Can I Write My Own Will?

Yes you can, but it is not always recommended. Having a correctly executed Will is the best possible way of ensuring that your assets and possessions pass to the people you would want to have them but the pitfalls are many.

A Will can make a very difficult time for your family a little easier by cutting down on “red tape”.

Do It Yourself Wills can be purchased for as little as £10. Whilst we are all conscious of money in these austere times, costs may sometime pale into insignificance. Consider the following actual scenario which only happened recently:

Mr X lived in Cornwall, a divorcee with no children. He was quite a wealthy man with an interest in a local art gallery. He died suddenly at home having drawn up a homemade Will a few years ago whilst he was still married, he had never thought to update it. He had appointed his ex-wife as his Executor and had bequeathed his estate according to his wishes. However, whilst trying to make the funeral arrangements, his ex-wife (who he was still very closely linked to him) was advised that the Will was invalid. During the execution process, whilst it was being signed, he only obtained one witness’ signature when the legal requirement is two witnesses.

The role of administrator then fell to his next of kin. Mr X was by no means a religious person but his next of kin were orthodox Jewish cousins who lived in London. He had had nothing to do with them for years but they took over the funeral arrangements and administration of the estate. Mr X’s funeral became a full orthodox Jewish ceremony and burial, something that he would never have wanted. It also took place in London when all of his closest friends knew that his wishes were for a simple cremation in Cornwall. His estate also passes to the cousins who are already millionaires.

It is always best to employ the services of a solicitor to ensure that you “get it right”. The legal costs for a solicitor to draw up your Will are now substantially less than a few years ago from as little as £149 plus VAT. However, if you do prefer to write your own Will, why not take advice from a solicitor to ensure that the document is valid for a fixed cost of £99 plus VAT?

Thank you to Beata Matuleviciute of SSB Law for writing the above blog. Find them on Twitter:@SSBLaw1. SSB Law website: www.simpsonsissonsandbrooke.co.uk
 

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