The dangers of DIY wills

There has been a surge in the number of people seeking to create a will as the events of the past year have increased the public’s awareness of the importance of ensuring their families and businesses are protected, should the worst happen.

Whilst this increased awareness in planning for the future is welcomed, another worrying trend is a rise in issues from individuals who have drafted their own wills, or relied on ‘off the shelf’ templates to convey their last wishes.

A DIY approach may seem quicker, easier and cheaper at the outset, but having a DIY will can be just as stressful for your family as not having one in place at all. A DIY will is likely to contain mistakes or omissions, leaving your family to argue over your estate.

It has been suggested that poorly drafted or ineffective DIY wills are responsible for a prolonged probate ordeal for 38,000 families a year. This is a worrying statistic given that up to 10 per cent of the value of a person’s estate can be engrossed by additional fees as a result of an ineffective will.

Upon your passing, your beneficiaries need to have a solid and structured document tailored specifically to your personal circumstances to ensure that dealing with your estate is as smooth as possible. Bespoke, professional legal advice can help you achieve this.

Instructing a solicitor to draft your will gives peace of mind that it is well-considered, well drafted and error free. They can also discuss estate planning to make your will as tax efficient as possible.