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You don’t always need a solicitor to make a will. Of course, any experienced solicitor will tell you that you should, but you legally don’t need to.

If your estate is simple and you’re clear in your wishes, you can make a will yourself; there are, however, some requirements when using a DIY will to make the document legally binding.

Here’s a rundown so you don’t get caught out:

• The will must be made by someone 18 years old or older.
• The will must be made voluntarily and without pressure (see our blog on will making under duress for more).
• The will must be made by a person of sound mind.
• It must be made in writing and signed by the person making the will in the presence of two witnesses.
• The witnesses must also be 18 years old or older.
• The witnesses or the married partner of a witness cannot be a beneficiary of the will.

Naturally, as experienced solicitors, we always recommend that you have your will drafted by a reputable law firm to avoid any mistakes and ensure it reflects your wishes entirely. Writing a will can be complex, even if your estate is relatively straightforward. There are often elements that aren’t readily considered unless speaking with a knowledgeable professional, such as wishes for child arrangements or provisions for a business.

If a will isn’t legally valid upon a person’s passing, it can become a complicated affair to navigate. The will is deemed invalid, and your estate is shared according to the rules of intestacy and not how you had wished. At a difficult time for family, this process can be even more stressful to process.

Our experienced lawyers are on hand for advice or to help you draft or amend an existing will, so please contact us if you need any advice.