DIY will kits are very popular. In some cases they work as intended. In some cases not. They are certainly affordable to buy.
There are also free will templates available online. Some of these work well. Some not so well. Do you know which one will work well for your circumstances?
The real problem is that if you get the will even slightly wrong, you will not be here to fix the problems that have been created. So, you need to get it right the first time.
People who should NEVER use a will kit or DIY will include those who:-
- have blended families – this is because of the complexity of achieving what is perceived to be a fair distribution
- have to provide for people with special needs – to ensure the protection of that person’s inheritance by the use of a testamentary or disability trust
- have a risk that there will be a claim made on the estate – as there may be an opportunity to exclude assets from the estate or to otherwise minimize the risk of a claim (you cannot completely exclude the possibility of a claim)
- own a business or company – special provisions need to be made to ensure a smooth transition of ownership
- who have family trusts – special provision may be made for the ongoing management of assets in the trust.
As lawyers, Jankus Legal does not recommend that people use will kits. Of course, not everyone listens!
However, after you die if your will is challenged (for example because someone has been left out or not provided for properly), then it may cost the estate a considerable sum in legal fees to make things as right as possible. It may be that your wishes are never reflected in the distribution. Using a lawyer will reduce this risk. Alternatively, if the will is completely ineffective (for example because it has not been properly executed) the Public Trustee may be appointed to administer the estate. The Public Trustees costs are significant (click here for a peak!).
To find out how affordable it is to have a lawyer prepare your will, contact us to discuss your needs.
This article is not intended to be relied upon as a substitute for legal or other advice that may be relevant to the reader’s specific circumstances. If you have found this publication of interest and would like to know more or wish to obtain legal advice relevant to your circumstances please contact us.