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Is a DIY Will worth it?

Jun 8, 2017

We have recently had a number of Estate matters in which the deceased has used a "Will Kit" or "DIY Will".  While these can work, the recent examples that we have seen have been good examples of why, for a relatively small outlay, having your Will done properly by a Solicitor can result in your Estate saving many thousands of dollars in unnecessary expenses.

Some examples of the types of errors or mistakes we have seen are:

(a)       Failing to have the Will properly witnessed.  There are specific rules that are required to be met in relation to the witnessing of Wills.  If these aren't complied with the Will could be void or someone who you wanted to receive a benefit may be denied it because of how the Will was witnessed.

 (b)       Not signing the Will at all.  Sometimes the DIY Will is completed but not signed for whatever reason.  It can then become a very expensive case trying to determine whether the Will was in fact intended to be the last Will of the person or whether it was just a draft or notes in preparation of making a final Will.

 (c)       Not including a proper or full residue clause which can result in part of the Estate not being distributed at all and the need to then revert to intestacy rules. 

Some might say that doing a Will Kit or DIY Will is better than doing nothing however as quite often happens with a Will Kit or DIY Will there is often ambiguity or mistakes made which can lead to disputes and a need to go to Court to have the dispute resolved.  The cost of getting the dispute resolved if the matter needs to be referred to the Court would cost a minimum of $10,000 to $20,000 and can often run into many tens of thousands of dollars.

Not only is there the monetary cost involved there is also a significant emotional and personal cost involved to those who have been left behind to deal with the mess.  We would suggest that for the relatively small outlay that you would incur in having your Will done properly by a solicitor a DIY Will is just not worth the risk.  

Speak to our experienced Estate lawyers on the Gold Coast about getting a legal Will made for you. It takes less time than you think, and the amount of stress it can save your loved ones in the future makes it even more worthwhile. You can read some of our Will & Estate FAQs or please contact us today.