Upgrade to Chrome Upgrade to Firefox Upgrade to Internet Explorer Upgrade to Safari
Legal News | 2.07.20

The risks of homemade Wills

Homemade Wills – why would you risk it?

(“Well they would say that, wouldn’t they?”)

While some homemade things can be a great success – a knitted scarf or a handcrafted table – others can be less so. We see many homemade Wills in the course of our work and as a result, we always recommend a Will drafted by Wansbroughs.

We know you’re thinking, “well, they’re solicitors, they would say that, wouldn’t they?” but a professionally drafted Will avoids the many pitfalls we see every day within homemade Wills:

  • A Will making a gift of specific assets that no longer exist at death (such as a gift of the balance in your Midland Bank or Northern Rock account – remember those?)
  • Improperly defined beneficiaries (you know who Clara is and where she lives, but will that be the case for those who have to find Clara to give her your gift after you’ve died?!)
  • If those left behind cannot trace a beneficiary they might have to go to the expense of employing a specialist tracing agent. If that does not work they may have to consider the expense of missing beneficiary insurance.
  • You appointed your friend Geoff as your executor but unfortunately he died before you, who acts now?
  • The Will pack you bought online had sections in you didn’t like or didn’t understand so you crossed them out – the repercussions of that might mean far more cost and uncertainty for those dealing with the Will after your death, and possibly even a partial intestacy meaning that the law takes over and your wishes may not be met.
  • You wrote the Will so you would understand it, without all that flowery and complicated language that lawyers use. But do you know why we use that language? It’s because it has been tried and tested in the Courts for decades (and in some cases centuries!). It works and that’s why we use it so that your Will works, as you want it to.

When we meet family members for the first time, after they have suffered the loss of a loved one, they always come to us with a sense of relief if their relative did have a professionally drafted Will and never regret that they made one. That is not always the case though with a homemade Will.

If you currently have a homemade Will and think it might be time to swap it for a professionally drafted one, please get in touch.


Posted By Our Wills, Tax, Trusts & Probate Team