Making a Will online? Beware the risks
As consumerism drives onwards increasingly from behind computer screens, even the process of making a will can now be carried out from the comfort of one’s armchair.
While the low cost and ease of making a ‘DIY’ online will is appealing, there are inherent risks to be aware of when solicitors are not employed. Unfortunately, many such risks tend to manifest into problems only after the testator has passed away.
As an example, a widow dies leaving unequal amounts to her two daughters in a will made online. There is now the potential suspicion of undue influence on the mother.
Without the involvement of an independent solicitor, there is no guarantee that the will was correctly signed in the presence of two independent witnesses. The benefiting sister may be innocent but without a solicitor’s attendance notes documenting the reasons for the widow’s decision, she may struggle to persuade her sister of this.
Furthermore, unlike solicitors’ firms, online will writers generally do not have indemnity insurance to cover potential claims against the deceased’s estate. If a will has been incorrectly drafted or signed, there may be little recourse for the beneficiaries to be compensated for the loss caused to the estate.