An increasing number of people are choosing to make their wills and estate planning provisions online. However, unless this is done with the advice and supervision of a specialist such as George Ide LLP, there are a great many potential pitfalls to taking this course of action. In some cases, wills may not be enforceable or planning arrangements could be too limited or informal to make any meaningful impact.
According to a 2013 survey by Northwestern Mutual, three in ten people have or are aware of a close friend or family member who has created a will or estate planning document online.
Although it might be said that to have an online document is preferable to having no form of arrangement in place, online documents can be a very risky strategy – however much cheaper they may be than the lawyer or solicitor-led alternative.
Wills, estate planning, and inheritance law is a complex area that can perplex and confuse the layperson. For example, a great deal of documents pertaining to these areas contain legalese (that is, language which is specialised and usually only decipherable to lawyers and related specialists). Where legalese is concerned, laypeople can easily become confused and fail to communicate their intentions.
Following the 2013 survey, one of its authors gave a pertinent example of the potentially confusing impact of legalese. “A friend of mine mistakenly disinherited her sons because she didn’t understand one legal phrase that appeared in her will. That’s why do-it-yourself estate planning scares me,” he said.
The future of your dependants and beneficiaries is contingent on the quality of your estate planning.
Talking to experienced and knowledgeable solicitors such as those at George Ide LLP in West Sussex can help you ensure that your wishes are carried out after death.
We understand all aspects of the law as it relates to the Wills Act, the Inheritance Act, the Mental Health Act, and other pieces of legislation, including those related to the Court of Protection, deputation, as well as lasting powers of attorney.
Please contact our Chichester team today for meaningful advice you can rely on.