Wills: avoiding DIY wills – use ParrisWhittaker

Wills: avoiding DIY wills – use ParrisWhittaker

None of us can avoid life’s eventual certainty of death, but you can avoid substantial problems arising on death by making a Will.  One of the most important things you can do for your loved ones in relation to your assets is to make a Will - and to ensure your Will is properly drawn up.

You will, of course, want to ensure your money and assets pass to your chosen beneficiaries; and you will need to adequately provide for your loved ones such as your spouse and children on your death.  But avoid the temptation to make your own Will.  It is relatively easy to obtain a “DIY Will” pack from unqualified persons and from the internet.  But these DIY kits do not give you the legal advice you deserve. 

Testators who use them risk the following:

  • making mistakes that can lead to ambiguous clauses
  • insufficient provision for a spouse or dependant, leading to expensive litigation after your death
  • your assets pass to individuals who are not your beneficiaries of choice
  • your Will being invalid. 

There are strict legal requirements for the signing and witnesses of a Will.  For instance, a beneficiary (or someone married to a beneficiary) must not witness your signature.

Having a poorly drafted Will can, in reality, be worse than having no Will and can cause unnecessary financial strain and emotional stress to grieving relatives, a situation you would want to avoid.  The law sets out specific requirements for drafting and executing Wills.  If any are not complied with, the Will could be invalid.  In such cases, the statutory rules of intestacy apply meaning your assets will pass to your nearest surviving relative/s.

In addition, you should take specific legal advice from expert Wills and Probate attorneys on Bahamian Wills relating to Bahamian immovables, and assets in other countries.

Writing your own will is cheap in the short term, but will likely prove expensive in the long run.  If you wish to make a Will, or need to review your existing Will, consult with ParrisWhittaker.  Our Wills experts can give you the advice you need and will carefully draft your Will in accordance with your wishes and give you peace of mind.