The Dangers of DIY Wills

In a digitally-driven economy, there aren’t many services left that aren’t facilitated through the existence of internet.

Take web development, for instance. Today, there exist a multitude of web-builders that do away with the need for past experience of programming by simply allowing you to drag and drop blocks in place before pushing the site live. It may not be perfect, but it requires virtually no expertise to work within the boundaries of a ready-made template.

Similarly, anyone looking to legally protect their estate in the event of their death can do so quite easily by filling out a template and having it signed and witnessed by two independent adults. However, while the worst outcome of a DIY-website might be a poor user experience and a lack of engagement, the repercussions of making even the slightest mistake through a DIY Will can be cataclysmic for those who survive the deceased.

The pitfalls of a DIY Will: why going it alone isn’t always the best idea

Perhaps there are certain readers who recall the case of Eileen McCormack, who spent more than two years dealing with her cousin’s estate only to find that his DIY Will was invalid. Not only had her cousin written it himself, there were also years’ worth of hand-written amendments in different coloured inks, as well as many changes to the figures and beneficiaries.

Unfortunately for Eileen, his decision to do it himself resulted in her paying 16% of her cousin’s estate towards legal fees that could have easily been avoided. And that’s not the only potential pitfall: in some cases, members of the family may challenge the very idea that the Will was written by the deceased or suggest it was written with undue influence. More DIY wills are contested each year than those that are professionally written.

The headaches, heart-aches and legal fees that can arise from the confusion caused by a DIY Will kit are simply not worth it when disputes could be so easily avoided by consulting a professional.

Why instruct a lawyer to write your Will?

When you instruct a dedicated Wills lawyer, you can be confident that no mistakes have been made and that it will be stored for you securely. What’s more, a trusted expert can prove invaluable in providing pragmatic advice regarding tax and trusts and guide you through the division of your estate.

It may be cheaper on the surface to cut corners and opt for the DIY approach instead of instructing a professional lawyer, but at what cost to your estate?

At 360 Law Group, our dedicated team of Wills, Trusts and Probate lawyers are here to keep the process of writing a Will simple and straightforward. By instructing a member of the team, you will be guided through each stage with bespoke legal advice and gain reassurance that your estate is legally protected according to your wishes.

Find out more about the service here -as always you have the choice of taking this through our regulated or unregulated practice.

To get started, simply contact us on 0333 772 0826 or fill out our short enquiry form and we will respond as soon as we can.