Is my D-I-Y will valid?
This is the most asked question of our Wills and Estates team by clients.
The short answer is that whilst a ‘D-I-Y Will’ may be valid, it may be also be bereft with flaws that can have serious consequences for your estate
The most basic definition of a will is perhaps: an instrument by which a person directs how his or her assets are to be distributed after death.
Assets include real property, so using that as an analogy, would you risk drawing up your own contract if you were selling your home? If your answer is no, it is presumably based on your belief that your lack of knowledge could result in you making mistakes which could result in incurring losses and penalties.
Similarly, in the area of will and estates, DIY wills can result in estates being subject to a myriad of issues including claims on the estate by third parties which may have been avoided if legal advice was sought prior to executing the last will.
This is more an issue for blended families where the particular circumstances give rise to rights and obligations of the various family members and can result in protracted litigation if the last will does not address same.
Whilst a D-I-Y or off-the-shelf last will is relatively cheap, the costs of a challenge can run into thousands or more, depending on the complexity of the matter, decimating the value of the estate.
So how much does it cost to draw up a legally sound will? This depends on 2 main factors:
- The complexity of your asset portfolio
- The complexity of your family structure
If you want to find out more or if you are facing a will dispute, contact our friendly team and we will assist you to resolve your problem.
Kerr & Thomas currently hold the wills of several thousand clients which is a service we have provided to our clients for over 45 years.