Cheap DIY wills can come with significant traps

Friday March 11th 2022

COVID has been a boon for online wills due to the difficulty of visiting a lawyer, financial planner or accountant. However, when the times comes to action a will, if it has not been prepared with due consideration of all of aspects of that individual’s life, the risk of costly family disputes is real.

AFR article on Estate Planning by Duncan Hughes, 28 April 2021, outlines some of the traps that can occur with DIY wills.

  • Every person’s situation is different which is why their will must be tailor-made to their unique circumstances.
  • If the will is missing key areas of consideration and/or has errors, the stress of family disputes as well as the cost of legal intervention can be significant.
  • If ‘blended families’ are involved, it is important that person’s intent is clear within the will.
  • Complex property laws, tax implications, and the growth of trusts mean many people do not understand what they legally own and can bequeath
  • There are growing concerns around online coercion or elder abuse because of age or language barriers.
  • The will must be witnessed and signed correctly, and previous wills revoked which during COVID may not have been correctly done, and therefore its legality may be questioned.

Yodal provides a secure, intuitive Estate Planning platform that is all about your client and their wishes. It ensures that the right questions are asked early and considers all documentation needed well before starting to write the will. It also means that as their financial planner or accountant you are fully across their wishes providing them with a total financial strategy. The will produced using Yodal is viewed by a lawyer, before ensuring it is witnessed and signed resulting in a legally binding document.

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