Legal Hypothetical: Online Wills – Buy cheap, pay dear

Online Wills – Buy cheap, pay dear

STEVE and Sally were recently married and wisely decide to update their wills.

Steve has no children but is very close to his nephew and his sister.

Sally has three adult children from a previous relationship.

Steve researches making an online will and after viewing several ads, decides to proceed, given that the charges appear quite cheap.

The online platform does not offer legal advice without an additional charge but the website suggests that the making of a will is relatively straightforward so he does not believe that he requires legal advice.

Steve and Sally work-through the online process.

They leave their entire estate to each other and when the last one of them passes-away, Steve’s 50 percent goes to his nephew and sister and Sally’s 50 percent goes to her children.

They print-off their wills and sign them.

Unfortunately, the process of making the online will is similar to filling-out a will kit from the post office.

Without receiving proper legal advice, the results were disastrous.

When Sally passes away many years later, Steve looks for their wills.

When he eventually finds them, he discovers that they have been damaged and he identifies many typographical errors.

There are also issues with the execution of the will which lead to him receiving requisitions from the Probate Registry, causing substantial delays regarding the transfer of Sally’s estate to him.

Steve also realises that Sally’s superannuation was not properly addressed when they made their wills and a dispute arises with her children, leading to further lengthy delays and an irreparable break-down of their relationship.

Steve then makes a new will with the assistance of a solicitor, leaving his whole estate to his nephew and sister and disinheriting Sally’s children, who are not eligible to claim on his estate and ultimately miss-out on their inheritance.

His superannuation is properly dealt with and his will creates testamentary trusts, as a more appropriate vehicle for his beneficiaries to receive their provision.

Email Manny Wood, Principal Solicitor at TB Law at or call him on (02) 66 487 487.

This column cannot be relied upon as legal advice.

By Manny WOOD, Solicitor

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