Wills DIY or professional

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ferrit worrier
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Wills DIY or professional

Postby ferrit worrier » 19 Nov 2020, 10:35am

I've been requested by our two Daughters to get our wills written.

The question is do I get a will kit and save some dosh but then get it wrong and cause a load of bother when I'm gone or get it done via a solicitor. given that there will be two wills Mine and MrsFW and both the same.

any thoughts.
Malc
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kwackers
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Re: Wills DIY or professional

Postby kwackers » 19 Nov 2020, 10:43am

ferrit worrier wrote:any thoughts.
Malc

First thought;
Leave it all to the orangutans. Anyone asking you to make a will is making assumptions... ;)

Second:
I think you can get a basic will done "professionally" for £50 or so, I think mine was £120 but I had some complexity to it.
If it's basic then tbh a kit would probably work anyway.

tatanab
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Re: Wills DIY or professional

Postby tatanab » 19 Nov 2020, 11:05am

I went to a local solicitor who offered the service. Mine is very simple, so I drew a flow chart which he put in to legal speak. The thing to remember is that you want the will to go at least two layers deep. In my case - sisters - if either/both are dead, then charity. Because mine was so simple it was done free of charge but with a suggested donation of about £50 to a particular charity.

Psamathe
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Re: Wills DIY or professional

Postby Psamathe » 19 Nov 2020, 11:07am

From my limited experience (not done my own will, but parents have), if going professionally, go with specific companies recommended by people who have used them. My parents decided to "get their wills in order" (no changes but my parents generation seem to want to make sure everything is easy for their children, no suggestion from anybody else). Their wills had been written by a very prestigious financial/legal company (London) and they were ludicrous. All the wills (old and new wanted) said was to leave everything to their 3 sons split equally. Eventually local legal company did Mum's very low cost, far simpler will with exactly the same effect. Too late for Dad's as his could not be changed (he was suffering dementia).

So the expensive prestigious financial/legal company not good whilst lower cost local lawyers good. I'm sure there are some excellent prestigious London companies and some terrible lower cost local lawyers. Hence personal recommendation.

Ian

thirdcrank
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Re: Wills DIY or professional

Postby thirdcrank » 19 Nov 2020, 11:10am

I think it depends how complicated your will will be.

In the past, the Consumers Association guide Wills and Probate was ideal for a simple will. No will kit needed - plain paper will do. I wrote my late mother's will and it went straight through probate - to the extent that that's still coming to terms with quill pens.

I see that the latest edition of that book is now twenty years old so it may be out-of-date.

I also wrote wills for both me and my wife when things were simple and when we eventually went to a solicitor he agreed they had been ok. The reason we went to a solicitor was the big increase in the IHT allowance for anybody leaving their house to direct descendants.

So, if there's anything slightly complicated, see a solicitor.

The first thing to do is to think through all the what ifs. ie Consider deaths as individual events and don't assume they will all occur in the expected order. Then, when you see a lawyer, it will take less time. If you intend making so-called mirror wills, make absolutely sure beforehand that you both feel the same, rather than one going along with the other.

Naming the executor is very important: you want somebody who will do it and will still be around to do it. Bearing in mind that you cannot predict the future, try to select a spare. The point is that if they need expert help, they can still obtain that as necessary. Name a professional and they have to ensure that everything they do is totally kosher so they will charge professional rates for doing mundane things.

From personal experience, I'd suggest not lumbering your executor with anything ie leave it to their discretion. My son was the executor for my later sister-in-law. She used a will kit and as it had a space for it, she sais she wanted her ashes scattering on the beach in Norfolk. That wish was carried out faithfully, including taking one of her chums along to point out her favourite bit of beach, but it was imo onerous.

I know you haven't asked this but if you are getting everything sorted out, then Lasting Powers of Attorney are a good idea and that system is intended to be done D-I-Y if you can follow instructions. An LPA enables your nominated person to deal with things on your behalf when you cannot do so. If you end up with something like dementia and have not already made a power of attorney, the system assumes you didn't want to give anybody authority so your family will be answerable to the Public Guardian and Court of Protection, which all comes at a price

https://www.gov.uk/power-of-attorney

alanesq
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Re: Wills DIY or professional

Postby alanesq » 19 Nov 2020, 11:16am

These page may be of use/interest:

https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/family/death-plan/

https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/famil ... eap-wills/

btw - Don't know if it is happening this year but usually you can get one cheap in November
https://www.willaid.org.uk/

Bonefishblues
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Re: Wills DIY or professional

Postby Bonefishblues » 19 Nov 2020, 11:20am

Ha! I popped on to post https://www.willaid.org.uk/ so let's make that another vote for this service :lol:

pete75
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Re: Wills DIY or professional

Postby pete75 » 19 Nov 2020, 11:25am

No connection but these solicitors seem worth using. They say 'At present we will prepare your Will free of charge. Just consider making a donation for a Charity of your choice. So now you can support the Charity and get a good deal.'

https://www.mcclure-solicitors.co.uk/wills

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ferrit worrier
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Re: Wills DIY or professional

Postby ferrit worrier » 19 Nov 2020, 11:42am

Wow thanks guys that's ironed out a few wrinkles, (and I've got a few) :lol:
I'll have a look at the McClure later as I've got to get ready for work.

