Invalid Wills are on the rise!
Historically if you wanted to make a Will you would go and see your Solicitor. Recently more and more people have tried to save money by trying to do it themselves or by using a Will Writing Company they have found on the internet.
However, a poorly drafted Will can lead to significant problems and distress for your loved ones after your death.
Amongst the most common mistakes made by people preparing their own Wills, is a failure to execute the Will properly. This could be because they didn't sign or date the Will correctly, or they didn't have the right number of witnesses present, or they used witnesses who happen to be beneficiaries in the Will, or who were under the age of 18.
However other mistakes are made too - failing to appoint executors, or appointing executors that are not suitable; not appointing guardians for your young children; underestimating the value of your estate which could mean that you haven't sought the right inheritance tax planning advice; overestimating the value of your estate which could mean that some of your beneficiaries receive less than you intended; or leaving a family member out of the Will altogether, which could expose your estate to a claim.
Remember mistakes made in your Will are often only found out once you have died, at which point it is too late to correct them.
Will Writing services are the cheap alternative to doing it yourself, and no doubt you have seen adverts offering to prepare your Will for as little as £25. However, these services can only really cover the most basic Wills, because the people preparing them usually have no legal training or expertise. They will be limited in the advice they can give you with regard to inheritance tax planning and are unlikely to be able to deal with associated matters such as transferring the ownership of a property or preparing a Lasting Power of Attorney. They are often not regulated by any particular body, which means there is nobody to complain to if you are not happy with the service, and there is no requirement for them to take out indemnity insurance. Inevitable, for the price you are paying, the service these companies will provide will be impersonal with little contact between you and the caseworker preparing your Will.
Remember - trying to cut costs in the short run could cost your estate and your beneficiaries thousands of pounds in the long run. If you are considering making a Will or wish to update an existing Will, please contact me for a quote.