There is a time-honoured adage that goes along the lines of ‘Whoever represents her/himself in a court of law has a fool for a client.’ And many’s the time it has proved to be true.
Often a lay person will believe that all lawyers are expensive, so it surely must be far cheaper to do one’s own legal work. Well, first, by no means are all lawyers are expensive (you usually get what you pay for); and, second, when a non-lawyer gets things wrong, the outcome may not only be expensive, it may be disastrous as well.
This was brought home to us when reading a recent article by Anna Hacker, who is national manager of estate planning at a trustee company.
The title of Anna’s article was How to avoid the top nine mistakes of DIY Wills. We recognised the value of her insights and rang to ask permission to quote from her text, to which she kindly consented. We use some of her wise and cautionary notes below.