This is the fifth in our series answering common questions about Estate and Probate disputes.
I am often asked whether a “Homemade Will” is sufficient and whether it will “do the job”.
It is a question that both troubles and intrigues me.
- you prepare it correctly;
- the drafting is clear and unambiguous;
- it caters for various scenarios;
- it has been correctly executed; and
- it can actually be located after you die
then yes, maybe a Homemade Will is all you need.
Why I am intrigued by people asking me this question is because they seem to be oblivious to the consequences of getting it wrong.
Maybe I might be seen to have a vested interest, but in most situations, I recommend people see their solicitor.
In my opinion, the days of a “simple” Will (if they ever truly did exist) are long gone.
An effective estate plan will always involve a consideration of:
- how assets are held or owned;
- what obligations are owed to make proper provision for family members; and
- a beneficiary dying before you.
Sadly, I have seen all too often the costly consequences of errors where people have tried to do their estate planning without legal advice.
The costs of court applications to resolve uncertainties and to try to fix mistakes certainly far outweigh the “savings” of doing things yourself.