Reasons Not to Use a DIY Will Kit
We all know that making a will is important but many of us do our best to put it off. It’s one of those things we always plan to do later. The truth is that, according to recent research by YouGov, nearly two-thirds of us haven’t got round to it yet.
There are two main choices when it comes to making a will – you can either go to a local solicitor or you can choose to buy a DIY Will Kit.
The Problem with DIY Wills
Go online and do a quick search and you’ll find plenty of opportunities to buy will kits. You can pick one up form WH Smith for less than £20 and there are even cheaper options on sites like Amazon. Off the shelf solutions appear attractive at first look mainly because of the cost. In fact, one of the reasons that many people avoid making a will in the first place is that they don’t want to fork out the money to do it properly through a solicitor.
The problem is that if you don’t fill in that DIY will correctly, don’t get it witnessed according the rules or make other errors, it could well be invalid.
The purpose of a will, of course, is to make sure all your assets go to the people you want them to when you die. If that document is poorly drafted, it could lead to those you leave behind contesting probate or not being able to enforce the will in the first place. That could not only cause them a lot of heartache, it could cost money as well while the legal situation is resolved.
A DIY will is only really suitable if your estate is very, very simple. Anything more complex certainly needs the input of a qualified solicitor.
Mistakes that have been made in the past include illegible writing, spelling names wrongly, changing the will and redistributing assets without getting the changes witnessed, and not wording things properly so that it’s clear to those left behind who gets what. By far the biggest mistake is not getting the will witnessed properly by two independent people who are not beneficiaries in the first place which instantly makes in invalid.
Heading to court to clear up a badly written or invalid will can cost as much as 10% of your assets, perhaps even higher in more keenly disputed cases. It also takes time to sort these things out and can leave people in limbo with regards to property and assets.
While the rules of intestacy (when someone dies without having a valid will) have been changed recently to make things simpler, they still make it difficult for those who are not married or living in a civil partnership to claim what may be rightfully theirs.
At Forster Dean, we understand that cost is often an issue when preparing a will. The truth is that many DIY will kits are a false form of economy. It’s much better to get the proper legal advice and ensure that your estate is distributed as you really want on your death and your next of kin will be able to execute your wishes with greater ease. Contact us today to find out more.