The Curse of the DIY Will


Homemade Wills are a curse” – This was the opening remark in a recent judgment of an Australian Will dispute case…

At Southern Waters Legal we agree! Unfortunately we see first hand the expensive mess left behind when people attempt a DIY Will. Homemade Wills often cause significant delays in beneficiaries receiving their inheritance, drawn out expensive litigation and family disputes.

The judgment continued:

  • “All of this could have been avoided if the testator had consulted a lawyer and signed off on a will which reflected his wishes; and
  • There is no question but that engaging the services of a properly qualified and experienced lawyer to draft a will is money well spent”

One of the most famous examples of this issue was the disaster that arose after racing car driver Peter Brock attempted his own DIY Wills.

Why should you seek proper Estate Planning advice?

  • Ensure that all your assets are distributed and protected as per your wishes. Did you know that your Will does not automatically covered your superannuation?
  • Strict formalities must be met to ensure a Will is validly executed. Did you know witnessing a Will as a beneficiary may exclude you from benefiting under the Will?
  • Have control over excluding certain people from inheriting from your estate. Did you know there are steps you can take to reduce a successful claim against your estate?
  • Make informed decisions about your Estate Plan. You will make informed decisions about your Estate Plan once you have received proper Estate Planning advice.
  • Avoid costly litigation and delay. A person could have several Wills professionally prepared for a fraction of the cost that could be imposed on their estate in the event their DIY Will is unclear, incomplete or challenged.

Seeking proper Estate Planning advice from an experienced Estate Planning solicitor together with a professionally drafted Will gives you peace of mind knowing that your family does not need to deal with the curse of the DIY Will.

If you do not have a current Estate Plan or would like to update your Estate Plan (Wills, Powers of Attorney etc), contact Southern Waters Legal today – we will guide you through the process.

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