Warning over DIY wills after families disinherit their children

Nicola Waldman, partner at Hodge, Jones and Allen, explains mistakes people often make with their wills. 

1. Not dealing with all of their assets – i.e. leaving their house to A and their car to B and not mentioning their bank accounts.

2. Referring to specific assets which might change by the time they have died e.g. ‘I leave my Mini to A’, but when they die they then own a Fiat?

3. Not getting the will signed and witnessed properly. To be valid the will must be signed in the presence of two independent witnesses, who must both be present when the testator signs. The witnesses then sign in the testator’s presence. If there is just one witness, the will won’t be valid.

4. Making amendments to the will after it has been signed and witnessed.

5. Forgetting to appoint executors – to deal with the administration of their estate.

What you need to know about wills 

If you want to understand more about what goes into the process of having a will written for you, read What I learnt when I got a will, where This is Money editor Simon Lambert describes the things he had to think about when he got his.

You can also listen to our special what you need to know about wills podcast episode here or using the player below. 

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