A standard Will for one person.
Two “identical” Wills for partners, husbands and wives.
Ensures that your property is left to who you want. Can help to preserve the value of your home from care home fees.
DEED OF GIFT
A formal, legal agreement that transfers ownership of, and legal rights to, the items to be donated.
Indicates your wish to refuse all or some forms of medical treatment if you lose mental capacity in the future. Separate from a Will.
A multi purpose and very flexible document. They can mitigate probate costs and protect assets. Proper advice is essential. Separate from a Will.
LASTING POWERS OF ATTORNEY
Allows a person to nominate who can make decisions for them in the event of mental incapacity.
An essential document – everyone should have one. Completely separate from a Will.
Problems with DIY Wills
Failing to leave clear instructions
Panda. Large black-and-white bear-like mammal, native to China. Eats shoots and leaves.
But now put a comma after “eats”.
You see just one comma in the wrong place can change the meaning completely.
Will drafting is a very technical skill and with a DIY will it can sometimes be difficult to know what the will maker actually intended. More & more Wills are being successfully challenged in court and the legal costs of applying for rectification or interpretation of a poorly drafted will can be very substantial. Basically, your Will needs to be drawn up by a professional who understands how the law works.
ONLINE DIY WILLS; It’s true that many on-line guides re Will writing can be helpful. However, DIY wills should only be considered for the simplest of circumstances – preferably where there are no children or property ownership involved. Once they’re deceased, it’s too late to do anything about it.
Failing to sign it properly
Can make it INVALID.
Choosing the wrong witnesses
Again, can make your will INVALID.
For instance, can a beneficiary also be a witness?
You can’t just change details in a Will. A codicil has to be created.
Failing to understand property ownership.
Is the house joint tenancy or tenants in common? Get it wrong and the house might not go to the children at all but to the new spouse.
Not choosing executors & guardians carefully.
This can lead to huge problems. Can an Executor also be a beneficiary?
Putting it where no one can find it
If no one can find the Will it is assumed it doesn’t exist and the Laws of Intestacy will apply.
Not updating your Will.
As situations change, so should the Will.
With Do-it-yourself wills no one checks for any problems until you’re dead……….and then it’s too late.