5 Reasons Why It Is A Bad Idea To Write Your Own Will

Wills, Estates and Probate


At DSL Law we receive many common questions about preparing Wills. We have prepared this brief overview of common issues with Wills, why you should have a Will, and why you shouldn’t write it yourself. Would you perform your own surgery, repair your own car, or install your own powerpoint? Doing things yourself can save you time and money in the short time but, has the real potential to result in long term expenses and consequences.

5 Reasons Why It Is A Bad Idea To Write Your Own Will


  1. You will need to ensure you control who your assets go to when you pass

This ensures you are able to make specific gifts when you pass. For example, you can leave a specific amount of money to a nominated individual, a specific property or possession to another and so on. You can further ensure that your estate is administered by the person/people you nominate and trust. If you die without a Will, your estate will be administered under the laws of intestacy, and you will have lost the ability to ensure your assets are divided in the way you wished.

2. Your homemade Will may not be valid

There are many reasons why a homemade Will may not be valid. There are very strict requirements in relation to the signing and witnessing of Wills. If your Will is not signed or witnessed properly it may render your Will invalid. Also, your Will may not sufficiently deal with all of your assets, and your estate will have to partly be dealt with under the intestacy laws. In this scenario, once again, your assets may not be dealt with in the way you desired.

3. Your homemade will is lost or cannot be located

When you engage a lawyer to draft a Will, they will usually hold the validly executed Will in their safe custody and provide you with copies and details of the firm, such as a business card, to provide to your executors. This ensures, as much as possible, that your executors know where your Will can be found once you have passed. If, however, your homemade Will cannot be found for any reason, for example no family members were made aware of the location of the Will, then your family will be put to much greater expense when it comes to the administration of your estate.

4. Homemade Wills typically only work in simple scenarios

Many people have special requests that are simply not catered for in the typical Will ‘kit’ or template. For example, you may own a business and wish to incorporate your business succession plan into your Will, you may have the need to appoint a guardian for your children or another dependent, or you may wish to establish a testamentary trust.

5. Remedying an invalid Will is time consuming and expensive 

If your Will is incorrectly written, a significant amount of your estate may be expended resolving the associated legal issues resulting from the incorrectly drafted Will. This means less assets will be available to be divided between the beneficiaries of your estate. Further to this, an incorrectly drafted Will and the associated legal problems create undue stress for your surviving family members, and this can lead to detrimental effects upon the relationships between your loved ones.

DSL Law’s solicitors are experts in preparing valid Wills. By engaging DSL Law, we will ensure your Will is validly executed and that your Will allows for your wishes to be carried out after you have passed. We can also help you structure your estate in line with advice from other professionals, such as financial planners, in order to achieve the best outcomes for your retirement, or any other life circumstance that is particular to you.