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Is a DIY Will worth the risk?

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About Caroline

By Caroline Foulger

Will you actually save money?

One of the main reasons for preparing your own Will is to avoid incurring the costs of either a solicitor, a Will writer or an online service provider.

You might save money up front, compared with using a professional service, but if you get anything wrong, you could be storing up costly complications for your family and friends to resolve, when they come to put your wishes into effect.

Equally, they have no one to blame but you if things don’t go smoothly in resolving any issues and it could slightly sour otherwise happy memories, having to unravel a bit of a tangled web that could have been avoided.

Is saving money worth it?

Using a professional service gives you the peace of mind that things will be left in order on your death. The benefit of this is a personal decision.

If you do not use a professional service, you will not receive any advice in terms of whether what you are doing is the best option, any pitfalls about what you are implementing or how things might be done better. You can only truly judge the benefit of professional advice once you have received it, but knowing that you have made the right choices can be just as valuable as realising you could have made mistakes.

Things you might miss in doing a DIY Will

As simple as it sounds, incorrect signature of Wills is the main reason Wills are either not valid or there are extra hurdles to go through once you have died, to prove that the Will was validly executed.

Often people do not consider the “what ifs” and deal with who would inherit if they died tomorrow. But what if any of your beneficiaries have died before you?

Have you accurately defined everyone in your Will? For example, stating “my children” or “my grandchildren” would not automatically include step-children or step-grandchildren which may or may not be your intention.

Do you have pets, and do you need to make arrangements for them?

Items like jewellery or cars can be a valuable part of an estate and leaving particular things to certain people may mean you wish to “even things up”, but might not be sure of the best way to do this.

You might be thinking of your estate in terms of particular assets and want to leave your property to one beneficiary and the rest of your estate to another; this is fraught with risks and needs careful drafting to accurately reflect your intentions.

Should gifts in your Will be free of or subject to tax and expenses (and mortgage), what does it mean if you say nothing about these things? This is a case of not knowing what you do not know and why taking advice is important.

How we can help you

At TWM, we offer initial meetings to discuss what you are thinking in terms of your Will, with no obligation to proceed. We will provide you with a fixed charge for preparing a Will, based on your wishes, for you to consider. You have nothing to lose, other than some of your time, in discussing things and seeing if using a professional to draft your Will might be good value for money.

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