The Dangers of DIY Wills

Whilst it’s no secret that the events of 2020 have instigated a huge increase in the number of people either making or updating their will, there is still an overwhelming majority of people that don’t have their affairs in order, or are relying on DIY wills to cover their wishes, advises Ashley Marshall from Farleys Solicitors

Farleys, alongside many firms, have seen an influx of enquiries as the pandemic continues to increase the public’s awareness of the importance of making a will. Whilst this increased awareness in planning for the future is welcomed, another worrying trend the firm are seeing is a rise in issues from individuals who have drafted their own wills, or relied on ‘off the shelf’ template documents to convey their last wishes.

While the DIY approach may seem quicker, easier and cheaper at the outset, it can lead to many a difficulty, significant expense and unnecessary stress for those you leave behind, should your will be challenged post-death.

It has been suggested that poorly drafted or ineffective DIY wills are responsible for a prolonged probate ordeal for 38,000 families a year. This is a worrying statistic given that up to 10 per cent of the value of a person’s estate can be engrossed by additional fees as a result of an ineffective will.

“Having a DIY will can be just as stressful for your family as not having one in place at all,” says Ashley. “A DIY will is likely to contain mistakes or omissions, leaving your family to argue over your estate.

“Everyone’s individual circumstances are different. You may own property abroad or have an interest in a business, which may not be covered by a one-size-fits-all DIY option. Family circumstances may also be complex and need to be accounted for.

“Bespoke, professional legal advice is essential and can avoid all of these issues. Upon your passing your beneficiaries need to have a solid and structured document tailored specifically to your personal circumstances to ensure that dealing with your estate is as smooth as possible.

“Instructing a solicitor to draft your will means that you have peace of mind that your will is well-considered, well drafted and error free. In addition to this, your solicitor will be able to discuss estate planning to make your will as tax efficient as possible.”

When it comes to ensuring your final wishes are respected and your estate is distributed to the people you want to benefit, a will is an essential document. A relatively small investment now can reduce stress and financial problems for you and your family in the long run.

Contact Farleys on 01254 368040 or email:

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Tedd Walmsley

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Tedd Walmsley managing director of Live Magazines shares his views on the latest topics in media.

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