The process of writing a legal will may be fraught with obstacles. Making your own will online has devastating repercussions and consequences, especially during a difficult and emotional period. Making your will with the assistance of a lawyer gives you the assurance that your estate will be handled properly.
Unquestionably, making a legal will is crucial for two reasons. A proper will is crucial for protecting your estate and minimizing the inheritance tax that is passed on to your loved ones, in addition to providing financial protection. To make your own will online, however, you need proceed with care since if anything goes wrong, your intentions could not be carried out.
Is it legal to create your own will online?
It is permissible to create your own will online in England and Wales under the wills online Act 1837 as long as you are above the age of 18 and of “sound mind.” The will must be signed in your presence by two witnesses in order for it to be enforceable. Before the Covid-19 epidemic, seeing your witnesses in person was required for a will to be deemed legitimate. However, beginning on January 31, 2020, you may have your wills online witnessed through a video chat as part of social distancing and shielding measures, making the process of establishing a legally binding will entirely online.
Pros and Cons of Wills Online
The Advantages of Online Will-Writing
1. Accessibility and practicality
The availability of free online tools and templates is one of the key advantages of using an online will. You may easily take your time and write your own will during the present epidemic without having to leave your house. However, for privacy concerns, we advise accessing these websites with care.
You may write your own online will in as little as an hour, depending on how intricate your will is. If you choose, you can construct your will in less time. However, the better the will writing process, the more consideration and attention should be given to it.
If you’re on a restricted budget, creating an online will is a possible choice. Be cautious while using these tools however, since it might be difficult to draft a legal will online that accounts for every scenario.
Making your own will online should be an easy procedure if your will is extraordinarily basic. Although, once it goes beyond your spouse and children, your will may seem straightforward on paper. Without the proper legal assistance, it may be exceedingly difficult to draft a legitimate will. Even things that appear straightforward, like using the same color ink and proper syntax, are often missed and have disastrous results.
The Perils of Online Will Making
A will must adhere to certain legal requirements in order to be accepted as legitimate. You cannot have a beneficiary, a beneficiary’s spouse, or a family member witness your will, for example. Our lawyers have encountered instances where the testator—the person who created the will—had not signed it, and wills online in which a beneficiary’s gift failed because a shared property wasn’t taken into account.
Unintended tax repercussions
Wills online that are poorly written may subject your loved ones to double inheritance taxes or lose out on potential relief.
Care facility costs
The home is often someone’s lone or most valuable possession. A jointly owned home would immediately transfer to the surviving joint owner, and nothing could be done to protect the situation at that point. What happens, though, if the last remaining joint owner has to enter a nursing home? Making your own will online has the danger that it will not account for unforeseen events, such as the need to sell your property in order to pay for yearly care facility costs.
Subsequent marriages and increasingly complicated family structures
Some people mistakenly think that when a couple creates their wills online simultaneously, the survivor is required to obey them; this is untrue. After the first death, the survivor might modify their will and exclude the offspring of the first person to pass away. Or, they could get remarried and accidentally exclude the prior marriage’s beneficiaries. Getting legal counsel guarantees that precautions may be taken to avoid these circumstances from happening.
Unfulfilled gifts as a result of asset adjustments
Many homemade online wills make specified gifts of property that can have unforeseen consequences. For instance, giving someone a home as a present and not having one after they pass away. If the property was the primary asset, its absence from the estate upon death might significantly alter how the estate was distributed to the beneficiaries.
Recipients pass away before you
Online wills have the significant drawback of not accounting for what may happen if the intended recipient passed away before them. If somebody passed away in an unexpected sequence, you can have an intestacy and unwanted family members inherit your possessions.
Writing a Will with the Help of a Solicitor
Although the advantages of saving time and money when weighing the pros and disadvantages of online wills may seem alluring, it is difficult to draft a lawful will that adequately provides for your loved ones in every situation. When creating your own will online, exercise caution since any errors might prevent your will from being protected, governed, or carried out as you want.
For instance, when you have an unmarried partner, it is highly necessary to get legal counsel from a professional. A common-law spouse for unmarried couples does not exist in law. So, unlike couples, unmarried partners do not benefit from a unique inheritance tax treatment. When the home is the principal asset in your will, your common-law spouse may sometimes find themselves in a very challenging situation when the property passes to the survivor but there isn’t enough money to pay the tax obligation!
As shown, there are many more negative effects and hazards associated with creating your own will online than positive ones. By hiring a lawyer to draft your will, you may rest easy knowing that: anxiety and tension will be lifted; proper grammar and wording will be utilized; no mistakes or typical mistakes will be made; and your will be free of problems. The most crucial thing is that your preferences will be correctly carried out.