Yes, you can write your own will. The Courts are littered with examples of where people on their own have not completed the will making in a way that fully delivers the outcomes they seek. Expensive litigation and disappointed beneficiaries are generally the result.
The job of a solicitor (lawyer) in will making is to make sure, to the extent possible at law, that the client’s intent is accurately reflected in the documents and arrangements made about their wealth transfer intentions after their death.
I often hear a statement along the lines of, “My affairs are simple, I will write my own will”.
This is why we have published on our website our Client Will Intent Guide. This gives anyone working with us a clear picture of what we have to consider (to the extent appropriate for the client), in helping the will to be developed and implemented.
Often there are multiple ways of approaching a particular succession problem. Have all the relevant options been considered?
The term “generalised precedents” refers to a situation where previous cases or examples are used to guide decisions in a current case. The problem with relying solely on these precedents is that there is a risk that the options presented in the precedent may not result in the best outcome for the client involved in the current case. In other words, just because something worked in a previous case doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best solution for a new case.
Clients have to work at their will making.
Our experience is that we are often only one fact away from chaos.
So in our will making we may ask many questions. The Intent Outline document speaks to this.
We take the time needed and follow a regular process. The documents outlining those processes are also available on our website for people to consider.
The work starts off always with understanding the situation and intent of our clients. It is a consulting phase of our work.
The time taken is reflected in our price guide for estate services.
We will often be engaged to do a review of the currency and appropriateness of existing estate administration and succession documents. Those kinds of jobs cost normally between $600 – $3000 plus GST and out of pocket expenses. The documents come next.
So, by all means use our resources to clarify your intention. Ask CHATGPT all the questions you want. Then let us use that work to help produce the best outcomes we can for you.
Talk to one of our team of lawyers if you want to discuss any aspect of this article further.