DIY wills vs Instructing a solicitor
In today's digital age, there's no shortage of DIY solutions for various tasks, including drafting your own DIY Will . However, when it comes to something as crucial as safeguarding your legacy, the benefits of engaging a solicitor are undeniable. Here's why:
1 Expertise and personalised guidance
Drafting a legally sound and comprehensive Will requires a deep understanding of often complex laws. By working with a solicitor, who specialises in this area, you gain access to their expertise. In addition, family dynamics can be far from simple, therefore we can provide advice and a Will that reflects your personal circumstances.
Our expertise allows us to think about situations and scenarios that you may not have thought about. Again, this benefits you by ensuring your estate passes to the people that you want it to.
2 Unintended consequences
When preparing a Will, the most important thing is that you feel comfortable that your estate will be distributed in accordance with your wishes. You do not want to have a Will that has unintended consequences due to drafting errors or not fully understanding the impact of the law.
For example, say you had a step-grandchild that you wanted to benefit from your estate. Having a Will that simply states 'I give X to my grandchildren' would not necessarily include your step-grandchild unless it was carefully drafted.
Did you know that when you own a property as Joint Tenants, your property Will pass to the other owner(s) automatically regardless of the provisions of any will you leave?
Here at Wilkes, we examine your property title at HM Land Registry to ascertain the ownership and we advise you of the consequences of that ownership.
3 Mitigating risks and avoiding disputes
Solicitors at Wilkes not only specialise in Will drafting but also in estate administration. This in-depth knowledge enables us to anticipate potential pitfalls and prevent disputes before they arise. Will disputes are incredibly expensive, time-consuming and emotionally draining. We can advise on steps to be taken when preparing your Will to try and prevent a Will being challenged.
4 Tax planning expertise
Inheritance Tax and other tax implications can significantly impact the value of your estate. Solicitors specialising in private client matters are well-versed in these complexities. They can explore various tax planning strategies, ensuring that your wealth can be protected as far as possible to ensure that you can pass this on to the next generation.
5 Ensuring that you benefit the people you want to
Have you ever contemplated the scenario where you pass away before your spouse, and they subsequently remarry? What if, at that point, your spouse prepares a Will leaving their entire estate to their new partner, without adequately providing for your children? This is a genuine concern shared by many clients we encounter. While it is natural to want your spouse to benefit from your estate, it is also crucial to ensure added protection for your children.
A carefully drafted Will can ensure that you provide for your spouse, but at the same time, protect your assets for your children. Without the knowledge and drafting experience, it is unlikely that you will be able to achieve the same result with a DIY Will.
In conclusion, while the decision to instruct a solicitor for your Will may involve higher fees compared to a DIY approach, the long-term benefits far outweigh the initial cost.
By instructing a solicitor to prepare your Will, you gain peace of mind knowing that your Will is comprehensive, legally sound, and tailored to your specific circumstances.
This not only helps prevent costly errors or oversights that could invalidate your intentions, but it also ensures that your loved ones are provided for according to your exact wishes. Ultimately, investing in the expertise of a solicitor can potentially save you and your beneficiaries thousands of pounds in the future, while granting you the reassurance that your wishes are carried out precisely as you intended.