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Are DIY wills valid?(11 Posts)
DF wants to leave a couple of thousand pounds to my DC. He doesn’t own any big assets such as a house so he doesn’t want to spend money on getting a will made. So he’s bought a £1.99 DIY will from the post office. Are they valid? He insists they wouldn’t sell them if they weren’t.
My mother did a £15 will from WH Smith with and it was completely valid when she died. As log as all the correct signatories and such like are on, then they seem to be fine!
They can be valid but people using DIY will kits often make mistakes which cause problems when they die. It can be fine, but it can end up costing a lot more in legal fees than it would have to get a professional will written in the first place.
The most important thing is it’s signed and witnessed correctly.
He must sign it, in from of two witnesses.
The two witnesses must also do so, and they cannot receive anything at all from the will.
As long as this has been done correctly, he’s most likely safe. Freewills.co.uk is also really good, and also had good advice for a DIY will.
Solicitors make more money out of sorting out badly done home made wills than in doing proper wills
If it is properly witnessed.
My mum had a self-done will and it was accepted without problem by all the banks, but:
Her total assets weren't terribly high, they might have been more pernickety if there'd been a property at stake.
There was no complicated or unorthodox inheritance going on - I was the sole next of kin and the sole beneficiary. I would have inherited anyway without the will, it just facilitated things.
One of her witnesses was a legal secretary so had at least some background in how to draw up a simple will - enough to know what the witnesses had to do to make it valid. If it had been any more complicated she'd have done it officially through the witness's company.
People don't always follow the instructions properly. We had one where I worked where there was no executor appointed, and was a list of people and what they would inherit.
The person who was named to inherited the house (only asset) was appointed administrator. She wanted to keep the house and paid out all the small bequests for which there was no money, and the fees.
There was a lot of good will, and it ended well. Probably could have been done a bit better though.
a) The two most common problems are failure to execute properly, as explained above, and failure to create a "residuary" beneficiary - someone to whom "everything else" goes - which creates a partial intestacy.
b) Do not believe any legal advice on Mumsnet, including this post. The posts are nearly always wrong!
he must ensure that the two witnesses are present and see him sign the will and date it.
they must sign immediately afterwards, and date it.
must be same date, obviously.
this seems self-evident to me, but i have heard of ones where people have been called in after the will has already been signed. or forget to date their signatures.
if there is no real estate to leave it should be quite simple.
remember the witnesses must not have anything left to them, or be married to an inheritor. good luck.
maybe he should write out a rough draft first, leave it for a day or two, show someone independent/ trustworthy.
We had ours made with a solicitor and I was bitterly disappointed to find that I couldn't have clauses such as 'must live as a nun for a year' or 'have Forever Grateful to TwoLeftSocks' tattooed on their forehead.
You can't even insist that the will is read on a remote, storm-threatened island at midnight...
Could have saved a lot of money if we'd got a couple from W H Smiths.
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