Many thanks

Malc
Percussive maintainance, if it don't fit, hit it with the hammer.

rjb
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Re: Wills DIY or professional

Postby rjb » 19 Nov 2020, 11:54am

If you are a member of a trade union some of them offer free wills written by a solicitor. :wink:
Isn't October generally free will writing month ? A service offered by several solicitors. Perhaps this year is different. :(
The services mentioned above usually mean only straightforward wills so if your circumstances are complicated you may have to get and pay for more advice.
If you Google free will month you should find local solicitors offering the service. :wink:
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thirdcrank
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Re: Wills DIY or professional

Postby thirdcrank » 19 Nov 2020, 12:28pm

Something else to consider is getting all your paperwork organised so that people are not trying to work out where everything is when they cannot ask and they are probably grieving.

I was in a way fortunate that I gradually took over all my mother's bills etc nearly twenty years before she died. I had everything in a cheapo cardboard briefcase with 31 (days of the month) slots inside. I had a separate slot for gas, electricity and so on. When she went into care and I had everything to hand and in a portable form. That was invaluable, particularly when dealing with Leeds City Council.

On the other hand, when my sister-in-law retired she went from being meticulous with her papers (actuary by training) to a bit careless and then chaotic. After her death, as the gopher I brought all her files back to Leeds but it turned out nothing more recent than five years. Back again and found a bit more but eventually I found all the most recent stuff crammed in carrier bags behind furniture, some of it unopened. Not dementia, but she had correctly guessed she had terminal cancer but ignored it till she was almost helpless.

An estate large enough for IHT to be payable and at some stage, somebody from the accountants who had looked after her investments for years had tried to rip her off but that was resolved a couple of years before she died.

This is particularly important if one of you does all the financial stuff. eg We know several former business owners such as builders whose wives did the accounts and the household money as well.

tim-b
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Re: Wills DIY or professional

Postby tim-b » 19 Nov 2020, 12:59pm

Hi
We just did the free wills charity-thing. We could only make a basic will for each of us for free, if you want to add trusts and other complications then we were offered a c£125 discount on the price. Free wills are available in October and November so hunt around
The good thing is that the will process and complaints are regulated by the solicitor's professional body and you get the necessary advice to suit your circumstances
HMG has relaxed the witness rules under C19 and you can sign with your witnesses present on the other side of a window (and vice versa)
The charity donation comes from your estate (you don't have to make a donation) so no need to put your hand in your pocket, what's not to like

I think that you need to be 55+, but check that

Regards
tim-b
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Jdsk
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Re: Wills DIY or professional

Postby Jdsk » 19 Nov 2020, 1:05pm

As above: if there's any complexity I'd recommend a professional. And I'd add conflict to complexity.

And take the opportunity to think about Lasting Powers of Attorney.

Jonathan

thirdcrank
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Re: Wills DIY or professional

Postby thirdcrank » 19 Nov 2020, 1:51pm

There's a lot to be said for charitable donations either because it's something close to your heart such as Central Ferret Welfare, or it can be a jolly good wheeze to reduce IHT, but IMO decent independent advice is needed and certainly not D_I_Y. The central point is that charity trustees have legal responsibilities to act in the best interests of the charity ie they will take legal action if necessary to get the £££ due from the will and that's based on a legal interpretation of the will, not second-guessing what the testator really had in mind

http://central-ferret-welfare.org/#:~:t ... %201102038

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ferrit worrier
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Re: Wills DIY or professional

Postby ferrit worrier » 19 Nov 2020, 5:28pm

thirdcrank wrote:There's a lot to be said for charitable donations either because it's something close to your heart such as Central Ferret Welfare, or it can be a jolly good wheeze to reduce IHT, but IMO decent independent advice is needed and certainly not D_I_Y. The central point is that charity trustees have legal responsibilities to act in the best interests of the charity ie they will take legal action if necessary to get the £££ due from the will and that's based on a legal interpretation of the will, not second-guessing what the testator really had in mind

http://central-ferret-welfare.org/#:~:t ... %201102038


I must confess I roared laughing when I read Central Ferret welfare, then I got to the bottom line, then Oh he was serious :oops:

Lots of good sound advice there, I had prevaricated for a couple of days before posting and I'm glad I did now there may be others in the same boat as me. I had tried searching the forum but drew a blank.
So this weekend Mrs FW and I will sit down and look at how we want to dish out the dosh do a flow chart and call into our local solicitors office. They are currently handling the probate for Dads house,sadly he passed away end of August, he did leave a will but as there is a house involved it has to go through probate.

Many thanks for all the suggestions etc we now have a plan of action.

Malc
Percussive maintainance, if it don't fit, hit it with the hammer.