The Will market is full of adverts and offers to have a cheap Will drafted, or to buy a ‘DIY Will’. It is important to understand the risks involved when trying to do it the ‘cheap way’, as it could result in problems or costly consequences further down the line if a Will is not drafted correctly.

Ensuring your loved ones and your assets are taken care of after you have passed away is important and you should seek expert legal advice from a fully insured solicitor.

What are the risks of a DIY Will?

Although a DIY Will kit may look appealing at first glance as it can be quick, easy, straightforward, and cheap, but in most cases, a budget Will ends up costing loved ones a large sum of money in Court fees if the Will is disputed, or worst case, totally invalid. If this happens, there will be an intestacy, meaning your estate will be distributed according to statutory rules and not according to your wishes. By opting for a ‘cheap’ Will there are other risks and potential consequences that may arise.

  • Gifts or inheritance in a DIY Will – If requests within the Will are not stated correctly or clear enough, wishes regarding gifts or inheritance could be ruled as void.
  • Are there guidelines to drafting a Will? – Wills must follow specific rules and regulations. Solicitors will ensure these are followed when drafting a Will. Failure to comply with these could result in your Will being deemed invalid.
  • Risk of any claims – Lack of legal advice puts you at risk of dependency claims. If you have not benefitted a loved one who is financially dependent on you, your estate could be at risk.

What happens if issues arise?

DIY Wills often disclaim that they are not responsible for any issues that may arise and therefore, resolving any problems would lay with your loved ones to resolve, which could be costly and stressful. If a solicitor writes the Will, you are covered by insurance.

Tax planning

When preparing your Will, tax planning surrounding assets and your estate should be discussed. Failure to correctly draft your Will could mean you are unlikely to make the tax savings you’re legally entitled to, leaving less in your estate than you had wished and more fees to pay than expected.

How can we help?

At Backhouse Solicitors, we advise taking extreme caution when drafting your Will with any DIY or Will writing companies. Unlike solicitors, they are not regulated by a legal authority and may mean your Will is not legally binding. By instructing a qualified solicitor, you are assured to minimise the risk of disputes, invalidation, and hefty fines for your family, protecting them and your assets.

Contact our friendly Private Client team today for expert advice and to book a free initial consultation. Our team are ready to help you draft your Will and ensure your wishes are carried out in a correct and legal way.

Tel:          01245 893400
Visit:       17 Duke Street, Chelmsford, CM1 1JU
Or send us a message through the Contact Us page on this website.