DIY Wills – if you think you’re getting a good deal, think again.

DIY Wills can be very expensive.

A recent Queensland Court of Appeal case, Masci v Masci [2015] QCA highlighted a family legal dispute arose over a DIY Will and the intentions of the deceased will-maker. This case highlights the risks of Estate Planning without seeking professional legal advice and relying on DIY Will kits that do little to explain the legal process to the Will maker.

The Court proceeding lasted three-and-a-half years and the costs associated with the proceedings were far more greater than the cost of a lawyer providing legal assistance at the time the Will was being drafted. The case serves as a warning regarding DIY wills.  This case in particular highlighted problems that could have been avoided by the help of an estate planning lawyer at the time of making the Wills providing advice to:

  1. Sever Joint tenancy; and
  2. Draft the Wills thereafter.

If you do not seek legal advice during a Will drafting process, this can often result in a multi-partied dispute and lengthy and costly court proceedings to discern the intentions of original will-makers, as well as the rights and interests of the succeeding parties to the Estate.

A full summary of the case regarding DIY Wills, can be found here.

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