Should I write my Will myself?

Buying a do-it-yourself Will package from a stationary shop might save you a few pounds compared to using a solicitor, but it may not save you money in the long run. There are serious hazards to be aware of when writing your own Will, and unless you’re a lawyer, you probably don’t have the expertise to draw up a flawless document recognised by law.

Errors when Writing a Will Yourself

Two common problems with DIY Wills are errors on the page and the lack of two signatures to witness the Will. If mistakes like these are found, the Probate Registry is likely to not accept that the Will is valid. In that case an earlier Will can sometimes take effect or else the Intestacy Rules set out in the Administration of Estates Act 1925 will determine how the estate is distributed.

What happens if my Will is not valid?

If your Will is not recognised by law after your death, your loved ones could lose everything you intended to leave them. The probate process – which your executors are legally required to carry out – will more complicated, stressful and expensive. A badly-written homemade Will can also increase the amount of tax your loved ones must pay to the government. If you have children under 18, it’s important to ensure your Will is legal, valid and provides for them if you’re no longer around. A Will allows you to appoint guardians for your children, hold money in savings for when they’re 18 and make sure they’re well looked after. If your Will is not found to be legal, all the provisions you intended to make could be taken away and your children may not be cared for by those you chose. A cheap Will can cost you more, both financially and emotionally.

It’s important to make sure your Will is legally valid so that the decisions you make in it are upheld. Our legal expertise will make sure your Will is watertight. We know all the pitfalls and common errors made by those that choose to make their Wills themselves and can ensure you don’t make these mistakes. We’ll use our experience with Inheritance Tax and trusts to save your loved ones money later down the line. This note is general comment. Don’t forget you need to take advice specific to your circumstances before acting or deciding not to act.

For free advice and information, please call us on 01273 604123 or email and we would be delighted to help you. For more information visit Wills, Trusts and Probate or find out about Making a Will.


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