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Murray Beith Murray is a leading Scottish private client law firm.

For over 170 years we have specialised in meeting the legal, financial and administrative needs of individuals and families, family trusts, charities and private companies.

The dangers of writing your Will online

A market leading online Will writing service announced earlier this year that they aim to secure a 10 per cent market share of all the Wills written in Scotland by the end of 2019.

The service currently claims to be responsible for producing one in thirty of new Wills written each year in the UK, alluring in new clients with the ability to draft a Will online often for a very low fee.

While there may appear attractions of this type of service, the benefits stop there, with clients of the service facing high risks of not having their Will drafted by experienced lawyers.

You get what you pay for

Wills require a high level of detail and legal language to ensure they serve their intended purpose. Lawyers will know the importance of including specific wording to cover all eventualities - what happens if a legacy fails; when will children be able to inherit a legacy that would have gone to a parent; and when might it be suitable to include trust provisions? These are all questions a competent lawyer would ask themselves when drafting a Will for a client. However, these are not things you can guarantee will be thought about when completing a Will online.

Meeting with your lawyer to discuss your testamentary intentions is the only way of ensuring that your wishes are properly put onto paper. Poorly drafted Wills can mean your assets are not distributed as you intended or lead to parts of your estate being left to the rules of intestacy. This means that your assets will be distributed under the default laws - rather than going to the people you had wished them to go to. 

Avoid paying excess Inheritance Tax on death

When discussing your Will, it is also important to consider other aspects of estate planning. Inheritance Tax planning is an important consideration when putting in place a Will. Lawyers carefully draft clauses within Wills, in order to mitigate paying excess Inheritance Tax.

Furthermore, charitable clauses can be drafted which result in tax savings. Providing that a sufficient proportion of your estate goes to charity, the overall inheritance tax charged on the remainder of your estate decreases. 

While you may pay a higher cost up front to have expert advice on these tax planning aspects than you would when writing your Will online, your professionally drafted Will may well save your loved ones a financial headache later in life.

Don’t risk it

The risks faced by completing your Will online hugely outweigh the benefits. Wills completed online risk being ineffective both in implementing your wishes and also financially. Having a professionally drafted Will is the only way to ensure that your estate will be dealt with as you intended once you are gone.

Specialist Wills Solicitors, Edinburgh

Our personal, attentive service coupled with sage, astute and commercially-minded guidance allows us to build long-term, ongoing relationships with our clients, helping them to protect assets throughout generations. We clearly outline the implications from initial contact, helping to dispel the mystery behind the law and legal process. Our highly personal service reflects our culture, which is centred on integrity and trust, and the expert guidance we provide has been designed to be an investment, not an expense. For more information, please contact us today.

Registration and protecting valuable land rights.
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