DIY Wills and Probate: a false economy?

DIY legal documents appear to be increasingly available to purchase by consumers who have no legal knowledge or experience, so much so that you can now purchase these on online sites and shopping channels. However, are they value for money or in fact a false economy?

DIY will kits are legal, provided you comply with all of the necessary formalities when using it. If you are considering a DIY Kit, we would advise that these are only suitable for those who envisage leaving behind a small and simple inheritance. However, what you consider to be simple, and what the law considers simple, are often two very different things.

There is a perception held by some that drafting a will is not much harder than writing a Christmas list. This is not the case. The law relating to wills, estates and inheritance is old and quite complex. It is easy to make mistakes, even if you think you are being clear about your wishes.

Any practising probate solicitor can regale you with a string of cases from personal experience where they have had to deal with the consequences of badly written home made wills. In some cases, some people forget to include such basic information as who they want to inherit the bulk of their property. If your DIY Will does not deal with the whole of your estate, it defeats the purpose of having written it in the first place!

Unless you carefully follow the rules for signing your will, this again results in the document being invalid and not worth the paper it is written on.

The safest option is always to instruct your solicitor to prepare your Will for you. They can ensure that your wishes are clear, cannot be misinterpreted and that provisions have been put in place to make sure that everyone you want to inherit your estate does, without any disputes.

Our advice is not to take the chance. Don’t try to protect your hard earned money and possessions with a handwritten document purchased over the counter. Speak to one of our team today. You may find that having a Will prepared for you is not as expensive or complicated as you think!

If you would like to discuss making a will, contact Paul Baker on 07964 354451 or email paul.baker@psg-law.co.uk or Melanie Byrne on 07939 121341 or email Melanie.Byrne@psg-law.co.uk. Alternatively, please drop into our Altrincham office to make an appointment.