Write Your Own Will? – Don’t Do It!


It may seem very appealing to you to write your own will but there are many options for people across the UK to take, in order to help with the creation of their will, and a good will writing service is certainly one of the best and most popular methods.

Paying a sizeable fee may be worthwhile when looking to create your will as it will lead to you possessing a good quality will to be used in the future. A cheap, will writing company may not be the best option to take, despite still providing you with a working document that can be legally used. One thing that is almost always advised against is creating and writing your own will, and this is because of a number of different reasons.

Although most people would typically rather think about their will at a later date, it is an essential document that needs to be created in good time, in order to ensure that all of your possessions are correctly dealt with in the future. A general idea about wills is that you decide who gets what and this will be read out within the standard will reading session that follows, but there is much more involved with this process.

Write your own will – its more complicated than first thought

You might think that you can decide which family member or friend gets each of your possessions, but other factors come into play throughout this process. Firstly, the valuation of your estate may have changed between the time of creating your will and your death. This means that whilst you may have a current valuation figure of your property and knowledge of how much money you have within your bank account, other factors may dictate what actually happens.

Firstly, with any wealth of over £325,000, inheritance tax is set at 40% and so in order to find out what impact this is likely to have upon how your wealth is distributed, you may need to seek the help of a probate valuation service. When leaving physical possessions behind in your house, it may not be clear initially how much they are worth or who they should go to, and so this service would be particularly important in relation to this, before the estate is correctly distributed. Although the will requires a named executor, it doesn’t require a named probate valuation professional, however this could be beneficial to your will as it allows you to discuss future plans and your preferences in good time.

Write your own will – the quality of the will determines its effectiveness

Creating a will is essentially a very simple process, as is the process of making the will legal. In order to make the will legal, you would need to sign it and ensure that there were two other adults there when you signed it, acting as witnesses. In essence, this means that when compared to a professionally create one; a basic will would be of the same value. However, in actual reality this is no longer the case, particularly as there are certain stipulations regarding the way that the will has to be written, in order to unanimously decide what is within your will and your true intentions. Recent studies show that a will created by you and written with poor quality may lead to 10% of the estate value being used for additional legal fees, making it an obvious decision to acquire the help of a professional.

Beneficiaries of a will

It is advised that you do seek professional and expert advice in certain circumstances, so that you can ensure that your will works in the desired way. Such certain circumstances include:

  • You live outside of the UK
  • You aren’t married to your partner
  • There is a potential that other family members might make a claim against your will
  • You are a business owner

Although it may seem very appealing to you to write your own will, saving both time and money in the process, it can certainly cause many issues in the future, particularly following your death. Not only can a professional will help to reach a quick resolution for your loved ones in terms of who gets what, but it can also ensure that no extra legal fees or time is needed because of the quality of your will.


Write Your Own Will? - Don't Do It! 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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