert team of Wills, Trust and Probate solicitors have earned a reputation for providing a professional and sympathetic approach to all your estate planning affairs.
We understand the complexities that can arise when writing a Will, which is why our Wills solicitors take the time to understand your specific circumstances and the importance of safeguarding the financial security of your family.
Our team is led by Heather Gaunt, a member of STEP (Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners) who has over 20 years experience in drafting Wills.
By calling us on for free on 0800 1979 345 or completing our online enquiry form by clicking here, we can arrange a free consultation with you in order to gain a better understanding of your specific requirements, what you and your family are hoping to achieve by drafting a will, as well crucial details including your capital and income and how inheritance tax might affect you.