Writing your Will is unquestionably one of the most important documents you will ever write. It is an essential way of making sure that your savings and assets are distributed according to your final wishes, it could save your family money in the future and it secures the future of your children or grandchildren. Yet many people fail to prepare one. In fact, each year, 1 in 3 people die without having a written Will in place. At H McPartland & Sons we understand it is challenging to begin writing a Will. We understand that cost is often a concern for those looking at writing a Will for the first time and the temptation of using a cheaper DIY alternative can appear very appealing. Yes, it may be cheaper to avoid using a professional, but a simple mistake can result in paying a much higher price.
H McPartland & Sons, solicitors, have outlined below the dangers associated with DIY wills.
- Although DIY wills offer a cheaper alternative, usually costing around £20, it can be a very dangerous approach. If mistakes are made, the wrong wording used or witnessing rules not followed strictly, the Will could be deemed invalid. Basically, if you make any errors which cause problems when your Will is read, there will be no legal redress at all. In fact, in many of these cases, the law could then decide who your money and property should go to.
- A Will drawn up by a solicitor rather than a person using the DIY method will be given greater consideration in court as solicitors are trained and regulated, will keep very detailed notes of attendance and discussions and will endeavor to counteract any possible challenges. A DIY kit bought from a local retailer may not have up to date knowledge. For example, if its date of issue was before any changes in legislation. It is also worth remembering that if you use a Will template, the company that supplies it won’t take any responsibility for your Will being incorrectly made.
- Recently, there has been a marked increase in the number of cases facing unexpected inheritance tax. Generally, for a relatively, one-off, small payment, a Will that is drawn up by a professional can help people save on any future costs relating to this tax.
- There has also been a surge in people seeking further advice in the end because either they found the paperwork in the DIY packs too difficult to match to their final wishes or they discovered they had made a mistake somewhere along the process.
- People are not always aware of the complexities of making a Will and assume that Wills and Probate is a simple enough process. Writing any legally binding document is no simple task. The law surrounding inheritances (including Inheritance Tax and trusts) is complicated.
Drawing up a DIY Will might you save money up front compared with using a legal professional, but if you get anything wrong you could be creating heartaches and added stress for your family and friends when it comes to sorting out your estate after you’ve gone. Employing a solicitor can save a lot of stress for those you leave behind, as well as giving you a bit more peace of mind.
Making a Will is a decision which will have major implications for you family when you are gone. A small investment now offers you peace of mind and protection for your loved ones.
Contact H McPartland & Sons today in Lurgan or Lisburn to have a chat with a member of our team and find out how we can help you write a Will that that ensures your estate, no matter how large or small, is divided according to your wishes. Our solicitors will be familiar with the law and will be able to help you make the most effective choices.