DIY Wills and why they are a bad idea
Posted 16th November 2018
There are a number of factors that contribute to the above statistic including the fear
of the cost of having a Will written, and this is one of the main reasons why people are turning to DIY Wills.
DIY Wills should only be used if your wishes are very simple and your estate is very small, but even then can be risky.
Here we look at some of the drawbacks to DIY Wills:
Poorly worded Wills
A poorly worded Will can cause many issues. If it was ever contested or challenged, it would not be taken seriously in court. This would essentially mean that the law would decide who inherits from your estate.
Mistakes and ambiguity
If you make mistakes in your Will or leave it open to interpretation and the Will is not categoric, this will lead to confusion at the time and the risk of your intended beneficiaries not inheriting from your estate.
Imperfections on a Will
It is not uncommon for us to find Wills (both professionally drafted and DIY) that have been altered by hand since they were originally drafted. Scribbling sections out or adding sections in by hand is a big no-no and any changes to a Will should be made officially.
Copying Templates online
If you were to use a Will template, and there were problems with this upon your death, the company that supplied the template would not take any responsibility for the accuracy of your Will.
Incorrect signing and witnessing
One of the common problems we find with DIY Wills is that they have not been signed or witnessed correctly. This results in an invalid Will and the law may decide who inherits from your estate.
Incorrect distribution of estate
When writing a Will, it is essential that you distribute the entirety of your estate using percentage shares. When giving different amounts to beneficiaries it can get quite complicated.
The Inheritance (Provision for Family and dependants) Act 1975
Under this act, regardless of what your Will states, a number of people would be able to make a claim against your Estate (Children, Spouse/Civil Partner, Dependant, and those living with you at the time of your death). If a Will is poorly written, ambiguous or invalid then you reduce the chances of your intended beneficiaries benefiting from your estate and in turn increase the likelihood of a successful claim being made under The Inheritance (Provision for Family and dependants) Act 1975.
Despite there being many things that are safe to be undertaken as a DIY job, a Will is certainly not one of them.
Regardless of the size of an estate, having an up to date Will in place is essential for ensuring that our intended beneficiaries inherit our estate and possessions. Despite this however, 60% of adults in the UK do not have a Will in place* (*based on research conducted by unbiased.co.uk).
Click on one of the below to find out more about our services: