You may think that a DIY will will save you time and money. It is commonly believed that creating a will is expensive and that it’s so much easier and beneficial to write and draft your own.
A Will is a very important document and must adhere to a complex part of the law in order to be valid. Creating a will with a solicitor is still fairly simple and is well worth the extra money and time spent. However, creating a DIY will full of mistakes may cause your loved ones extra money and court cases in the future. Most people who make a DIY will don’t know the relevant law and therefore create a document with mistakes that often cannot be fixed without court proeedings, causing the estate a lot of money.
A DIY Will: What can go wrong?
- The Will is not witnessed properly
- The executors of the will are inappropriate choices and don’t administer the estate correctly
- Your estate and assets are not divided the way you wished as they are not properly accounted for
- The intentions of the will are not clear and therefore a court case is required to determine the correct meaning of the will
- Superannunation is not properly addressed in the will
- Tax is not considered within the will
Often, a DIY Will kit is used because you believe you have a simple will and a simple estate. But it can be hard to define a simple will. With blended families and complex lives, its hard to find a Will that is ‘simple’. Most people have a superannuation fund, for example, and often with a life insurance policy attached. Even a young person is likely to have this significant asset as part of their estate. Because superannuation can’t be dealt with by a will, their estate planning is necessarily more complex than they may think.
Benefits of seeking help
You may wish to discuss your DIY will with family or friends, but keep in mind that they may have a biased view. They may want certain assets and may pressure you into writing your DIY will a certain way. However, your lawyer will be able to provide objective advice and analyse what is best for your estate. He or she will also be able to walk you through decisions such as how your estate will be divided, who will be the guardian of our children and even topics such as organ donation or your type of burial. Your lawyer will ensure your will does not miss any crucial elements and that you make decisions that you are fully comfortable in making. Your lawyer will also ensure that you have made decisions that are not impacted by subjective opinions and that you make it easier for your loved ones after you pass away by fully ensuring you have made a valid and clear will.
Time and Costs
By drafting and creating a will through a solicitor, you can expect to spend both time and money. There will be multiple meetings spent discussing your wishes and the proposed outline of the will. You will spend time first discussing your wishes, then the document will be drafted, executed and witnessed. Experts state that this whole process usually takes an average of three hours as lawyers know exactly what questions to ask and what information ought to be included. While paying for professional advice may seem expensive, a court case over your estate will cost a great deal more.
A lawyer will provide advice specific to your circumstances and family. You may do some searches online and find articles discussing how to draft and create your own will, but this is general information. You may have a different financial situation and the generic DIY Will kits may not address your needs.
When assisting in writing your will, your lawyer may ask questions that seem personal and irrelevant. However, a lawyer through education and experience knows exactly what needs to be included in a will to be valid and effective. This is why a lawyer is so beneficial when creating a will as they know how to write a Will tailored to your needs.
By asking all these questions, a professional will create a document that will address your specific needs and circumstances and will ensure there are no loop holes or disadvantages in your will. When creating your own DIY will, you do not have that advantage. Instead, you may miss key information that may lead to costly court proceedings.
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