The Dangers of Using a DIY Will

by Charlotte Eden, Solicitor

For more information on Wills and how RRL Wills can help, contact Nick Latimir on 01872 276116 / 01736 339322 or nick.latimir@rrlcornwall.co.uk.

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A recent investigation has warned of the risks of using a DIY will pack or discount online service, instead of consulting with an experienced professional.

The investigation found that while DIY will kits are available online for as little as £6.99, they can leave you facing hundreds or even thousands of pounds worth of legal fees, should your will be declared invalid if there is a dispute over the wording.

This is because such online kits are often lacking any thorough instructions or include excessively lengthy and overly-technical instructions which people are likely to disregard.

If you are planning on leaving any savings, property or any other assets to loved ones, it is vital to ensure that you have a well written will in place, so that your wishes can be carried out.

Inheritance disputes

The number of inheritance disputes heard in the High Court rose by over 60% between 2018 and 2019, increasing from 227 to 368 the following year.

Part of the reason for this rise was blamed on DIY wills, with the errors and omissions that they often contain leaving them invalid or open to challenge through the courts.

Rising property prices add an additional factor, with much more at stake financially should a dispute arise. In addition to making a will, it is also important to regularly review it, especially if family circumstances change or assets rise or fall in value.

In 2017, a decade-long fight between a woman who was cut out of her mother’s will and three animal charities who were bequeathed the entire £500,000 estate reached the Supreme Court. Justices overturned the Court of Appeal’s decision to award the daughter £143,000 and reduced her inheritance to £50,000.

Making a will

Making a will is not as simple as you might first think. It is such an important and potentially complicated document that you would undoubtedly benefit from receiving professional advice. Ironically, all too often efforts to save a couple of hundred pounds on will writing can lead to thousands in legal fees further down the line.

RRL Wills is regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, which means that you know your will is being prepared by a professional you can trust.

We will sit down with you and discuss exactly why it is you need a will and what your main priorities are. This means that we can write a will for you that avoids ambiguity and uncertainty.

 

This publication has been prepared by RRL Wills Limited. It is to be treated as a general guide only and is not intended to be a comprehensive statement of the law or represent specific advice. No liability is accepted for the opinions it contains, or for any errors or omissions. All rights reserved.