Inheritance Tax: You could be putting your finances at risk through a DIY Will – check now | Personal Finance | Finance
Inheritance can be a lengthy and drawn out process if it is not administered correctly, often creating additional stress at a time which can already be upsetting. This issue can be exacerbated, however, by a Will which is unclear, complex, or simply altogether invalid. Writing a Will oneself is becoming a more popular practice, however, experts are warning of the dangers of this approach.
Roger Peacock, Legal Counsel at ZEDRA, commented on the issues which could potentially arise.
He shone a spotlight on the complications which could ensue, potentially leaving all distressed by the outcome.
Mr Peacock said: “While a DIY Will may seem attractive, it is a risky approach to take with something so important.
“When errors are made or the strict witnessing rules are not followed correctly, your Will can be deemed invalid upon your death and the implications can be serious.
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Although this appears easy and hassle-free, it is the implications after a person dies which experts are drawing attention to.
And there may be a myriad of concerns which could pop up after it is too late to do anything about them.
Mr Peacock continued: “Coming to terms with your death, and dealing with your affairs is a heavy burden for your loved ones to carry .
“A long drawn out probate process can also mean your loved ones don’t even benefit from your wishes because your legacy has been eaten up by legal fees or unnecessary tax payments.”
The expert highlighted there are a wide range of cases where issues have arisen following a person’s death which means their finances could be at risk.
For example, one person writing their Will appointed themselves as an executor – a huge issue, given the executor is the person who is required to deal with the estate after a person’s death.
Indeed, another issue occurred when a person created a trust, seemingly by accident, which could mean money is not accessible for a longer period of time.
Unfortunately, there is also the issue of Will disputes, which may turn acrimonious after a person’s death.
Sometimes family members or friends will disagree with a person’s last wishes, but an airtight Will means there will be no room for lengthy arguments about an estate
As a result, then, Britons are being encouraged to turn their backs on the idea of a DIY Will.
Instead, enlisting the services of a professional Will Writer could be the best action to avoid unnecessary heartache and additional costs later down the line.
Mr Peacock concluded: “A professional Will Writer takes the time to review your circumstances to ensure your Will fully meets your needs.
“A professional Will Writer can check you understand the potential implications of the gifts you are intending to make under the terms of the Will.
“They also draft the Will using carefully chosen legal wording that has stood the test of time for hundreds of years.”