The trouble with promises that are not recorded in writing by a professional is that it can be very hard to prove after the event that they were ever made.
A penniless Eastern European man who had made his fortune in his lifetime decided to make his own Will which meant that his £2.75 million estate may not have reached the beneficiaries he wanted them to on his death. The following case details the problems of making a Will without the proper legal advice.
It may seem tempting to get a ready made Will form from the internet or a shop so you can complete it without the need to consult a lawyer thereby cutting the costs, this may be somewhat short sighted however, as the following case in which a woman completed three forms without seeking any legal opinion shows.
Mental capacity is one of the considerations when a Will is determined to be valid, which is a good reason to make your Will as soon as possible with the help of a solicitor. The case of a man who left it until a couple of months before he died of cancer allowed an opportunity for his relatives to challenge the Will in the High Court.
Drafting wills may appear easy and many people are tempted to save a few pounds by dispensing with legal advice. However, as one High Court case clearly showed, the words used can have particular legal effects that could not be foreseen by a layman and a thorough knowledge of the law is therefore essential.