A will is one of the most important financial planning documents one can make. It ensures that your assets and savings are distributed exactly as you wish, and allows you to take care of your loved ones after you’re gone. Because even the smallest errors can invalidate a will, it’s always best to do it under the supervision of local solicitors instead of doing it by yourself.
The Dangers of DIY Wills
Writing a will can be difficult emotionally and psychologically, which means a lot of people put off the task or fail to do it at all. DIY will kits, online forms, and software products have proliferated in recent years claiming to make the process easier – and much cheaper – than hiring a local solicitor. As it turns out, however, a DIY will can cause more problems than it solves. Legal and financial experts caution against the DIY approach due to the high risk for technical errors that will not only render the will invalid, but can actually create financial, legal, and emotional nightmares for those left behind.
Common Mistakes with DIY Wills
Without the technical expertise of lawyers in Bristol, one can run into these grave mistakes when writing a DIY will:
- Writing Down the Wrong Assets
It’s common for individuals to include assets in their will they’re not aware they don’t own. A classic example is superannuation which cannot be directed to certain beneficiaries without a binding death nomination by the trustee of the fund.
Another example is a business – owning a business doesn’t necessarily mean you own its assets, and may not allow you to bequeath it to a separate beneficiary. There’s a chance of your heirs getting nothing instead of getting their due.
- Mistakes in Using Legal Definitions
Too many people who choose to write wills by themselves are failing to use legal definitions and terms correctly. One particular case is parents leaving behind “shares” to their children, referring to shares in public companies. Legally speaking, however, this also encompassed their shares in a private company which turned out to be the trustee of the family trust.
Local solicitors will help you ensure that all verbiage are precise and clear of ambiguity, so there’s no confusion when it’s time for the will to be executed.
- Lack of Proper Witnesses
Two witnesses are required by all wills. Having only one witness makes it an “informal” will, and it becomes necessary to test the document in court.
Some people make the mistake of lacking a witness, choosing underage ones, or not recording pertinent details of the individual. Witnesses are also required for all edits or changes to the will, and seeking assistance from local solicitors will guarantee that this requirement is fulfilled as needed.
Writing a Will: Find Local Solicitors near Me
As a legally binding document, writing a will leaves no room for errors. A will allows you to control your assets after you die, and it can bring much comfort and support for your loved ones when you’re gone. For such an important task, it’s always worth it to work with experienced local solicitors to avoid costly mistakes.