Is a the DIY Will Quickest & Easiest Way?

There are many options for people to create a DIY will. It often sounds like the cheapest and quickest way of creating your will, but is it worth it in the long term? DIY wills can often turn out more expensive and can often lead to problems. A will is quite a complex legal document and it’s best to seriously consider the implications if you intend to do it yourself.

What is a DIY will?

DIY wills often take the form of a template or outline of a will that you can receive in hard copy or download from the Internet. You then fill in the blanks with your details and sign it yourself. There are no checks to see if your will is legally binding and that there will be no issues once the estate needs to be settled.

What does a DIY will include?

It includes standardised wording to create a ‘one size fits all’, but in reality people have different individual circumstances and standard wording may not be legally binding . Outlined below are four reasons why relying on a DIY will isn’t recommended.

1. Wills are complicated

Writing a will seems simple – but the reality is far from it. A DIY will does not take into account things like tax, or finer details over things like who you wish to leave your house to.

Additionally, what happens if you no longer own that house when you die? Do you want the house you live in at the time of your death to be included, or would you prefer the house to be sold to generate cash? An expert can talk you through the best options for you.

2. No legal advice

Without legal advice, you can’t be sure that your will is legally binding and that it will be robust enough to use when the time comes.

A will expert can advise on all these things and more – a DIY will provides no extra advice beyond the standard template.

3. Is your will properly signed?

You need to sign your will in the presence of someone in order for it to be legally binding. Incorrect signing of the will could lead to issues.

Additionally, how your will should be signed differs in Scotland compared to England and Wales. You will abide by the laws of the country of your residence at the time of your death, which may differ from where you had the will created.

4. Is the will drafted under the correct country’s law?

Most DIY will packs have been drafted by English companies with English customers in mind. There may be distinct differences between English law and Welsh and Scottish law for example.