Blank form Will kits may seem like a cheap and simple way to write your Will, but in fact, they can cause serious problems. Here we look at some of the most common issues and demonstrate why, when it comes to your Will, you should never trust a quick fix.
Professional insight is vital to ensure your Will is properly drafted. Talk to us today for tailored advice on writing your Will.
Your Will kit may be out of date
The law is constantly evolving and changes in legislation may not be reflected in a Will kit. It can be difficult to tell as a layperson whether the most recent updates have been addressed by your kit, but if they have not, your Will is at risk of being invalid.
Will kits aren’t clear on what you are allowed to do
When writing your Will you have testamentary freedom, meaning you are free to decide how your estate should be distributed. However, this freedom is limited by the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975. Certain individuals can claim against your estate if you do not make ‘reasonable financial provision’ for them. Will kits often give very little guidance on what you can and can’t do, and it is easy to make a mistake.
Your Will kit might not meet validity requirements
There are specific requirements that must be met for a Will to be valid. Many Will kits do not make these sufficiently clear and can leave you at risk of making serious errors. Simple mistakes can have devastating consequences; for instance, if a beneficiary of your Will also witnesses it, they will be unable to inherit. Some oversights could invalidate your Will entirely.
Your DIY Will may fail to identify beneficiaries properly
Beneficiaries of your Will must be identified unambiguously. Leaving money to ‘my friend Michael’ makes it difficult to identify who you mean and could lead to multiple Michaels trying to make a claim. If the court is unable to resolve the ambiguity, the gift can fail and leave the intended Michael empty-handed. Without professional input, it is dangerously easy to fall short of sufficient identification.
You may not cover all eventualities using a Will kit
No one can predict the future and circumstances may change dramatically between you writing your Will and it being executed. Your Will should explain what you want to happen if your original wishes cannot be carried out, for example, if a chosen beneficiary predeceases you.
If your Will has not specifically accounted for this scenario, an intended gift may lapse and instead go to the residual estate. Therefore, your Will also requires a residuary clause that explains what you want to happen with leftover assets. Despite this being one of the most important elements of a Will, Will kits often omit them.
Wills and Estate Planning Lawyers, Bournemouth
If you want writing your Will to be easy and straightforward, don’t use a DIY Will kit. Instead, speak to our knowledgeable team today. Solomons Solicitors are here to help you write an effective Will that reflects your wishes accurately and avoid disputes further down the line.