Creating your own will on the internet may seem like a cheap and effective way to get your affairs in order. But in reality, it is not as simple as it seems and there is no substitute for proper advice from a qualified lawyer, no matter how straightforward you think your affairs are.

If your will isn’t done currently, it can be financially and emotionally draining for those you leave behind should a home-made will go wrong. There are plenty of examples of this happening, it even happened to car-racing identity Peter Brock’s family which lead to a legal dispute over assets

Let’s look at the top five reason why you should seek legal advice to prepare your Will:

1. Your affairs are more complex than you think

Drafting a Will can be complicated, no matter the size of the estate. Nearly all of us have superannuation but this isn’t automatically dealt with in a Will. Put young children into the equation and more intricacies are involved.

2. Your words can be misconstrued

Using your own words rather than legal terminology might create ambiguity.

3.  More control over your wishes

Allegations of duress or mental incapacity in relation to you after you die will generally be more difficult to rebut if a qualified lawyer has not been engaged in the will-making process.

4. Your beneficiaries may be better off

A properly drafted Will can create tax and asset-protection advantages for beneficiaries. A Will prepared by a solicitor is the best way to ensure your estate is divided according to your wishes rather than the fallback statutory rules of intestacy. Home-made Wills can result in the executor of your estate applying to the Supreme Court to determine your true intentions at the time of making of your Will.  Your estate would be reduced by legal costs.  In a worst-case scenario, a Will prepared incorrectly by yourself would be invalid leaving you with no Will and having died intestate.

5. Looking after your business affairs

The stress caused by you dying intestate would be even more acute if you are a sole director and/or shareholder of a company. Your company would be unable to trade whilst there is no director and it could take some months before the Supreme Court grants letters of administration for someone else to manage the estate.  In the meantime, staff and suppliers may not be paid and the value of the company will be less than if its trading was uninterrupted.

How MBA Lawyers can help

There are numerous types of Wills and they vary depending on the testators needs.

MBA Lawyers can draft simple Wills however generally suggest to clients that it is best to have more a complex Will with the inclusion  of a testamentary trust for beneficiaries, even if the estate is modest.

Using a lawyer to prepare your Will and advise on your estate planning is a small price to pay to protect your wealth and ensure your wishes are adhered to after you pass away.

Contact MBA Lawyers Partner Matt Windle to discuss your affairs today matt.windle@mba-lawyers.com.au or download our Estate Planning Guide to get your started.