Cheap DIY Wills linked to increase in expensive probate disputes

Posted on Tuesday June 11, 2019

Jeffrey Cohen

The use of DIY Wills has been linked to the number of contested probate cases coming before the High Court.

Last year, the High Court heard 368 contested probate cases, up from 282 in 2017 and 227 in 2016.

Jeffrey Cohen of Mackrell Turner Garrett commented that: “Cheap DIY Will templates are luring people into making Wills that miss out key information, contain numerous errors and do not comply with the legal requirements for making a valid Will, and contain ambiguities because of the lack of correct legal language.

“This has led to an increase in contested probate matters, which could have been avoided if appropriate legal advice had been obtained and the Wills had been drafted by a suitably qualified solicitor. Drafting a Will requires specialist knowledge and experience.”

Christina Blacklaws, President of the Law Society, said: “With the range of different estates and circumstances that exist, it is vitally important that people consult a professional when writing their Wills. Probate law is complex and DIY Wills can easily contain mistakes, which render them invalid or difficult to administer.”