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Can I Write My Own Will?

Updated: Sep 5, 2023

Writing your own Will might seem like a simple idea because after all, how difficult can it be? A Will is essentially an explanation of who you want your estate to pass to when you die.

Someone writing their own will

Making your own Will might seem like a simple idea because after all, how difficult can it be? A Will is essentially an explanation of who you want your estate to pass to when you die.

It is one of the most important documents that you will create in your life but if you keep it clear and simple it is easy to ask 'Can I Write My Own Will?'

How Hard Can Writing Your Own Will Be?

There are DIY kits and online Will writing services that are cheap and simple, and some claim that you can do it in a matter of minutes. No wonder they sound appealing. However, we are not saying that the process is long and challenging or should be expensive but what we do know is that it is one that requires expert advice, because you need to make sure that it is right.

What if my circumstances are straightforward?

If you are married or in a civil partnership and have children as it could be as simple as leaving everything to each other and then down to your children. Unfortunately this does not make writing your own Will any less risky. There is a risk that your Will could be invalid if you have not done things in a certain way and adhered to the strict legislation requirements that make it a legally binding document such as following the correct signing procedure and using the right witnesses. The terminology you use with a Will also has to be that recognised in legislation for example leaving all your ‘savings’ to a beneficiary is hard to interpret and could fail for being uncertain.

In most cases, the DIY forms are basic because they are designed to make things simple.

However, everyone has a different set of circumstances and that means that your Will might need to be more detailed and thorough. Therefore, a basic form might mean that you do not cover all of your personal circumstances. You are also getting no advice about how to structure your Will to ensure you are not missing out on valuable tax allowances and exemptions.

What about Saving Money?

There are many things in life where we need to call on expert help such as replacing a boiler or repairing your car; writing your Will is no different. Writing a Will that covers everything requires knowledge, insight and experience so, while you might want to save money, it might not benefit you in the long term. A simple Will should not be expensive to produce and, if you need more complex planning, this is quite often because your circumstances dictate that there are further important considerations for your estate planning. A good estate planner will be able to explain the benefits of having more complicated planning, the pitfalls of not following their advice and allow you to make an informed decision.

When Might Errors In My Will Come To Light?

Your Will is only called upon once and that effectively means that you don’t get a second chance to put it right when that time comes. If it is invalid or unclear then it could leave your family in the awkward position of having to sort out the complexities at a difficult time or not being able to legally follow your wishes. Writing a Will is an important task and you need to have the confidence that the document you have signed will achieve everything you want it to.

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