Will Makers of the Midlands recently spoke to a client who had been thinking about creating his Will online, in the mistaken belief that it would protect his family should the worst happen.
There are basic legal requirements that you need to make a Will and doing-it-yourself means that these rest on your shoulders! The man was horrified to learn that the online Will made absolutely no provision for his mental capacity, personal circumstances and complicated family setup, which would have rendered it invalid if there was a problem. The Will wasn’t worth the online PDF it was written on!
This is just one of many cautionary tales that we could share on the dangers and pitfalls of doing a Will online using a cheap service offering off-the-shelf templates.
So many people go down the route of DIY online Wills in order to save money, only for them (or worse, their grieving loved ones) to discover hidden problems further down the line.
Cheap and cheerful Wills might be convenient – and in today’s busy and expensive world their appeal is understandable – but all too often they turn out to be the ultimate false economy.
Is it safe to do my own Will?
It’s important to remember that a Will is an official legal document. Like any other such document, it needs to be drafted and executed properly in order to be legally enforceable.
Small errors can result in big problems – and we aren’t talking about the odd problem here and there.
An estimated 38,000 families suffer prolonged probate ordeals every year due to poorly drafted or ineffective DIY Wills.
That’s 38,000 families who could have saved themselves a lot of stress, anxiety and in some cases material loss – simply by spending a little more time and money by hiring a professional – someone who is aware of their situation.
Common problems include:
- Ambiguous wording, meaning that the intention of the Will is unclear and therefore open to interpretation and legal challenges
- Drafting errors such as incorrect spelling or usage of names, titles and addresses
- Failure to execute the Will properly (a Will needs to be signed, dated and witnessed correctly by two witnesses who must meet certain criteria)
- Problems with signatures
- Amendments that have been made incorrectly
- Inability to trace or speak to the executors
Do I have to use a solicitor to do my Will?
Despite this raft of potential problems, one thing that pushes people towards drafting their own Will is the prohibitive cost involved in the alternative – to give you an idea, some solicitors or banks will charge several hundreds of pounds for a basic Will.
You’d imagine that such a big price tag would guarantee you access to the best people, but sometimes your Will won’t be drafted by a senior solicitor. Instead, the task will be given to a junior or inexperienced member of the law firm’s Wills and probate team.
The good news is that you don’t have to use an expensive solicitor if you want professional help drawing up your Will.
Professional Will writers combine specialise expertise and experience with a more affordable service and here, at Will Writers of the Midlands, we offer such a service. With 20 years of experience, the company prides itself on offering the personal touch. A member of our team will visit you at home or at your work to discuss your requirements and circumstances in detail.
Call to book an appointment on 01952 305 105 or 07786 548025 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
It could turn out to be the best decision you ever make for you and your loved ones.