Whilst attempting to write your own will through purchasing one off the shelf may have an attractive price tag, it is a risky option which may lead to devastating consequences.

DIY wills have been blamed for the rise in the number of contested estates across the UK with unclear clauses causing problems and tension between relatives which can sometimes lead to the validity of the will being contested. Rectifying this may result in costly legal action which will inevitably reduce the money left in your estate.

A will is an important legal document which encompasses how you would like your estate to be distributed amongst your family, loved ones and/or charitable organisations that are close to your heart after you have died. Your will does not only name your beneficiaries but also names your executor(s) who will manage the distribution of your estate. This allows you to control who your estate goes to when you die and who manages this. However, this only occurs if the will is correctly drafted and even the simplest of mistakes can completely invalidate a will.

The implications of writing your own will can be very serious. Not only is there a risk of leaving your family with a lot of work to do which is often extremely difficult during such an emotional time but your estate can also be eaten into by legal bills and unnecessary tax.

It has been suggested that poorly drafted or ineffective DIY wills are responsible for a prolonged probate ordeal for 38,000 families a year. This is worrying given that up to 10% of the value of a person’s estate can be engrossed by additional fees as a result of an ineffective will. An average estate in the UK is worth £160,000, therefore this could mean that £16,000 of probate fees could be wracked up.

Getting a solicitor to write your will means that you have peace of mind that your will is well-considered, well drafted and error free. In addition to this, your solicitor will be able to discuss estate planning to make your will as tax efficient as possible. If you need advice on writing a Will or to speak to a solicitor who specialises in wills, trusts & probate on 0845 287 0939 or send your enquiry through our online contact form and a member of the team will get back to you.