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Dangers of DIY Wills

Dangers of DIY Wills

Many of us rely on the internet for so much nowadays - shopping, banking, holidays and for looking up random questions - indeed, according to stats for 9 out of 10 of us it has become part of our daily routine.

The internet is fast and convenient - but it has its limitations when it comes to something as important as making your Will and deciding what will happen to your assets (such as cash in the bank, your property and everything else you have worked hard for). It is vital that you take advice from an expert in order to make sure that your Will is valid and it achieves what you want it to.

When preparing a Will yourself, without the benefit of a legal expert to guide you, it is easy to get it wrong - and we sadly see this happen quite a lot. Mistakes may not become apparent until after you have died (and may be expensive or impossible to fix).

Some common examples of what could render your Will invalid include;

  • Your signature not being witnessed by two independent witnesses in your presence;
  • Your signature being witnessed by a beneficiary or their spouse;
  • If you subsequently marry and your Will is not made 'in contemplation of marriage' it will automatically be cancelled;
  • The wording of the Will does not comply with the law;
  • The wording used is vague or ambiguous.

With the increase in the number of Will Disputes (disappointed beneficiaries come in all shapes and sizes), having a robust Will drawn up by a professional is crucial to ensure your family wealth goes to your loved ones.

The absence of a validly executed Will means that your wishes will not take effect after your death and your hard-earned wealth could pass to an unintended beneficiary (click here to see our Intestacy Chart).

At Band Hatton Button, our qualified lawyers are trained to offer sensible and practical Will drafting advice, and may even pick up on something you had never even considered - i.e. how you might save inheritance tax, asset protection options available to you or what will happen to your hard earned family wealth in a family disaster scenario.

All of our Wills, Trusts and Probate lawyers are members of the prestigious Society of Trusts and Estate Practitioners and comply with their Code for Will Preparation which demonstrates our commitment to best practice.

Our charges for advising and preparing a Will for you to protect your personal wealth start from £195 plus VAT and disbursements. We would tailor the Will to suit your exact requirements so once you have completed our Will Questionnaire or we have met, we can give you a better indication of the likely cost. We even store your Will for you, free of charge.

By instructing a qualified lawyer to prepare your Will, you can have peace of mind that your wishes will be adhered to after you have gone with all eventualities dealt with as efficiently as possible.

For individual advice and assistance contact our Wills, Probate and Trusts Team to find out how we can help.

Keri Wood, Chartered Legal Executive, Wills, Trusts and Probate, Direct Tel:  024 7649 3100, Email:

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