The Risks of a DIY Will

 

Writing your own will may seem like a scary idea at first glance. Not too many people are sure exactly what goes into one. What do I need to cover? How should I split my assets? These are all common questions, which a solicitor can help you with.

However, it is becoming increasingly common for people to write their own will through purchasing one off the shelf. This option is often taken by people looking for what appears to be the cheapest option. Although, we believe the risk is far too great and could result in crucial mistakes which may come to light after your passing.

Writing your own will is commonly known as a DIY will, and it often comes with devastating consequences. The rising number of DIY wills has been linked with the rise in the contested estates in the UK. It has been found that a large number of clauses in wills are being left unclear, which leaves room for contesting. This can cause tension between relatives of the deceased and create an increased level of stress. Not to mention the added cost that will come from legal fees to contest the will.

You may want to leave your life’s assets to your family and loved ones, or a charity which is important to you. A will is the most important legal document, which explains this in the event of your death. So, it must be treated with time and care to ensure your wishes are met.

As well as naming your beneficiaries, which is the people who will receive specific parts of your estate. Your will also names your executor(s), which is the name for the person/people who will be responsible for distributing your estate. This means you have control over who manages and inherits your estate after your death. Although, this will only work if you have correctly written your will. If you have made a mistake, even a small one, it could completely invalidate your will.

These small mistakes can be detrimental during what is already an upsetting time for your family and loved ones. It can leave them with lots of difficult work and less of the money you wished them to receive.

Reports have suggested that DIY wills are also leading to prolonged probate ordeals for over 38,000 families a year. This number should be alarming and the average amount of estate which can be eaten up by additional fees as a result of an incorrect will, is around 10%.

The average estate in the UK is worth roughly £160,000, so if we take into account the 10% taken by additional fees, that’s around £16,000 lost. A number which could have been avoided if the person had instructed an experienced solicitor to draft their will.

Getting a solicitor to draft your will means that you have peace of mind that your will is well-considered, well drafted and error free. In addition to this, your solicitor will be able to discuss estate planning to make your will as tax efficient as possible. If you need advice on writing a will or to speak to a solicitor who specialises in wills, trusts & probate contact us today.

Mulderrigs are now a part of the Farleys Solicitors family and offer a full range of legal services covering you, your family and your business. Call us on 0800 0523 693 or contact us by email.