Making a will is one of the most important things that you can do. Without leaving a last will and testament, families can suffer from added complications and expense as the estate goes through the courts' time consuming intestacy procedures. Making a will is the one sure way of guaranteeing that your last wishes will be carried out and that those who you wish to benefit from your assets are certain to do so.
Deciding what happens to your assets when you are gone is a process that requires a lot of thought, preparation and planning - after all you are making decisions that can have a major impact upon your loved ones when you die. Although there is a trend in modern times for increasing numbers of people to make online wills, this is not a course of action to be recommended.
It is a fact that these days, more wills are being contested than ever before as the rise in property values means that it is now worth the expense of engaging a solicitor when there is a chance of benefitting from valuable assets. Solicitors are more commonly using a range of arguments to prove that the person who signed the will either failed to understand the document, did not supply the relevant information or did not even sign the will itself. These arguments are all too easy to put forward in the case of an online will.
When you visit a solicitor to draw up a will, as well as the resulting legal document there is also substantial amounts of information and evidence left on your case file. This means that anyone contesting your will would find it difficult to persuade the court that the document was not your true intention.
Online wills are open to interpretation and may therefore be inadvertently drawn up incorrectly. Some questions can be difficult to understand fully - for example you may underestimate the value of your estate or struggle to answer queries about your children in complex family situations where step children or fostered children may be a consideration. It is for these reasons that a discussion ought to take place with a qualified professional before drawing up a will, and only then can you rest assured that all of your needs are being met and any inheritance tax will be limited.
An online will is entirely inappropriate in a number of circumstances. If, for example, there is someone that you specifically wish to exclude from your will, you run the risk of having your will contested without professional help. If you own property in another country, have your own business or have children from several relationships, you should also seek a solicitor's assistance. Others who should talk to a lawyer include those who are unmarried with a valuable estate and who wish to minimise inheritance tax and those who are concerned about what may happen to their estate if a partner remarries or has to receive full time care.