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  • Writer's pictureAnna Kmiec

The pitfalls of Do-it-yourself and online Wills

Over recent years, the trend for do-it-yourself or using online will writing companies has increased. Buying a DIY kit from WHSmith or Rymans might seem appealing, but it is very often a false economy and easily results in either a document not doing what you intended it to do or being completely invalid.

An experienced will writer or lawyer will ensure your wishes are reflected and they can also advise you on any inheritance tax issues and how any liability can be reduced. They will also make sure the will is written in a tax-efficient way, ensuring any exemptions able to be claimed on death are not lost because of poor wording.

If your will has been improperly worded, it may be that not all of your estate is covered. In these cases, a partial intestacy will have occurred and the rules of intestacy will apply. This could result in those inheriting part of your estate where otherwise they would have received nothing.

Another problematic area is that of execution. This relates to the signing and witnessing of the will. Wills must be signed in a particular way; for example, a witness cannot be a beneficiary in the will otherwise it will be deemed invalid. Getting professional advice will help you avoid all these issues.

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