Homemade wills are dangerous and often cause problems, even where a person’s financial situation is straight forward.
Great care must be taken when making a will and then how it is handled following it’s signing. It is wise to have an experienced solicitor make your last will to ensure that your wishes and desires are spelt out clearly which will save potentially costly legal problems for your executors.
In order to be legally effective, it is important that your will is clear and unambiguous. Many homemade wills are oversimplified or have errors which creates problems when trying to interpret them years later.
Whilst making your will it is also wise to make an Enduring Power of Attorney and Advance Care Directive whereby you nominate someone to make legal, financial or medical decisions on your behalf should you not have legal capacity to do so.
The will must be kept in a secure safe and great care must be taken to preserve its original condition. Removing a staple or otherwise marking the will can cause problems down the track as its validity may be questioned.
The Probate Registry will require an Affidavit of Plight and Condition to be satisfied as to the validity of the will if there is any damage or alteration made to it. Most solicitors will hold original wills in their safe for no additional fee and provide their client with a copy only. In this case it is essential that family members know where the original will is kept.