The danger of homemade Wills. Penny wise, pound foolish?
Creating a Will is the essential way to make sure your assets are distributed according to your final wishes. However many fail to prepare one for fear of the cost. This results in some people using the cheap DIY Will drafting kits, which are available on the high street and online.
Although many can see the appeal of the price, there is a very real danger that if the Will is not prepared properly and in the correct legal manner it may fail. Also if the Will is not signed in accordance to the legal requirements, the Will may be invalid. Should this happen then your assets will pass by way of the intestacy law, which may be completely different to your original intention. This can lead to problems for families trying to sort out a loved ones estate after their death. Most people making a Will have two intentions, to ensure their assets pass to those they intend and to minimise the stress to their loved ones. A simple mistake can cause months of legal wrangling which may result in the estate being reduced by legal costs.
With family dynamics changing, a homemade Will can also cause issues where there is a genuine intention to leave someone out of a Will. A simple mistake can result in the Will being ineffective and accidentally benefiting the wrong person. Steps can be taken to document your reasoning behind any such decision and guidance offered on the best course of action.
Solicitors are trained to understand the complexities of legal ownership of assets, to grasp difficult family relationships and to give sensitive advice. We are able to use technical language to ensure your wishes are put into effect.
We suggest you owe a duty to your family and friends to make a proper Will.
If you would like further information, please contact Amy Codd on 01780750674 or Chattertons Private Client Team.