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DIY Wills

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Research by YouGov has found that the majority of people who prepare their own Wills say they do it because they don’t think they need legal advice, with 21% of those saying that they are worried about the  cost of having a Will prepared by a professional.  It is estimated that one in ten people write their will  without any professional assistance at all. A DIY Will can be just as valid as a Will prepared by a professional, however we do see problems with DIY Wills which could lead to the Will being invalid, or difficulties in dealing with matters. There are certain rules about how a Will must be executed, this is the signing process.  A Will must  to be signed by the person making the Will in the presence of two independent witnesses and the witnesses must sign in the presence of the person making the Will. – if this is not done correctly the Will is invalid.  Further, if a beneficiary witnesses the Will, the Will is still valid but the gift  to that beneficiary fails. Looking at the contents of the Will,  if the wording of specific gifts is not clear, the gift could be challenged or fail. Also many DIY Wills fail to include any succession rights if the original beneficiary dies, which means that the gift fails. Having your Will prepared by a professional will ensure that these problems do not arise. The costs of a professional resolving any issues with a Will could outweigh the costs of a professional preparing a Will for you in the first place.  There is also the emotional side of matters, generally when someone is dealing with a loved one’s wishes in a Will it is a very hard time for them anyway, this can be made harder if there are problems with the Will or the Will is invalid altogether. If you require any advice or assistance in making a Will please do not hesitate to contact my colleague, Caroline Hill on 01623 448320, or by email chill@filder.co.uk.   Rebecca Brough

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