There have been many reports in the news recently regarding Aretha Franklin’s estate. It was initially thought that she had died without making a Will, only for three handwritten Wills to subsequently be discovered in her home. This has once again resulted in the merit of homemade Wills coming under scrutiny.
When you see advertisements for Will-writing templates online and DIY Will packs that may be purchased from stationers or online, you may be tempted to save money by writing your own Will. Although on the face of it homemade Wills may seem a cheaper option, there is a real risk that it will prove costly in the longer term.
When preparing a homemade Will, you will not receive necessary legal advice and in the absence of this advice there is no guarantee that you are purchasing the correct type of Will to suit your circumstances. In addition, a DIY Will pack will not ensure that you have completed all the information correctly, nor will it ensure that the Will is properly executed. Without proper Estate planning advice it is also possible that a larger proportion of your Estate will go to HMRC rather than to your beneficiaries.
A badly drafted or unsuitable Will can cause many problems for your family and beneficiaries at a time when they may be grieving and worried about the future. It could also be worse than no Will at all.
A properly drafted Will is essential if you want to protect your assets and you want your Estate to fall into the hands of the right people when you die and not leave the Estate open to disputes.
It is possible that a badly-drafted Will can result in a partial intestacy, with the associated expense and stress for those who are left to sort it out.
It is far better and often more cost effective in the long run to get the Will made professionally in the first instance.
Furthermore, it is also important to ensure that a Will is then safely and securely stored so that it can easily be located by your Executors following your death.
The expert lawyers in the Wills, Tax and Probate team at Enoch Evans LLP have a wealth of experience in advising upon and drafting Wills. The team based in Walsall and Sutton Coldfield are also experts in providing bespoke Estate planning advice upon how best to reduce the Inheritance Tax that will be due on death. The Department is accredited by the Law Society for membership of its elite Wills and Inheritance Quality Scheme (‘WIQS’). Enoch Evans LLP are also happy to store client’s Wills securely; this offers client’s peace of mind that the Will can easily be located by your Executors following your death and that your wishes will be followed.