News and Events

Are DIY Wills Dangerous?

View profile for Julie Frampton
  • Posted
  • Author

Yes! A Will is probably the most important document that you can make and trying to do it yourself could end up costing your family thousands of pounds to sort out after your death.

One of the most common problems with a DIY Will is that it is not legally binding and you won’t be there to sort out the problems that this causes. A Will must be signed by the person making it and then witnessed by two independent adults who must be present when you sign. A beneficiary of the Will cannot be a witness as this would compromise their inheritance.

Many people think that they needn’t make a Will as all their estate will pass to their wife and children – this is not the case. If you die without leaving a Will and you are married without children, your husband or wife will inherit a legacy set by law of up to £400,000. Your personal belongings will be inherited absolutely and they will be entitled to receive an income from the balance of your estate for their lifetime. You may think that this is ample but consider the value of your home, pension, life insurance and stocks and shares. A large part of your estate could pass to in-laws under the statutory intestacy rules. If you die intestate and leave a wife/husband and children your spouse will receive a statutory legacy of £250,00, your belongings and a lifetime interest in half of the rest of your estate. This can lead to claims against your estate by the widow/er and a long and costly legal battle between second wives and first families.

Julie Frampton, Wills and Tax Executive, says “Beware of cheap Will writers too – they are not necessarily qualified and what seems to be an inexpensive Will could end up with your family facing high legal costs to sort out problems.”

For a free initial meeting please call 01202 499255 and Julie or a member of her team will be happy to discuss any questions you may have.