Online Wills

You shouldn't ! - It's as simple as that !

Online Wills are the equivalent of factory farmed food – produced in high volume, frequently of poor quality, they meet only one requirement. They are cheap.

A Will is an individual, personal document to suit your particular circumstances and needs to be written with skill and precision in order to ensure that it does what you want, how you want it.

To do this adequately requires a face-to-face discussion to consider your wishes and circumstances and how they can be incorporated clearly whilst minimising administration, potential disputes and taxation.

More and more Wills are being contested as estates have increased with increases in property values and are now worth paying legal fees to fight over. A popular angle for lawyers to take when contesting a Will is to raise doubts over the circumstances in which the Will was made.

  • Whether the person making the Will understood it
  • Whether the person making the Will actually gave the information for the Will
  • Whether the person making the Will actually signed the Will

Clearly none of these points can be answered satisfactorily in a court of law if the Will was produced on-line. It is expected that Wills produced on-line will stand a greater chance of being contested (which will incur extensive legal fees) than those drafted by a professional who will make comprehensive file notes relating to the Will making process.

Questions need to be clearly defined and understood before they are answered.

For example:

  • If you were asked "how many children do you have?", would you know whether to include natural children, step-children, illegitimate children, foster children or adopted children ?
  • If you were asked to put an approximate value of your estate in order to minimise Inheritance Tax liability, would you know what to include, and what could be discounted ?

A wrong answer could make a total nonsense of the resulting Will, even though it could be valid and could have been checked by a lawyer.

Everything that you have worked for is covered by your Will.. Most people make or amend a Will infrequently so, when making purchases that are to last a long time (and maybe a lifetime) it makes no sense whatsoever to risk everything by cutting corners.

A qualified and experienced specialist is vital to the process. It is only through an in-depth discussion that you can be assured that your Will is appropriate to all of your individual needs and circumstances and most effective in limiting taxes and unnecessary legal costs.

People who should not consider making a Will on-line include:

  • People who want to exclude someone who might contest the Will
  • People who want to exclude one of the following (who all have a right to be included in a Will) from their Will:
    • A Spouse
    • A Former spouse who has not remarried
    • A Child
    • A Step child who is living with them
    • Someone who is financially dependent on them
    • Someone who has co-habited with them for at last two years
  • People who own a business
  • People who own property abroad
  • People who want to leave something to someone who is on state benefits or has mental or physical difficulties
  • People who have children from more than one relationship
  • Unmarried people with an estate greater than £325,000 and who want to minimise the amount of tax that their estate pays
  • People who are in a relationship where one of them has been widowed, they have a combined estate greater than £650,000 and they want to minimise the amount of tax that their estate pays
  • People who are concerned that if they leave their estate to their partner, their partner could subsequently re-marry and leave the estate to their new spouse.
  • People who are concerned that if they leave their estate to their partner, it could be used to pay for the costs of their partner’s care should they need Nursing or Residential care in the future.

To consult one of our members who can provide a bespoke Will following a meeting to discuss your own specific needs, please click here

To find the details of a member of the Institute who is local to you, use the contact information below:
England & Wales
0345 257 2570
0345 257 2670

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© Institute of Professional Willwriters (2017)