Can You Create a Will at Home?

You may have seen many companies that promise you can create your Will in the comfort of your own home without the involvement of legal professionals and at a fraction of the cost. This may seem too good to be true – and it often is.  

DIY Wills

A Will is one of the most important documents you will ever write. It ensures your assets are protected and divided among your loved ones when you pass away. Without one, your wishes may not be followed. 

Many people do not prepare a Will because they fear it will be too expensive. In many cases, they turn to DIY Will kits, which offer a cheaper alternative to going to a qualified Will writer or solicitor. 

Wills are simple on the surface. You note down your wishes, where you want your assets to go, and then once it is signed in the presence of two witnesses, it is legally binding. However, there is much more to it than this, and DIY Will kits are often not enough for people with more complex needs.

Seek from professional Will writers like The Planning Bee if you:

  • Own property in a different country
  • Own a business that you are passing down to someone 
  • Have people who are financially dependent on you that are not your immediate family
  • Are looking to reduce your Inheritance Tax (IHT) bill

DIY Wills also come with significant risks. You are liable for any errors made in a DIY will, even when using a kit. These errors can cause significant problems when the estate is being administered after your death and can be expensive to resolve. A lot of the estate’s value can be eaten up by legal fees and taxes if the Will is found invalid, which can affect how much the beneficiaries inherit. It is estimated that up to 10% of the average estate could be taken by probate and other fees because of an ineffective Will. 

The witnesses are among the most significant issues when creating a Will at home. To ensure your Will is valid, it must be witnessed by two people, but they cannot be named as a beneficiary or married to the creator of the Will. This common mistake with DIY Wills can mean that the Will is found invalid and certain beneficiaries do not inherit. 

Going to a professional Will writing service is the best way to ensure there are no mistakes in your Will and that your assets will be distributed exactly as you want them to be. 

Passing Away Without a Will

If you pass away with no Will in place, this is known as dying intestate, and your estate will be distributed in line with the rules of intestacy. This means that your assets may not go to who you want them to and can be expensive for your loved ones to manage.

If you are married, your partner will inherit the first £270,000 of your estate and half of anything over that amount. Your children will be entitled to the rest. If you have no children but are married, your spouse receives all your estate. 

However, if you have a partner but are not married, your partner is not entitled to receive anything, even if you have children together. If you have children but no partner, your children will inherit everything, and it will be divided between them equally.

Creating a Will is essential if you want certain people to receive specific amounts or items. Without it, you have no control over where your assets will go, and people you didn’t name may inherit.

Creating a Will at Home

Despite DIY Wills not being the best choice, it is still possible to create a Will at home with The Planning Bee. As part of our professional Will writing service, we thoroughly check each Will and send each draft back to you for reviewing and amendments. 

Even if you have never made a Will before, we will walk you through the steps needed to get you started and create the Will you want. Getting started on your Will often requires a few things before we can move forward:

  • Evaluating your estate – you can get an idea of how much your estate is worth by listing your assets and any debts you may have. This can include your home and other property, savings accounts, insurance, pensions, and household contents. Getting your assets valued can ensure you divide your estate exactly how you want between your chosen beneficiaries. 
  • Deciding how you want to divide your estate – think about who you would like to inherit your estate and how much you would like them to have. You may leave them a specific gift such as a piece of jewellery, or you may want them to receive a certain percentage of your estate. Be sure to consider what you would like to happen if any of your chosen beneficiaries were to pass away before you. You can also leave donations to charity in your Will – just ensure that you include the registered charity number and full name and address, or your charity may not receive anything. 
  • Choosing your executors – executors manage your estate after you have passed away, and this role comes with a lot of responsibility. You can select more than one executor, and it is often good practice to choose two people so they can share the responsibility. You can also choose to employ a professional executor; although this can be costly, they will be paid out of your estate.

Once your Will is created and signed by you and the witnesses, you can rest easy knowing that your loved ones’ futures are secure after you pass away. 

Creating a Will at home with the help of a Will writing professional is efficient, cost-effective, and easy. DIY Wills are a cheap alternative but can cost hundreds of pounds more in complicated legal fees for your loved ones if they are found to be insufficient for your needs. 

Contact The Planning Bee to start writing your Will today. Our legal experts will ensure that your Will is secure, granting you peace of mind that your estate is firmly in your hands.

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