DIY Will Kits & “Free Services”
Recently due to the pandemic there has been a large spike in those purchasing DIY Will Kits and Online Will Services.
Although it is great that people are taking the step to prepare and protect their assets you need to be mindful of the risks and complications that could arise using some of these platforms.
We wanted to outline a few of the most common issues we come across using these services to create your Will.
Some providers advertise that they offer Wills “free of charge.” Make sure to do your research as many of these free services in return want control of the administration of your estate and may take a percentage of your entire estate (up to 4.4% in some cases) at the time of your passing.
DIY Will Kits
DIY Will kits are sold across many post offices and News Agency around Australia between $30 – $50.
The most common mistakes made with DIY Kits;
Many people who purchase a Will Kit never actually finish it. This is because there are quite several questions asked and unfamiliar terms to look up and decisions to make, and most people start it and then put it away in their bottom drawer without finishing it.
There is also a risk from not having the legal knowledge on how to draft a Will. Ordinary words like ‘trust,’ ‘property,’ and ‘benefit’ can have precise meanings in law. It is very easy for someone writing their own Will to make a mistake if they are unsure of the legal terminology used and the meanings.
Signing of a Will
A Will won’t be valid until it is properly executed (signed), and there are many requirements in doing this correctly to ensure that your Will is authentic and valid. If this is not done correctly, your Will could be found a void in a court of law.
When signing your Will, legislation states that at the time of signing you must be in the presence of at least two witness at the same time to make the Will legally binding. In many DIY Will kit cases, this is a step that is often missed and not witnessed correctly, causing it to become an informal Will.
Once your Will is completed, there are strict rules in which you have to store your will and keep it in a certain condition. Any damages that may occur on your will could cause major issues when your Will comes into play.
DIY Will kits can become risky when creating your Will. Making the slightest mistake could end up costing thousands later and force your loved ones into a lengthy legal battle in court to fight for your wishes.