Upgrade to Chrome Upgrade to Firefox Upgrade to Internet Explorer Upgrade to Safari
Legal News | 27.08.20

Professionally drafted Wills – a small price to pay to take the worry away

With the variety of kits and DIY Will packages available both online and in certain retail outlets, it can be tempting to create your own Will in a bid to avoid paying professional fees. The creation of a Will, however, is far more complex than just a note of your post death wishes. A number of issues have to be considered and instructing a solicitor is the best way to ensure you have a Will which is legally valid, as well as an accurate reflection of your wishes.

Such issues include:

1. Validity under Wills Act 1837 – In order for a Will to be valid, the requirements under the Act must be fulfilled. Solicitors experienced in Will drafting are well versed with these formalities and can ensure they are followed throughout the process of drafting and execution of your Will.

2. Ambiguous wording if the wording of a Will is at all unclear it might be necessary for an application to Court to be made to determine how your estate must be distributed. Such applications are likely to be far more expensive than a professionally drafted Will.

3. Contesting your Will – if there is any chance that somebody could contest your Will, the document has a much better chance of standing up if it has been drafted by a solicitor who can produce notes from their meetings and telephone conversations, as well as correspondence, with you as evidence to help defeat such a dispute.

4. Testamentary capacity – the legal test for ‘testamentary capacity’ is a specific test relating to a person’s capacity to make a Will and is derived from case law. A solicitor will have this test in mind when taking your instructions and also if you execute the Will before them. If the solicitor is in any doubt about your testamentary capacity, they will take extra measures, such as arranging for a medical practitioner to be involved. (Such measures are also helpful if somebody tries to contest the Will.)

5. Tax planning – the way your Will is drafted can have an impact on the inheritance tax position on your death. A solicitor can advise you to ensure your wishes are framed in your Will in the most tax efficient way.

It might be tempting to draft your own Will or find the cheapest Will writing service to assist, but the costs of instructing a solicitor are a small price to pay to ensure your Will is drafted correctly and to avoid unnecessary costs after your death.

If you would like to discuss having a Will or you would like to review your existing Will then please get in touch with your usual contact or email us via wealth@wansbroughs.com


Posted By Our Wills, Tax, Trusts & Probate Team