By Chris Milne – Director & Private Client Solicitor

During the last year, as a result of the pandemic, we at Onions & Davies have seen a sharp rise in the amount of people making Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney. Naturally, people are wanting to plan for what is a more uncertain future.

However, while we, as qualified, experienced Will makers, have been making an increased number of Wills, statistics also show that the number of people making homemade Wills has also risen.

Although, in theory, it is possible for you to make you own Will, the risks of getting it wrong are huge.

A Will must contain certain elements to be effective; gifts to beneficiaries must be expressed in the right way, otherwise they will fail; and there are specific requirements with regard to how Wills are signed. It is quite often the way in which homemade Wills are signed, that causes them to be invalid.

Even with validly made homemade Wills, there can be problems. For example:

  • A poorly drafted Will can significantly increase the complication and cost of dealing with the estate once the person has died.
  • Your Will may validly give your estate to your beneficiaries, but if the correct protective provisions have not been included, they could end up paying a lot more inheritance tax than they should have to.
  • Your Will may say that you would like your children to inherit your property, but if you have not taken into account the possibility that you might go into care before you die, there may not be any value left in your property for your Will to give.

There is a cost to making a Will with a properly qualified professional, but this is insignificant in comparison to the cost of sorting out an estate, a large inheritance tax bill, or losing your home to care fees.

For a free, no obligation discussion on what is involved in making a Will contact Sarah McDermott on sarah@onionsanddavies.co.uk or Chris Milne on chris@onionsanddavies.co.uk, or ring 01630 652405 and ask to speak to one of our Private Client team.