Will kits are more convenient and affordable for many Australians, but are Will kits legally binding? Yes! Given that they are drafted correctly, a person can download them online for their own personal use. When we’re discussing ‘are Will kits legally binding’, it is important to note that online Wills can be presented with a lot of inconsistencies such as:
1. Failure to appoint an executor; omitting to appoint an executor
2. Failure to disperse all of the estate’s assets;
3. Failure to specify the recipients;
4. Failure to correctly execute the papers means that there is no legitimate Will at all.
Are Will kits legally binding even if they are written by a person with only a basic understanding of the law? Several people might not be confident in drafting up their own Will. Wills should be drafted carefully as there are legal documents that are involved.
Will kits can be particularly confusing due to poor construction, which means that even if the Will kit is considered to be legally binding, parties must appeal to the court for clarification of the Will, which can be costly.
DIY Will Kits Vs Online Wills
Modern Australians think drafting up their own Will using DIY Will kits and Online Wills is enough to organise their estate planning. While it is true that hiring a lawyer to draft a Will is more expensive, and time-consuming, this just means that drafting up Wills with a lawyer will be more credible and trusted.
While both are cost-effective approaches to drafting up a Will, there still might be instances where they won’t be legally binding. We live in an era where we have immediate access to solutions to almost every question, in this case, are Will kits legally binding?
An online Will allows a person to use estate planning instructions given in a downloadable, printable document that they can sign and have witnessed using a specifically designed digital platform. While online Wills are designed to cover the basics of Will writing, they also offer more flexibility in terms of what a person can write and appoint to meet a person’s specific needs.
A person can leave more detailed instructions, such as particular presents, petcare provisions, charitable donations, and even funeral requests, using Online Will platforms. It changes a Will from a black-and-white legal document to a comprehensive account of one’s life and wishes.
Are Will Kits Legally Binding: What’s In It?
Will kits help individuals access an affordable legal Will. They are suitable if persons want a straightforward situation where they want to leave their assets and properties to their family members, relatives, or friends. Here’s what some online Australian Will Kits offer:
An officially valid template with step-by-step guidelines for drafting your own will.
Will Planning Guides
This planning guide explains how to draft a Will, including how to choose an executor and beneficiaries, as well as how to name a guardian for your children.
Will kits contain templates for creating a list of your assets and obligations, as well as Will notes to help you organise your Will.
Will writers are prone to inaccurately writing out their own Wills, filling them with things that are either unattainable – rendering the Will invalid, or missing critical areas that need to be filled out. Are Will kits legally binding? In all of these instances, there’s a chance that the Will won’t work when it’s time to use it.
Problems Associated With DIY Wills
Even if a DIY Will is properly executed, it will almost certainly be investigated by the court when the Will-maker’s executor applies for a Grant of Probate. This is because the DIY Will is more likely to have been written under force, without testamentary capacity, or without proper awareness or approval of its contents.
Are Will kits legally binding? Here are some of the most typical problems associated with this topic:
1. Inappropriately handled Assets
When Will-makers intend to give a specific asset to a specific beneficiary, such as real estate (e.g., a house), a DIY Will may not deal with the property or gift efficiently, resulting in the asset or gift not being distributed to the intended beneficiary.
2. Inconsistent wordings in the Will
A Will must be carefully designed so that the language, wording, and structure of the Will carry out the intentions of the Will-maker. Inconsistent or ambiguous clauses, as well as ill-chosen words, may result in a Will-estate maker’s not being allocated to their intended beneficiaries.
In the event that a Will or a specific bequest in a Will is declared invalid, the ‘intestacy rules’ may apply. This means that the assets will be allocated according to a formula outlined in the Administration and Probate Act of 1958. Importantly, the estate distribution under the ‘intestacy laws’ may differ from the Will-maker’s preferences.
3. The DIY Will is lost
Wills created by solicitors can be kept in their deed safe for free for safekeeping. Wills prepared and held at the Will-maker’s have a higher likelihood of being difficult to locate. If the Will cannot be found and can be traced back to the Will-maker, the court will conclude, unless shown otherwise, that the Will-maker destroyed the Will and did not intend it to apply.
In the case of John William Panigas and Ethel Florence Panigas (2013), the couple both wrote Wills using Post Office Will Kits. The papers were not properly signed and witnessed, and it was unclear who would receive what property.
Even though the Court was satisfied that Mr. and Mrs. Panigas intended to make Wills in general, the provisions of the instrument were too vague to determine their intentions.
Are Will Kits Legally Binding: Role Of Legal Advice
Surely with JB Solicitors’ legal advice, a person’s Will that was drafted online can be made legally binding with the help of our experienced team of solicitors. We have lawyers that specialise in Wills and Estate Planning, who ensure our clients’ Wills are valid and authenticated.
Our fixed-fee prices also ensure that you properly get the right assistance for your Will kits, while saving you from your financial worries.
Reach out today if you have any enquiries such as are Will kits legally binding.