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Is it legal to write my own Will?

As you look to organise your life affairs, it’s certainly tempting to look to do things yourself to potentially save time and money.

In this ‘Is it legal to…’ we explore whether it’s in fact legally possible and safe to write your own Will.

Is it legal to write my own Will?

Whilst everyone can write their own Will, this brings several risks compared to a professionally drafted Will, including…

It may not be a legally valid Will

Whilst it might look and sound like a Will, unless it meets the necessary requirements, it might not stand as a Will under the law of England and Wales. If so, it could be ignored, and your estate may fall under the Intestacy Rules.

It may not reflect your wishes

Homemade Wills often do not consider that legal wording has a particular meaning, and the use of everyday language can often fail to mimic the same thing.

Plus, simple mistakes such as misspellings or the inaccurate use of commas can entirely change the effect of Wills, meaning that your estate might not be left how you intended.

No consideration to Inheritance Tax

Without professional and legal advice, you may not consider the impact your Will has on your estate’s Inheritance Tax position.

This can mean that your estate has a larger liability to HMRC when you die, and ultimately your loved ones may not inherit as much as they otherwise could.

Are there any risks?

Yes! Your estate may be opened to legal challenges.

Legal professionals are well-versed in potential challenges to a Will and can advise you on how to reduce this risk.

Without this legal advice, you may be welcoming claims against your estate when you pass away, which can be expensive, time-consuming and emotionally draining for your family and friends.

Can these mistakes be rectified?

It’s hard to give a definitive answer on this, as this depends on the error itself.

However, if it can be resolved, it is almost always more expensive to correct mistakes after you have passed away than instructing a lawyer to draft your Will in the first instance. Ensuring your Will meets the necessary requirements and properly reflects your wishes will better protect your loved ones when you pass away.

For more detailed advice on preparing your Will, please contact our expert Wills, Trusts & Probate team on 01603 620508 or complete the enquiry form below.

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