LEGAL EAGLE: Why you shouldn’t be tempted by a DIY will

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Many people will associate the dangers of DIY with incorrectly putting up a shelf which leads to injury to yourself or your property and, aside from the potential for a nasty paper cut, people would not think there are any dangers in making your own will.

As you will know, many stationers and other retail outlets will sell you a Do It Yourself will pack and it will say how you just need to read the instructions and you certainly do not need to go and see a solicitor!

I have seen many mistakes in my years of specialism in this area regarding home-made wills, from those which are incorrectly signed and those where instructions have not been followed.

This can lead to a great deal of problems for the loved one trying to deal with the estate of their family when they pass away.

The Probate Registry, to whom an application is made to apply for a Grant of Probate, are very particular and if the will is not compliant with the law even in the smallest way they will say that the will is not valid.

If the will is not valid then it is likely that your wishes will not be complied with. The reason for this is that without a will you are reliant on the Laws of Intestacy which are a little antiquated and certainly do not reflect modern life.

Added to this, home-made wills are not always effective when you wish to leave somebody out of your will.

A court will give more favour to a will drawn up by a specialist solicitor than a person who has made their own will as the solicitor will keep very detailed notes of attendances and discussions and will make all efforts to counteract possible challenges.

Added to this, in general, solicitors are trained, regulated, insured and are required to be up to date with changes in the law and legal cases.

A piece of paper purchased from a retailer does not have this up-to-date knowledge if its date of issue was before the change in legislation or case law.

Finally, the cost of making a will with Tilly Bailey & Irvine is very reasonable, starting from £100 plus VAT for a single person or £150 plus VAT for a couple.