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susan hall

Sue Hall

Head of Wills and Probate

01782 525001 susan.hall@myerssolicitors.co.uk

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The perils of a DIY will

5th February 2024

The perils of a DIY will

‘Many people who opt to make a home-made Will do so because they think they will save money on legal fees. Unfortunately, this can lead to problems and unexpected costs later down the line for the family who may be left to unravel problems at a difficult time,’ says Susan Hall, Head of the Private Client department at Myers Solicitors. ‘DIY Wills are sometimes declared invalid, or result in problems that require court intervention, far more commonly than Wills that have been professionally drafted.’

What can go wrong with a DIY Will

The worst-case scenario with a home-made Will is that the entire document is declared invalid. If this is the case, then your estate will not pass in accordance with your wishes and assets could end up in the hands of someone who you do not wish to inherit.

Alternatively, a home-made Will might cause problems in relation to certain aspects of the contents, typically due to the Will writer not fully understanding the legal requirements for a Will. For example:

The benefit of using a solicitor to draft your Will

Solicitors undergo rigorous training and receive regular updates on case law to ensure that they are fully aware of the correct legal terminology to use in a Will so as to give effect to your wishes. They are also familiar with common issues and how to avoid these, as well as relevant tax laws and the appropriate ways in which to structure a Will to make the most of any tax allowances.

A solicitor will discuss your family and financial circumstances with you to help you make an informed decision about the exact terms of your Will so that you can ensure you and your loved ones are protected.

When choosing a firm of solicitors, it is advisable to seek a firm with appropriate accreditations. Solicitors are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and may belong to other professional bodies such as STEP or SFE which demonstrate a greater level of knowledge or experience.

As well as the benefit of solicitors being regulated, individual solicitors and their firms are also required to obtain professional indemnity insurance, giving you a route to redress if anything were to go wrong.

How we can help

Preparing your own Will at home may seem like a good idea, but the cost-saving could backfire on your loved ones after your death. It is usually worth spending a small amount upfront to protect your assets and your family in the long term. Our solicitors can help you to ensure that your Will is fit for purpose and achieves your desires. For further information, please contact Sue Hall, Director and Head of Wills and Probate on 01782 525001 or email susan.hall@myerssolicitors.co.uk.