The High Court heard 368 probate dispute cases last year, up from 282 in 2017. It has been suggested that the reason for this increase is due to the growing popularity of DIY Wills.
A DIY Will is one which has been made without professional advice, usually at home in someone’s own handwriting or using a DIY Will kit. DIY Wills are definitely a cheaper option for making a Will, but unfortunately can lead to unforeseen issues and consequences as they are made with zero professional advice or guidance. These consequences could end up costing more and causing more trouble for the people you leave behind.
Invalid DIY Wills cases
One recent case involved a woman who provided her late sister’s Will which had been made using a DIY Will kit. Unfortunately, one of the witnesses was not independent. This meant that one of the beneficiaries named in the Will did not receive half of the estate as intended. Instead, 50% of the estate passed under the government’s intestacy rules and eventually passed on to distant family members who had not spoken to the late sister for many years.
Another example involved a man with his late mother’s DIY Will who unfortunately was told that it was invalid as it had not been made in the presence of two independent witnesses. This resulted in the previous Will taking effect which did not appoint him as an executor.
What can you do next?
A Will is an important document and should not be taken lightly. Without professional advice, it is possible that your estate may pass to people you did not wish to inherit or could lead to a costly and stressful family dispute.
If you are thinking about making a Will or have recently made a DIY Will and would like to seek expert advice, please do not hesitate to contact our Solicitor, Aalia Ijaz, in the Wills, Trusts and Probate team on 0161 475 1218 or email [email protected] to give yourself peace of mind.