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DIY Wills Causing Family Disputes

A recent report, carried out by Which?Legal, has found that DIY Wills are damaging to families.

At a time when people making Wills is at a particular low point, the research has found that more people than ever are making DIY Wills.

Astonishingly, 40% of the respondents, that had made a Will, confessed to using a DIY or free Will writing service, lured in by the affordability and personal touch that could be added when it was completed by themselves.

Despite the fact that a personal Will may seem in the best interests of all concerned, High Court disputes concerning Wills has increased by over a third in the past five years with fears that this statistic is only going to rise because of these unprofessional and often naively written Wills

Alison Morrison, Partner at law firm Wilsons, commented: “The growing use of DIY Wills and Probate is partly to blame.

“Wills can end in a legal dispute if someone does not think they have been left what they were promised, but may be easier to defend if the process was carried out properly by a solicitor.

“People understandably want to save money, but this can lead to major problems, as the increase in legal disputes shows.

60% of those that had made a Will, were also under the impression that it would last for the duration of their life and were not aware that they should be updated with any huge life event that occurs.

Nazia Nawaz, Senior Associate at Irwin Mitchell Private Wealth, said: Wills are rarely updated after big life events. It can be incredibly expensive to let yours languish in outdated information.

“Disputes can have a devastating effect on families. Keep your Will updated to avoid the stress, cost and fallout from a dispute.”

Additionally, 38% of respondents that had not made a Will because they believed that their estate had nothing worth inheriting, often omitting the sentimental considerations.

Darren Stott, Which?Legal Managing Director, stated: “Whatever stage of life you are at, a Will offers peace of mind and ensures your money, property and all other possessions go to the right place.

“Your family could also face additional legal fees, taxes and challenges. Otherwise loved ones might be deprived of their home ot joint wealth, as intestacy rules rarely recognise unmarried couples.”

Despite industry protestations, the report suggests that the country will continue to dabble in DIY Wills or turn their back on the idea altogether.          Today’s Wills & Probate

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