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DIY and cut price Wills are gaining more media interest following the case concerning how a daughter had lost out on half of an expensive London home after her father completed a cheap £90 Will with Barclays, despite her father’s wishes for the daughter to inherit half of the house. 

Head of the Wills, Trust and Probate team, Christine Thornley, and Associate Solicitor in the team, Tasoula Crosby, were asked to give their comments on the ‘dangers’ of cut price will services in The Sunday Telegraph.

“We tend to think that we are immune to accident and illness, that it won’t happen to me, especially when we are young. But taking no action and avoiding those blunt conversations can result in devastating consequences, as I have witnessed many times,” says Christine.

Tasoula says, “There was one case when the DIY will only specified who the man wanted his house to go to. Therefore under the rules of intestacy, everything else, such as the content of bank accounts, went to all of the testator’s children equally. Including an estranged child the testator had not seen for many years and may not have wanted to benefit.”

Tasoula also provided a top 5 things to be aware of when making a will:

1. Make sure your executors are responsible people you trust and that they know where to find your documents

Most solicitors will provide storage for free, but check if there is a cost.

2. Be careful of the wording

A general gift to “my children” or “my grandchildren” will only apply to biological children or grandchildren, or those who have been legally adopted.

3. If you use a lawyer, meet them face to face – most offer no-obligation initial meetings

Raise honest personal concerns such as children who are bad with money- a solicitor can only advise you based on what you tell them.

4. Get the Will signed at the solicitor’s office

This ensures there is a record of the execution of the will and that this was done correctly. This is particularly important if family members are likely to cause trouble after your death.

5. Are there any immediate family members that you are not including as a beneficiary of your will?

Get proper advice to help protect your estate against possible claims following your death.

You can read the full article here: The Telegraph: How a cheap will can leave your family in ruins.