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Can you write your own Will without a lawyer?

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Can you write your own Will without a lawyer?

A Will allows you to dictate how your estate and assets will be distributed when you pass away and puts decisions on your children’s future in writing.

But can you write one yourself? Well, yes…but there are some risks you should know first.

In his first article for the firm, Wills & Tax Solicitor Nick Turner outlines the issues that can arise from writing your own Will and gives his advice.

Do I need a Will?

Although having a Will is not a necessity, we highly recommend having one in place.

A Will can be used to set out how you would like your estate and assets to be distributed after your death. You’ll be able to decide ‘who inherits what’.

A Will can also be used to set out who can look after your children when you die.

This is especially prevalent if you have young children under the age of 18, who may need to be assigned a legal guardian if you were to pass away. A Will allows you to do this.

What happens if I don’t have a Will?

Intestacy’ is when someone dies without a Will in place.

What happens to my estate if I die without a Will?

If you don’t have a Will in place at the time of your death, ‘intestacy rules’ will apply and dictate how your estate is to be distributed.

The issue here is that intestacy rules may not reflect your best interests. For example, someone who you wish to inherit does not.

Find out more here.

What happens to my children if I die without a Will?

In addition, if, at the time of your intestate death, your child has no surviving parent or anyone with parental responsibility; issues might occur.

Children’s services will likely get involved, and the court will probably appoint a guardian to take care of them. This guardian may not be someone of your choosing.

A Will allows you explicitly state who you want to be your child’s guardian and avoid any uncertainty in guardian appointment.

Find out more here.

How much do solicitors charge for a Will?

This varies, depending on the firm. At Frettens, we charge a fair price for the services that we offer.

Get a quote here.

Can you write your own Will without a lawyer?

Yes, it is possible to write a Will yourself. It is not required to have your Will created or even witnessed by a solicitor.

However, if you take this route err on the side of caution.

What makes a valid will?

A valid Will is one that is written and signed by an individual with the mental capacity to do so and witnessed by two people.

In addition, a Will must not be signed under duress.

What problems might there be with DIY Wills?

Many different websites offer DIY Will services, templates and packs; however, these often vary in quality.

Absence of key elements

Even some of the more used templates from reputable websites can have issues, and often leave out key elements such as inheritance tax implications.

It is also often the case that DIY Wills have not been witnessed correctly.

The threat of dispute

Yet, by far the biggest issue with DIY Wills is the threat of dispute.

If proper steps have not been taken and certain elements have been omitted, which is often the case with DIY Wills, then you could potentially face disputes.

Although you may save a little money by creating a Will yourself, it may end up costing your estate more in dispute costs in the long term after you have died.

Hidden costs

DIY Will websites may have hidden costs involved that aren’t made clear at the outset.

At Frettens, we are always up front and totally transparent with our fees to ensure that you’re well informed and not kept in the dark. You can discuss costs with an expert here.

Our Advice on DIY Wills

Nick Turner says “With most DIY Wills they have not considered implications of what would happen if a beneficiary dies in their lifetime.

Issues also arise as to witnesses and correct procedures for executing them.  All of this can delay administering the estate and increase costs.”

Wills & Tax Specialist Solicitors

At Frettens, our bright team of Wills experts are best placed to assist you in creating a Will.

We will ensure that all of the correct steps have been taken and will help mitigate the risk of dispute.

If you would to speak to a member of our team, or ask any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch on 01202 499255. We offer a free initial chat for all new clients.

The content of this article, blog or video is not intended as specific legal advice. For tailored assistance, please contact a member of our team.