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Think Twice Before Making a DIY Will
- Posted by: curtislegalwp
- Category: News
Think Twice Before Making a DIY Will!
A recent report in the Law Society Gazette has revealed that DIY wills have been blamed for a marked increase in probate disputes. There has been a significant rise from 227 in 2018 to 368 in 2019 in the number of inheritance disputes that have been heard in the high court. The reason for this is allegedly the rise in popularity of compiling DIY wills.
The problem it seems when people decide to use a DIY will is that they have not investigated sufficiently the implications of what they have put in the will which has led to conflicts and disputes between family members that are so serious that they can only be resolved in court. One of the suggested reasons for the rise in disputes is the increase in value of inheritances due to the rise in values of property in particular. Sometimes these sorts of matters only arise when a valuation of a deceased family member’s home is undertaken, leading to a much higher value than expected.
Christine Blacklaws, the president of the Law Society, has suggested in light of this trend people should think twice before making a DIY will. They should seek expert help which in the long run is more likely to minimise conflicts occurring when the will is read and the beneficiaries know where they stand. Mistakes made in DIY wills can lead to misunderstandings that are difficult to resolve.
Not all wills are mistakes
When you make a will it is your sole decision where you want your assets to end up. A well written will, made with the help of a solicitor, is hard to dispute. Even better, consulting your potential beneficiaries first when it comes to probate will mean the process will go smoothly and without delay. A will is a legal document, which means it should be clear and concise while minimising the possibility of ambiguity when it is eventually read to the beneficiaries that have been named.
When you should not consider a DIY will
There are several situations when it is not advisable to make a DIY will and these are when you:
- have foreign bank accounts and investments;
- have ownership of property abroad;
- want to lower your bill for inheritance tax;
- intend to leave the business you own to somebody named in your will;
- have a few individuals who are dependent on you financially but are not close family members;
- have made a will which includes some wishes that could be misunderstood.
What risks come with a DIY will?
The easiest way to put it is that you should only consider making a DIY will if your wishes are simple and your financial situation is straightforward. Problems arise when you get the wording wrong in your DIY will and it becomes ambiguous, stirring up trouble amongst your family when they are trying to decipher it. If you make some serious errors in your will it could invalidate it completely. The court will then decide who will be the beneficiaries of your estate.