DIY Wills blamed for a wave of Probate disputes

What can go wrong?

Creating a Will without seeking informed legal advice may seem like an attractive and affordable option instead of incurring solicitor’s fees to assist with making your Will. However, this can be a risky approach, and in the long run, can lead to further unexpected legal costs if your Will has not been made correctly or certain issues have not been factored in when making your Will. There may be inheritance tax complications that a ‘do it yourself’ Will would not have factored in. There may be other scenarios that have not been thought about when making your Will if no professional legal advice has been sought. Using the wrong wording could mean your instructions cannot or will not be followed and could even completely invalidate your Will.

What are the consequences?

If a Will, has been made yourself, without professional advice, the consequences can be huge, financially and emotionally on family members if the Will has been made incorrectly. Assets may not have been dealt with, property can be left in limbo and the financial cost of fixing these errors can be hefty, as well as emotionally devastating for family members who are not prepared, or legally trained to manage such a fallout. Dealing with a bereavement is difficult enough without having the extra burden of managing an estate with an incorrect or invalid Will. Generally, it is not a good idea to create your Will without guidance if the Will is anymore complicated than leaving all your assets to a husband or wife and your financial situation isn’t complicated.

It may seem like an affordable approach to create your Will yourself, but there are certain formalities that must be followed to make a Will valid. A Will must also try to cover every eventuality at your death and many of these scenarios will not be thought about without guidance from a legal professional.

The whole purpose of a Will is that you have made full preparations and a plan is in place as to what should happen to your estate after your death. To also alleviate some of the difficulties for family having to manage your estate. These difficulties can be magnified if a Will is incorrect or not valid which is why legal advice should always be sought. If a homemade Will ends up being entirely invalid the law will decide to whom your assets will go. This could be completely against your wishes in your Will.


This blog published by T A Matthews is for information purposes only and is not considered legal advice on any subject matter.  The blog should not be used as a substitute for legal advice from a solicitor, and readers should consult their own solicitor on any specific legal questions concerning a specific situation.