LawTalk Blog

Don’t believe the hype about Free Will Kits

The danger of Free Will Kits

Buy some insurance and get a free Will Kit! Want some fries or a free hearing aid with that free Will Kit? No problem!

Well, yes there most likely will be a problem; particularly if you don’t fill in the Will Kit form correctly. The problem will be left for your family and loved ones to sort out and could cost them and/or your estate many thousands of dollars in doing so.

“But what’s the problem” you say? “It’s just a simple, straightforward Will…” That may be so, and in many cases there won’t be a major problem with the Will, provided that:

  • you follow the instructions in the form carefully and thoroughly;
  • you ensure you comply with the Wills Act;
  • the Will later withstands close scrutiny by the Probate Registry at a future time when you’ve left this mortal coil;
  • you’re fully aware of absolutely everything you should consider prior to making your Will;
  • the Will by its language or content does not invite (or even tempt) a person to make a claim against your deceased estate when you die.

Speaking from over 15 years’ experience in this area of the law, I can honestly say that I’ve seen my share of sub-standard home-made Wills; many of them prepared via Will Kits. Rarely have I seen one that is devoid of mistakes or irregularities. Despite the Will maker’s best intentions, and no matter how articulate they may be, they inadvertently get it wrong all too often.

Plain English drafting and removing legal jargon wherever practicable should be commended. But the language of the law is not just there to ‘look fancy’ or keep lawyers and judges employed; but rather it serves a useful purpose. Namely, it expresses and articulates a legal document as precisely and concisely as possible, whilst minimising the possibility of it being left to competing interpretations.

A lawyer worth their salt will know what words to use and how to string them together. This comes with legal training and experience, something that the average punter may lack. Would you go to a mechanic to get your aching wisdom tooth fixed? As the saying goes, if a job’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right.

See a Wills and Estates lawyer about your Will. Yes, it will cost you more in the short-term but could potentially save you or your family a whole lot more in the longer term if the Will is challenged or fails to stand up to scrutiny.

Many reading this blog may be cringing. After all, these home-made Wills generate a lot of court work and thus $$$ for lawyers! So why discourage you from making them? Well, to be honest, we would love to have you as our client but for all the right reasons! Get your Will done right and avoid sending your family down the legal gravy train, not to mention to personal stress and strain a contested Will can place on your loved ones.

Stop writing your Will on the side of that elusive cow or coaster and fold up your Will Kit. Speak to one of our Wills and Estates lawyers about your particular will needs today or get in touch directly with me, Errol Kaplan.

Enjoy this article?  Want to see more blogs from Errol?

Please note, this Blog is posted in Adelaide, South Australia by Andersons Solicitors. It relates to South Australian legislation. Andersons Solicitors is a medium sized law firm servicing metropolitan Adelaide and regional South Australia across all areas of law for individuals and businesses.

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