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A law firm has launched a national campaign to warn people of the pitfalls of making a DIY will without the help of a solicitor.
The private client team at Clarke Willmott LLP has recently launched their ‘Good Will’ campaign, to urge people to seek legal advice when making their will.
Although it is estimated that 50% of UK adults do not have a will at all, lawyers at the firm say having a homemade will can actually be just as damaging, if not more so, to loved ones.
Georgia Collier, solicitor and private capital specialist, said that while homemade wills may seem like a cost-effective option, they may actually cause serious issues and even result in the beneficiaries receiving reduced sums in the long run.
“Homemade wills can appear attractive because of their nominal cost but upon your death your beneficiaries will need a solid document that is clear, structured and easy to adhere to rather than something that could be cause for disputes.”
“A professionally drafted will can also help to reduce inheritance tax as much as possible. Having a lawyer involved can also lessen the likelihood of disputes over capacity as this will be assessed and a medical opinion sought if necessary.”
Ms Collier also warned that inheritance disputes have been rising since 2015, as family structure and their estates become more complicated.
“Wills become furthermore complex when the estate is large or when blended families with complicated structures are involved; inheritance disputes have seen an upward trend since 2015.
“Essentially you have a choice – save money now with a DIY will, which will potentially prove more costly after your death either through legal involvement with variations, disputes or a will that does not protect assets as well as it could; or invest in a will now and make your executors’ lives easier on your death.”