DIY will kit

Creating a will is one of the most important legal tasks you’ll ever undertake. It’s your way of ensuring that your assets are distributed as you wish after your passing, providing for your loved ones, and leaving a lasting legacy. However, the rise of DIY will kits has made it increasingly tempting for people to cut corners and draft their own wills without the guidance of an experienced lawyer. While these kits may seem like a cost-effective solution, they come with significant risks.

What is a DIY will kit? 

A DIY Will kit is a simple and cheap option for creating a will. It’s a document that can be purchased at places such as post offices and newsagents and provides a simple outline for creating a basic will. Will kits are very straightforward compared to working with a lawyer and do provide an option for those who don’t have the funds available to hire a lawyer.

So what’s the problem?

DIY will kits lack professional oversight

The consequences of a poorly drafted will can be significant, and this is the main danger of creating a will with a DIY kit.  When your will is reviewed by a lawyer, you benefit from professional oversight and advice. A lawyer will ensure that the document is executed correctly and that it complies with all legal requirements.

DIY will kits do not offer this level of guidance, leaving you vulnerable to errors that could render your will invalid or subject it to legal challenges. If you need to create a will, we always recommend choosing a method that involves a lawyer reviewing your documentation. You can either draft your will alongside a lawyer or create a will online, choosing a provider such as APS Online Wills whereby a legal team is able to check your will before it is finalised.

DIY will kits don’t account for complex wishes

If your will is going to be complex, a DIY will can’t be tailored to your wishes. We always recommend working alongside a lawyer if you have complex matters to account for. This includes scenarios where:

  • You or your spouse have children from previous marriages or relationships
  • Any of your beneficiaries has a disability (either physical or mental)
  • Any of your beneficiaries is addicted to alcohol or other drugs
  • Any of your beneficiaries is in a financially risky business
  • Any of your beneficiaries is going through marriage or relationship breakdowns, or may do so in the future
  • You want your beneficiaries to only receive parts of their inheritance in stages as they reach certain ages

Is a DIY will kit right for you?

DIY will kits seem appealing due to being cheap and quick, however, the dangers and risks associated with creating your will without legal guidance are significant. To ensure that your final wishes are respected, that your loved ones are properly provided for, and that your estate is handled smoothly, it is crucial that you have a lawyer reviewing your documentation. This can be through a creditable lawyer supervised online will process or by working one to one with a lawyer to draft your will if it is more complicated.

Don’t leave your legacy to chance – consult a lawyer to create a will that truly reflects your wishes and protects your loved ones.

Learn more about APS Online Wills.

Written by APS Wills & Estates Principal Lawyer Phillip Lambourne

Phil is a lawyer with over 35 years of experience in private practice and over 25 years of experience in the trusts and estate planning area. As Principal Lawyer with APS Wills & Estates, Phil provides advice and prepares documentation in the areas of Wills, Powers of Attorney, Probate and Estate Administration for clients across Australia. He also provides clients with conveyancing and property law, commercial law and state tax advice services.

When Phil isn’t working, he enjoys spending time with family, reading new books, and watching new shows with some good scotch whisky, red wine and cheese. Phil also enjoys playing trombone in the Melbourne Lawyers Big Band!