Saving money has become quite fashionable and with many ‘Do It Yourself’ legal kits available for all number of things such as tenancy agreements and for Last Will and Testaments, many people are opting to do it themselves rather than instructing a solicitor to do it for them.
Whilst ‘DIY’ Will kits are sold as being completely fool proof and legally binding, can you really be sure that this is the case? If you Will is not valid, do you know what will happen to your family? Once you do your research you may decide that making your own Will is one risk you don’t want to take.
Even simple mistakes in your ‘DIY’ Will can make it invalid. Mistakes like the following errors can mean that your Will is disregarded once you die and you will die intestate, or without a Will.
Some of the more common errors found in ‘DIY’ Wills are:
- Using someone who will inherit from your Will to witness your signature
- Not signing your Will properly or having it witnessed properly
- Not updating your Will following divorce, marriage or births
- Your Will is not tax efficient for inheritance tax
Another consideration when making a ‘DIY’ Will is whether you have children. If you make a provision in your Will for a legal guardian for your children and your Will is null and void, your children could be taken into care and a judge will decide who your children should live with. None of your wishes will be taken into account and your children may be raised by someone you would not find acceptable.
If your Will is not valid, the rules of intestacy apply to your estate and this could mean serious financial implications for your family, with the rules of intestacy only allowing a percentage of your estate to be claimed by your spouse.
Saving money is important, but ensuring the security of your family and spouse is even more important, especially when the effects of dying without a Will can be so devastating.
By using a solicitor to draft your Will means that you can be confident that everything is correct and legally binding and that your loved ones will be cared for after you die.
For more information about this article or any aspect of our Wills, Probate & Trusts services (including Care home fees recovery and powers of attorney), please call us on 0800 142 2775 or reply to this email and we will be delighted to help you (there is no charge for initial telephone discussions).