You could of course write your own Will. In fact, high street stationary shops will even sell you a kit to enable you to do so.
But whilst the low cost of these DIY Will kits may seem very appealing at first, the £10 you spend writing one now could in fact cost you a lot more later down the line when changes need to be made, or when your family need to go through Probate after you have passed away. This can be very stressful for those you leave behind, and during a time when they should be mourning they are having to deal with your estate using a Will which is incorrect, or worse invalid.
If your wishes are quite simple, for example you’re married and you wish to leave everything to your spouse or children, then a DIY Will may well be a viable option. However, when things start to get a bit more complex, for example if you are not married, in a second marriage or you own a business or perhaps have assets overseas, then it would be far more sensible to seek out professional advice to avoid any mistakes.
The most common issue with a DIY Will is when it comes to witnessing the document. For a Will to be valid it must be signed by the person making the Will (the testator) and two independent adults. Neither of these witnesses can be beneficiaries under the Will or spouses or civil partners of any of the beneficiaries. If the Will is not signed correctly it will be invalid, meaning your estate will pass in accordance with the laws of intestacy and most likely end up with your estate not being distributed as you would have liked. With this being the case, it is advised that you use a professional Will writer to not only draft the document for you, but to also ensure it is signed and witnessed correctly avoiding any difficulties upon death.
1 March 2017
The views expressed in this blog do not in any way constitute advice and are specific to the date noted. As time passes the facts can change and readers should consult their adviser for up to date advice on any matters covered within the blog. Invest Southwest offers an initial review, which is free of charge, however long it takes. From this we will be able to confirm how we can help and give you an opportunity to decide if you would like us to. Thereafter, we will provide you with detailed recommendations and exact costs. Please note that we promise not to levy any kind of fee unless we can demonstrate a benefit to you.