Research conducted by Royal London in 2018, the largest mutual insurer in the UK, revealed that more than half (54%) of the adult population do not have a Will.

The danger of not having a Will in place or even attempting to write your own Will can have devastating consequences for your loved ones left behind.

Employing a solicitor to assist with the Will writing process is an option that most people take, ensuring that their last wishes are carried out. However, with the accessibility of DIY Will toolkits and templates, it is useful to know the risks before opting to do it yourself.

Potential pitfalls of a DIY Will

It is said that the number of inheritance disputes has risen drastically in 2019 – and DIY Wills are mainly to blame. Without the guidance of an experienced solicitor, a DIY Will is likely to feature mistakes or omissions, leaving your family to argue over your possessions and property.

To write a Will, you must be over 18 and have the mental capacity to understand the outcome of the document you are signing. If you made a Will without having the mental capacity, your family could challenge the validity of your Will down the line.

It is unlikely that a DIY Will can accommodate the changing of your circumstances. If you have a Will in place but are going through a divorce and plan to remarry, any Will that you have previously implemented will no longer be recognised.

What is a Will, and why should a solicitor help me write one?

A Will is an important legal document, encompassing how you want your estate (property, possessions and finances) to be distributed among your family members after you have died. This legal document includes the name of your executor(s) who will manage the distribution of everything that you have left behind.

Without a Will, the laws of intestacy apply, meaning that your estate will be distributed according to the rules of intestacy. This situation could result in stress and pain for your family, and your assets will not go to the people you had in mind.

By employing a dedicated and experienced solicitor to assist you with writing your Will, you can ensure that this will not happen. At Foys, our solicitors have decades of experience with Will writing, and you can rest assured that your wishes after death will be respected.

What does writing a Will entail?

The legal and correct process of writing a Will does not need to be complex or lengthy. With Foys, we will guide you every step of the way, and help you with understanding the value of your assets before determining how they should be divided.

A valid Will needs to:

  • Be in writing, signed by you and witnessed by two people.
  • Have been written by you while you had the mental capacity to make and understand the effect of it.
  • Be made by you voluntarily, and without any pressure or coercion from another person.
  • Be completely free of errors and transparent as to what your requests are.

Common mistakes on a DIY Will

Understanding the legal ins and outs of a Will can pose as a problem to many people who have not sought professional advice. It is critical that the language used within your Will is concise and clear. Even the smallest error in your Will could result in the courts having to interpret it or the document being deemed invalid.

The top five common mistakes include:

  • Incorrectly signed and witnessed: your Will needs to be witnessed by two people who are present at the time of your signing for it to be legally binding. These witnesses must be UK citizens, 18 years or older and not be named as beneficiaries in your Will or married to someone who is.
  • Omitted assets: by forgetting to mention an asset in your Will, such as a property in another country, means that the court will have to deal it with.
  • Out of date: any deaths, births or marriages in your family should prompt you to update and edit your Will.
  • Not making proper exclusions: you need to provide a letter alongside your Will explaining why you have excluded anyone that has a legal claim to your estate.
  • Inappropriate executors: an executor will be considered inappropriate if they are under 18, do not feel capable of accepting the responsibility or live overseas.

Foys Solicitors can be trusted with writing your Will

With the assistance of Foys team of dedicated Wills and Probate solicitors, the experience of writing your Will is made significantly more straightforward and affordable. We offer competitive fixed standard fees for our services, safeguarding your wishes and putting you and your family at ease.

We do not want legal fees to deter you from protecting your interests in the future, so we offer a FREE initial consultation. This allows us to determine the best course of action and understand how we can help you.

To get in touch simply fill out our Online Form or call your local Foys Solicitors office:

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This post is not legal advice and should not replace professional advice tailored to your specific circumstances. It is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.

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