Posted by Michelle Young, Will Writing & Estate Planning Expert
Speed and convenience can make DIY at home Wills seem tempting, but the reality is that these documents can be unreliable. From having to search through personal effects to find the document to, in some cases, a Will considered not to be legal, this is why a Will should always be professionally prepared.
Writing a Will can feel like a complicated, expensive and overwhelming thing to do. We all understand the benefits of having a Will but many of us are also looking for the easiest way to get things like this done. With 'do it yourself' Will packs available in many high street stores, it is easy to think that this is a simpler way to go. However, it is important to be aware that there are a number of risks associated with preparing a Will in this way. Here we outline some of the dangers:
Sadly, legal challenges to the contents of a Will are not uncommon. These can be particularly likely if you have chosen to not include someone who might have thought they would automatically be included, such as a sibling or child or if you are bequeathing large amounts of money or a substantial estate.
A Will which has been prepared at home, rather than in the presence of a legal representative, risks being deemed not legal, which could mean that your wishes are not met. If you feel strongly about what you want to put in your Will, it pays to have one professionally prepared.
While a DIY Will could be considered to be legal, there is still a risk that it won’t be completely clear and actionable. This can lead to a longer probate period for your family - the time it takes for your estate to be released. If there is any confusion about what you meant when you stated something in your Will, it could slow everything down until the matter has been resolved.
The rules around inheritance tax are complicated and can lead to very costly tax bills after you have passed. A professional Will Writer or solicitor will be well versed in these rules and will be able to advise you accordingly so that your estate is split in the most tax effective way. This could mean a saving of thousands of pounds for your family or friends and ensures that as much of your money and estate is shared among your loved ones as possible.
The danger with preparing a DIY Will at home is that it may never be found – or might be found too late to be executed. A Will prepared by a solicitor will be held by them until such a time as it is required. So there will be no need to go searching for a document that may have been put away for safekeeping years previously.
As long as your family and friends have been notified of where the Will is held, they will be able to start the process as soon as possible. Having a Will in your kitchen drawer, which you may not have told anyone about, might mean it is never found and carried out.
Ultimately, it is clear that as such an important document – one which ensures that everything that is yours goes exactly where you want it to – a Will needs to be professionally prepared. We can put you in touch with experienced Will Writers who can help you avoid all of the dangers listed above today.
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If you are considering writing a Will, you might also be interested in a funeral planning.
A funeral plan allows you to pay for your funeral, ensuring that your loved ones aren’t faced with any unexpected costs.
We will now match you with suitable funeral plan providers who will call to discuss your requirements. The providers we work with aim to get in touch within 48 hours.
To learn about funeral plan packages, we have put together an overview of the different levels of funeral packages available.