Although it can be tempting to make a Will online due to the ease of access and low price point, the consequences of doing so can be expensive should the Will be subject to costly litigation and strained relationships between your loved ones when you are gone.
Such risks have recently been highlighted in the case of singer-songwriter Aretha Franklin, who failed to leave a properly drafted and executed Will for her family when she died in 2018. Since her death, her family has been in a continuous legal battle amongst themselves about a handwritten Will that was found, created by Franklin in 2010.
However, last week, on the 11th of July 2023, an American jury determined that another piece of paper, discovered by Franklin’s niece in the late singer’s sofa and written in 2014, should be deemed the valid Will in this case.
Controversy surrounding Aretha Franklin’s estate, worth approximately $10 million at the time of her death, could have been prevented should she have written and executed a Will following the appropriate legal procedures.
Making a Will Online
As highlighted and promoted on the popular daytime TV show Loose Women on 12th July 2023, it is possible to make a Will online for as little as £39.95. Jane Moore, a panellist on the show, said she had done so herself. Furthermore, Coleen Nolan jokingly expressed her dissatisfaction with a solicitor who she believed had overcharged her for drafting a Will. She light-heartedly warned that the solicitor should have their own Will prepared as she was now seeking retribution.
During the same segment, Nolan shared the worrying statistic that approximately 1/3 of UK adults do not have a Will; however, they failed to share the dangers of writing one without the support of a legal professional.
Although, understandably, the idea of creating a Will quickly and cheaply using a widely available online form is appealing, doing so may leave your estate in a worse position than if you died without a Will.
Why should I create a Will?
You should consider your Will as protection for the future of your family and loved ones; therefore, investing your time and some money in a solicitor is greatly beneficial. You can be sure that having sat down with a trusted legal professional and discussed your personal circumstances, property and finances; you will be left with a Will that is comprehensive, accurate and executed according to the relevant legalities.
By doing so, when you die, it is less likely that your loved ones will dispute the decisions you made in your Will, meaning that your estate is distributed entirely according to your wishes.
In addition, it is important to remember that even if your circumstances change, you can update your Will – it is not set in stone. Updating your Will, when necessary, helps to ensure that your loved ones are always protected.
Read the answers to some Frequently Asked Questions about Wills here.
Solicitor for Will Writing Near Me
At Langley Wellington, we have a dedicated private client team on hand to assist you in creating, amending and executing your Will. All circumstances are unique, so even if your estate is not worth as much as Aretha Franklin’s, there are many ways in which we can support you in dividing your assets and finances according to your wishes.
This blog is not intended to be taken as advice or acted upon. If you are seeking legal advice, please get in touch with our team of solicitors.