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DIY Wills linked to rise in inheritance battles

DIY Wills linked to rise in inheritance battles

DIY Wills are helping to fuel the increase in the number of families ending up in bitter and expensive inheritance disputes, new research shows.

Although an online DIY Will can seem like a good, money saving idea at the time, it can carry a disproportionately high price tag if it turns out later to have been drawn up with mistakes and is declared invalid.

Perhaps influencing the decision for some to make a DIY Will is a decline in the availability of law firms offering Will writing services, a drop of 8% between October 2020 and October 2023, according to IRN Legal Reports.

Wards Solicitors maintains one of the most respected teams of Wills and Probate lawyers in the South West with a team of 30 legal experts.

We are on hand to advise in person and ensure your Will is safe, effective, correctly drawn and that it puts you in control of the final destination of your estate.

Why are DIY Wills contributing to the growing number of inheritance battles?

Will making is not always straightforward. Family set-ups and blended families can be complicated and the legal process for correctly drawing up a Will is strict.

For example, if your will is not signed or witnessed correctly, your estate may end up being treated as if you had died without making a will at all. This is called dying intestate and means your estate is left to your next of kin in a fixed order, decided by the government and not necessarily as you wanted.

Family disputes over wills, already growing in number according to the Ministry of Justice, are expected to rise still higher with the popularity of DIY wills considered one of the factors in the increase in court cases.

In addition, most people don’t know that the DIY will market is unregulated. This means you have nowhere to go for redress if something goes wrong. There are also often hidden costs, like being charged an annual fee for storage, something Wards Solicitors does not do.

Why should I make my Will with a qualified solicitor?

A correctly drawn up Will is an inexpensive way of avoiding difficulties in the future for your family and friends after your death. Making your Will as robust as possible is important just in case it is challenged in the future.

Our specialist Wills and Probate solicitors are all highly experienced. Many are members of The Association of Lifetime Lawyers (formerly Solicitors for the Elderly) and the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP). Both organisations require the highest standards from its members with proven qualifications and experience.

We can review your DIY Will with you, free of charge, and advise you how to amend it if necessary to protect your wishes and explain wealth preservation measures you can take.

We can also help you make a new Will.

Get in touch

Wards Solicitors is recommended as a South West Leading firm in the Legal 500 list for 2024, praised for its exceptional professional service standards and high levels of technical expertise.

Our Wills and Probate team is one of the largest in the region and vastly experienced. All our lawyers have extensive and specialist knowledge of Will writing.

We offer a free initial appointment for you to discuss what you need and always provide clear cost details up front before starting any work.


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