DIY wills and their hidden risks
With the overall cost of living on the rise, it is understandable that many people will opt for the cheaper option of a DIY will kit, which can be purchased at your local post office.
However, while well intentioned, DIY wills may be more risky and more costly than you think.
Here are some common risks associated with preparing a DIY will:
Confusion during probate
When you pass away, the first job for your executor is to apply for probate, which will allow them to access and distribute your assets as you intended. Probate requires the Supreme Court to prove that the will meets formal legal requirements, including confirming that it was signed and witnessed correctly to show that the correct person created and signed the document.
Unfortunately, it is common for DIY wills to fail to fulfil the requirements of a legally binding will, meaning the court must determine the will’s validity and how it is to be interpreted. In the case of an invalid or unclear will, it may mean that your wishes are not adhered to, and your executor will be faced with the additional time and financial costs of proving your intentions.
Allegations involving a deceitful relative or a person in a position of trust pressuring you into making a will, or not comprehending your genuine desires, have the potential to create tension in relationships, regardless of the validity of these suspicions.
Moreover, it’s essential that the individual creating a will was fully aware of and in agreement with the details within it. This encompasses a clear understanding of how their choices will impact the outcome, thus guaranteeing the alignment of the will with their authentic intentions.
Confusion about assets
DIY wills may lead to ambiguity regarding the assets that can be addressed through the will itself and those that require supplementary documentation for handling. This includes assets like superannuation, jointly owned properties, and assets held within family trusts.
Lost or misplaced wills
Will documents created personally are frequently kept within one’s residence and are susceptible to being inadvertently lost, misplaced, or intentionally damaged by individuals who object to the provisions or stand to gain from the estate under intestacy regulations.
Creating your will with Nevile & Co. brings the additional benefit of secure document storage in our deed packet facility, so you can rest assured that your Will is safe for when your loved ones need to access it. Additionally, your will is only provided to those who are able to prove their identity and reason for requiring the will, so only relevant people will be granted access.
To create a valid will, contact Nevile & Co.
Disclaimer: This publication contains comments of a general and introductory nature only and is provided as an information service. It is not intended to be relied upon as, nor is it a substitute for specific professional legal advice. You should always speak to us and obtain legal advice before taking any action relating to matters raised in this publication. •