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The dangers of making a DIY Will

16/09/2021

Author: Rachel Frammingham

Wills, Tax and Probate

Ensure your estate reaches the right people with a Will

DIY Wills are becoming increasingly commonplace in today’s modern age. One of the main reasons for this being how easily accessible free or minimal cost Will templates are. DIY Will templates can easily be obtained on the internet or from a local stationery supplier for a small fee. But are you making a saving, or leaving behind a bill for your loved ones?

The instant appeal of a DIY Will is, of course, the price. A DIY Will can be written by a person themselves or a template Will could be obtained and filled out for free or for a small fee. The main question is, however – “Is the document legally correct?”

In practice, legal professionals often are contacted by bereaved families to ask the question – “Is the DIY Will actually valid?”

There are also other factors to consider such as:

  • Does the DIY Will actually reflect the deceased person’s wishes?
  • Has the Will been future-proofed to plan for scenarios where Executors or Beneficiaries have died?
  • Is the Will valid? What happens if the whole Will, or part of it, isn’t?
  • Is there any recourse for negligent Will drafting if the Will is legally incorrect?
  • Is the DIY Will likely to be contested (especially if the deceased person’s capacity was questionable at the time of execution)?
  • Does the DIY Will take effect for assets in other countries or has this inadvertently revoked other Wills in foreign countries by mistake?

Those are just a few questions asked and there are many more depending on the specific circumstances of an individual person.

A person who makes a DIY Will sometimes doesn’t realise the potential consequences that their loved ones will have to tackle if the Will isn’t fit for purpose. Each person’s affairs, assets and circumstances are unique so a ‘one size fits all standard DIY Will template’ isn’t always suitable.

For peace of mind for yourself and your loved ones, it is therefore always recommended to have your Will drafted by a firm of solicitors. Specialist advice is then given as part of the Will writing service and the Will will be appropriately drafted by a suitably qualified legal professional to ensure it is valid, and suitable, for each individual person’s circumstances.

If you feel your DIY Will may not be up to scratch, or if you don’t have a Will in place at all, contact Rachel Frammingham in the Private Client Team at Hatch Brenner who would be happy to help, email Rachelframmingham@hatchbrenner.co.uk or call 01603 660811.

If you would like further information about any service, call us on 01603 214220