Can I write my own will?

So, you know you need a will to ensure that your property passes to the people you intend it to when you die. The next question is whether you need a lawyer to help you prepare a will – or can you do it yourself?

There are a number of websites and do-it-yourself (DIY) will kits available out there. If you follow the instructions to the letter, then you’ll most likely end up with a valid will.
So, what are the risks of the DIY approach?

The first risk is that if you don’t follow the instructions correctly your will could be invalid. Wills are one of those documents that have to be prepared and witnessed in a particular way or they may be invalid or subject to a legal challenge. Wouldn’t it be better to make sure that a qualified lawyer makes sure that your will is correctly prepared and signed?

The second risk is that DIY Kits don’t always cover everything that you need to consider in your will – have you dealt with all of your property, appointed guardians for your children and made sure that your trusts have trustees after you die?

The third risk is not fully understanding what your obligations are to your family members under your will – for example, if you don’t want someone to inherit, you may need to give a reason for cutting them out of your will. Have you considered the possibility of a Family Protection Act claim from a family member after you die?

Finally, if you make your own will, who will you leave it with to give effect to it after you die? Will that person have to consult a lawyer anyway to administer your estate? Wouldn’t it be a good idea if the lawyer that administers your estate also has a connection with the person who has left the property behind?

So, yes, you can write your own will. But is that the best thing for your family who are left behind to administer it? Maybe not. Our legal team can provide you with advice on how to make your will specific to your requirements. So give us a call, we’d be happy to help.