DIY Wills – The Risks You Need To Be Aware Of
Contemplating your own death is probably the last thing you want to be doing, but unfortunately, it’s a necessity as we all want to protect and prepare our loved ones for when it eventually happens.
If you don’t plan beforehand, there is no assurance that your final wishes will be honoured once you pass away. Writing a Will may not be on your wish list right now, but you need to make it a priority so that you can rest easy knowing everything will be taken care of.
Having a Will not only ensures that your estate is divided exactly how you intend it to be, but it also means that your loved ones will get money, property or any other possessions in accordance to your wishes.
When it comes to writing a Will, one of the most inexpensive options is a DIY Will. While you may be tempted to opt for one because of the low cost involved, having a DIY Will can be rather risky and it certainly comes with some difficulties, too.
Before you go ahead with writing a DIY Will, you should ensure that you educate yourself on both the pros and cons that are associated with this approach.
What Is A DIY Will?
A DIY Will is written entirely online. DIY Will services provide online forms and the person creating the Will has to fill in the information then print out the final copy and store it somewhere safe.
Pros of DIY Wills
The most apparent benefits of making a DIY Will are mentioned below:
- Save time
- Save money as it’s cheaper than the other options available
- This option doesn’t require the involvement of a solicitor
Cons of DIY Wills
Whilst there are numerous pros to DIY wills, they also come with a list of negatives that you need to be aware of.
- Your loved ones could lose money and assets if your estate isn’t protected properly
- Your beneficiaries can end up paying more money if the Will isn’t deemed valid – its validity could end up being contested and it may not withstand opposition
- Probating your estate and distributing assets may end up taking longer than it would have taken to consult with a solicitor or use a Will writing service
Remember that the laws regarding Will execution vary greatly depending on the country in which it is produced and some DIY Will service providers may not take that into consideration. Some jurisdictions for instance, require a certain number of witnesses present at the time of the Will being signed.
DIY Wills also fail to take into account specific estate planning requirements, such as avoiding potential estate taxes. Joint families or those with children from a previous relationship may also not consider DIY Wills adequate to cover their concerns.
Now, the question that often arises is whether you should make your own Will or seek help from the professionals, either in the form of a solicitor or reputable Will writing service.
If you have a straightforward estate plan in mind, a DIY Will can be an easy, inexpensive way to make your wishes known after your death. When making a Will, make sure that the DIY Will-writing service you avail is governed by a regulatory body.
If your wishes are straightforward, a DIY Will might be the right option for you. For example, if you’re married and want to leave everything to your spouse, this would require little thought and would therefore suit the DIY Will option. If your spouse is no longer alive and you simply want to leave everything to your children, again, a DIY Will would work.
But if your Will is more complicated than that then it is certainly recommended that you find a different solution. DIY Wills aren’t really suitable for individuals who are not married to their partners or for those who want to leave part of their estate to their step-children.
If you have dependents, special tax issues, want to address digital assets, or just want to make sure your Will is as comprehensive as it can be, your best bet is to speak to an expert.
Ultimately, the decision is yours but it is one that you need to make before it is too late. It is important that you make a Will as soon as possible and you must ensure that you keep it updated whenever changes occur.
Circumstances such as births, divorces and deaths may all require immediate changes. When a person dies without leaving a Will behind, they are said to have died intestate and intestacy rules don’t always suit everyone’s wishes. The results are often very different than what would have been desired.
Don’t leave it too late, do your research and make sure you protect your loved ones as much as you can in the years following your death.