Are DIY Wills a Good Idea?

IN THIS ARTICLE

Thinking about writing a will can be depressing, because no one wants to contemplate the day when they will pass away and leave behind their friends, family and children. However, it is very important to craft a will so that it will be easier for your loved ones to deal with your affairs when that day comes. Without a Will, your assets could be divided in a way that doesn’t suit your wishes or your young children could end up in the care of someone who wouldn’t be your first choice. Having a Will is the only way that you can ensure your wishes are carried out after you are gone.

Many people try to save money by putting together their own Wills and there are plenty estate planning books, forms and computer software available for this purpose. There is the general attitude that writing your own Will is possible and a smart way to save on lawyer fees. However, is this such a good idea? Are there any risks or disadvantages to writing your own DIY Will? Here are some important considerations that you should keep in mind before choosing to make a DIY Will.

Planning an Estate Isn’t One Size Fits All

When you are using an estate planning software, there is usually a simple template that is designed to only cover the basis. These forms will be as simple as possible, so that they can cover all situations and local laws. However, estate planning is often much more complicated than this.

A default template form will never be able to fully cover all of the unique details of your particular situation. What will work for you might not work for someone else, which is why it is much better to have a personal ill professionally crafted rather than a generic form.

DIY Wills are More Prone to Error

If you are not a legal expert but you are trying to put together your own Will, there is a greater chance that you might make a mistake. If you are not clear or you make an error when writing your Will, you will not be around to explain yourself or make a correction.

For example, some of the common errors in Will making include forgetting to update the will after a second marriage, forgetting to sign the Will or adding an amendment in the wrong way – so that it becomes nullified. If you make an error in your Will, this can make it null and void – which totally negates the purpose of making a Will in the first place.

There are Contingencies That You Have Probably Not Thought Of

If you choose to write your own Will, you will probably fail to think of some of the important contingencies – which could lead to problems later on. For example, if you leave a house to one of your heirs, who would be responsible for the expenses involved in keeping up the property? If you give an asset to an heir, what would happen if you outlived that heir?

A trained lawyer will be able to bring up all of the contingencies that you might not have considered, so that you can include these details in your Will.

When you pass away, your family will be going through a lot of heartache and grief – so you don’t want to add confusion about your affairs on top of that as well. Getting a professional Will made is a great way to ensure that your affairs will be managed in the way that you would choose.

Author

Are DIY Wills a Good Idea? 1

Gill Laing is a qualified Legal Researcher & Analyst with niche specialisms in Law, Tax, Human Resources, Immigration & Employment Law.

Gill is a Multiple Business Owner and the Managing Director of Prof Services - a Marketing Agency for the Professional Services Sector.

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