We all love a bargain. However, for every excellent purchase, if we are to be honest, there are as many times when we have bought goods which are sub-standard.
The simple fact is sometimes you have to pay for the quality of a job done well.
Unfortunately, in the law profession, we have substandard goods being peddled in the form of cheap wills totally inadequate for purpose.
They are causing terrible problems and the public need to be made aware.
Perfectly illustrating this is the case of someone who is seeking hundreds of thousands of pounds compensation, claiming one provider’s will-writing service resulted in losing a stake in an expensive London property.
We wish we could say cases like this are isolated, but they are not.
Poorly drafted or ineffective DIY wills are at the very least to blame for a prolonged probate ordeal for around 38,000 families a year.
Wills have become increasingly complex due to modern family structures and have to be drafted in a way where there is no ambiguity, and this can only be done by a legal professional who knows how to do this, and has taken time to find out exactly what a person wants their will to detail.
In the case above, court documents detail how, in 2007, a family member instructed half of the home to be given to another family member on his passing. However, the property was owned jointly. Due to the joint ownership, on the owner’s death in 2014, the property in its entirety went to the wife, contravening the wishes spelt out in the will.
It is claimed the will provider neglected to sever the joint tenancy agreement. If they had done this it would have enabled half of the property’s value to pass as instructed.
Mistakes in cheap wills happen many times and often we get asked to look at them. It really is quite alarming.
Everyone knows how important a will is, so it is vital they make one properly and ensure that it is revisited periodically, so they know that it is kept up-to-date.
The heartache that we have seen because of poorly drafted wills is enormous. Families can be ripped apart and all because of something that is quite cheap in the big scheme, being undercut by bargain bucket prices where the emphasis is on quantity and not quality.
However, we hope this tale will make everyone who reads it realise that a will is not something you can compromise on.
A cheap will’s problems are only found out when it is too late. We urge you to make sure you don’t leave your family picking up the pieces after you have gone.