In this blog we outline the issues that can arise from creating a homemade Will, and the benefits of using a legal professional.
Lack of legal knowledge
One of the most significant risks associated with homemade Wills is the lack understanding of legal practice and issues which can arise if a Will is not drafted or executed correctly.
Writing a Will requires an understanding of the rules of succession, inheritance tax, and knowledge of how and when a Will could fail or be contested. As a result, homemade wills often fail to comply with the necessary legal formalities, leading to potential complications during probate.
Ambiguity and inconsistencies
Homemade Wills are more prone to errors, ambiguity, and inconsistencies due to their non-professional nature. A poorly worded or vague clause can result in confusion, the specific gift or whole Will failing, and disputes among beneficiaries, leading to lengthy and expensive legal battles that can deplete the estate’s assets.
Vulnerability to challenges
Homemade Wills are susceptible to challenges on grounds of lack of testamentary capacity, undue influence, or fraud. When a Will is contested, the distribution of assets can be delayed for an extended period, and the final outcome may not align with the individual’s original intentions.
The advantages of a professionally drafted Will
Expert legal knowledge
By engaging a legal professional, you gain access to expert legal knowledge and experience. Experienced lawyers understand the intricacies of Will writing and can tailor your will to comply with all legal requirements and your wishes.
Customisation to your needs
A qualified lawyer drafting your Will will take the time to understand your unique circumstances and preferences. They can craft a bespoke Will that precisely reflects your wishes and provides clear instructions for the distribution of your assets.
Reduction of errors and ambiguity
Lawyers are adept at avoiding common mistakes and ambiguities that often plague homemade Wills. By employing precise and comprehensive language, they minimize the chances of misunderstandings and legal disputes.
How a professionally drafted Will helps your loved ones
Peace of mind
By opting for a professional service, you can provide your loved ones with peace of mind during an already emotionally challenging time. Knowing that your affairs are in order and your Will is legally drafted can alleviate stress and uncertainty for your beneficiaries.
Expedited probate process
A well-drafted Will can expedite the probate process, allowing your assets to be distributed efficiently to your beneficiaries. This minimises delays and administrative costs, ensuring your loved ones receive their inheritance promptly.
Avoiding family disputes
Clear, unambiguous, and professionally drafted Wills can significantly reduce the potential for family disputes and disagreements. By removing any doubts about your intentions, you promote harmony among your beneficiaries and protect family relationships.
The importance of a professionally drafted Will cannot be overstated. Homemade wills carry significant risks of legal complications, ambiguity, and challenges. Engaging a legal professional ensures that your last Will and Testament is legally valid, tailored to your specific needs, and provides your loved ones with the necessary clarity and protection. By making this vital decision, you can rest assured that your legacy will be preserved, and your loved ones will be well taken care of when the time comes.