Getting a will written

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Fade and Die

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Me and the Mrs have been putting off getting a will done for ages, I had a little look online and there was a massive choice but am now getting ad-bombed for Wills from as low as £20, Or even a free will if I leave a gift to a charity! I don’t think our estates would be too difficult to sort out but I do have a part share in a house with someone else so I want to get it right. I asked my accountant and he wasn’t very helpful and I haven’t seen my financial advisor since before Covid! Does anyone have any advice or tips on what I should be looking for in a will writer?
 

Lord Tyrion

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Go to a proper one. Don't do it online, go in face to face. It is not worth saving a few quid for when, as you mention, you have a slightly quirky issue to get right.

My sister was a solicitor before going to be a law lecturer. Like most solicitors she started with wills. She still runs off wills for people who ask her. She could run off a list of problems / stories she has seen over the years where people meant to say one thing but missed a word or phrase that ends up being critical. Look out for a local solicitor, ideally one that clearly mentions they do wills. They will do it properly and then you can simply pop it in a draw and forget about it.

Incidentally, from what I can gather, writing a will correctly is not difficult once you know what you are doing. If your requirements are fairly straightforward then so will your will. You don't need to interview 17 solicitors before picking one.

@GB72 is the one to ask for advice I believe in terms of what to look for
 
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GB72

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I would say this (it is not my speclist area before you ask) but go to a solicitor, a good local one. We deal with so many problems as a result of cheap wills, self write wills etc. Plus the advice goes beyond that and will look at estate planning and any changes you can make to minimise the inheritcance tax bill as well as minimising what can be taken as an asset for care home costs and the like.
 

Robster59

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I'd agree with both of the above. We did ours last year via a local recommended solicitor. Much easier than trying to do it yourself, and not expensive.
 

Neilds

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If you get one done through a charity, you are not obliged to leave the charity anything- but probably would be nice to do so. They give you a list of local solicitors and you just deal with them as you would normally
 

Tashyboy

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There are So many circumstances to consider when getting a will. To cut corners and save a couple of quid don’t bear thinking about. Not just that, what you may have in your mind a solicitor will give you other options and ideas.
My mother had someone cold call. They wanted £1500 to write her some paperwork so she would not have to pay if her or me dad went into a care home. Me mum Told this woman how much she had in banks, but not accounts etc. I went ballistic. I referred her back to her solicitor. He told her point blank she was being ripped off and 90% of what this person promised was law anyway. He/ solicitor charged her £75. Me mum
Moaned like the clappers I had cost her £75 but never mentioned I had saved her £1500.
 
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pauldj42

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I would urge everyone over the age of 18 to do a will and as soon as possible, I’ve nowhere near the experience of some on here, but what I personally witnessed when dealing with some families of deceased Service Personnel (single and married) who didn’t have wills was hideous.

Grief was replaced by greed in some cases and for the smallest of amounts.

It is not expensive (Service Personnel can actually do one for free which was even more annoying) can be very straight forward and, can save so much pain and angst for those left behind.
 

GB72

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I would urge everyone over the age of 18 to do a will and as soon as possible, I’ve nowhere near the experience of some on here, but what I personally witnessed when dealing with some families of deceased Service Personnel (single and married) who didn’t have wills was hideous.

Grief was replaced by greed in some cases and for the smallest of amounts.

It is not expensive (Service Personnel can actually do one for free which was even more annoying) can be very straight forward and, can save so much pain and angst for those left behind.
I so agree with this. Never assume that it will all be sorted out amicably between family. I have seen families tear themselves appart over administering estates. Basic tips I would add are to be as precise a possble, some of the worst arguments I have seen are over grey areas such as one where the deceased left family even amounts but this could be changed if they family felt that one person was doing better or worse financially than the others. I would also, if you do not mind hte expense from the estate, appoint the solicitor as the executor. Administering an estate can be a realy pain and time consuming and different beneficiaries may have different interpretations of the will.
 
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Fade and Die

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I so agree with this. Never assume that it will all be sorted out amicably between family. I have seen families tear themselves appart over administering estates. Basic tips I would add are to be as precise a possble, some of the worst arguments I have seen are over grey areas such as one where the deceased left family even amounts but this could be changed if they family felt that one person was doing better or worse financially than the others. I would also, if you do not mind hte expense from the estate, appoint the solicitor as the executor. Administering an estate can be a realy pain and time consuming and different beneficiaries may have different interpretations of the will.
Thanks for all the replies, I’ve always thought about getting it done but always thought “oh it will just go to my next of kin” so put it off but having witnessed some pretty despicable behaviour when a family friend died it’s spurred me to get something done.
I will contact a solicitor and your suggestion to appoint the solicitor as executor sounds ideal.
 

Doon frae Troon

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See a solicitor and do it properly.
Rough cost £150.

A great tip.
After a death, alter the house deeds if the house was in shared ownership.
I am in the middle of finding out how frustrating this can be if not done.
 

jim8flog

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If it is a simple will i.e. everything to the wife, husband whilst they are alive it is a simple thing to do for yourself.
Wife would be husband's executor, husband would be wife's executor.
If there are children it is best to write another will when the first one dies.


If the second property makes it more complicated check with a professional.
 

GB72

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See a solicitor and do it properly.
Rough cost £150.

A great tip.
After a death, alter the house deeds if the house was in shared ownership.
I am in the middle of finding out how frustrating this can be if not done.
Must be more difficult up there. In England and Wales you just send the death certificate off to the land registry with a form (or a solicitor can do it online) and submit a form RX3 if there was a restriction showing tenants in common. If you are selling, no need to even do that.
 

pauljames87

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We have online wills but pay a fee every year to make them changeable at any time it's like £20 a year .. seems silly but with the kids and constantly changing life we can update anytime and it's done
 

Tashyboy

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I went out with a Pal the other week. His father had passed away with COVID so his mum Had to change the Will. Anyway he tells me that his mum
Had mentioned it to his sister. She said point blank. “You always wanted us four kids to be equal. My three brothers have there mortgages paid off and are retired. I still have a mortgage and am still Working ( part time). Them three do not need anymore money”.
Me pal went ballistic as did his 2 brothers. It had ripped the family apart.
When it comes to money and families. Oh dear.
 

Voyager EMH

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Me and Mrs V got our first wills done with a solicitor when I was 28. Important because we were not married.
24 years later after we were married, we had to make new wills, as the marriage negated the previous ones.

I would not advise appointing a solicitor as executor at the point of making the will. I/we have appointed siblings. The executor can then appoint a solicitor of choosing to take over as executor, all those years down the line, when those firms might have changed, in order to make a good choice. Be aware that the fee for executorship will most likely be based on a % of the estate. That % increases with the size of the estate. Small estate - small percentage charge. Large estate - large percentage charge. The charge is deducted from the estate.
So whether the executor tries to do it themselves or appoint a solicitor - well - you won't be around to see it!

Our siblings will be most likely to appoint a solicitor - I reckon. If we outlive them all, we will have to appoint new executors.

When my mum passed away, I became sole executor (even though I have two older brothers) and got it all done with 0% charge. I was "the man for the job" as far as my bros were concerned and the saving I made on solicitor's fees was considerable.
It just takes a lot of reading and understanding of what needs to be done and then a whole raft of form filling and paperwork then checking and double checking everything. There are IHT forms to fill in even if the estate will not be subject to any IHT. If there had been IHT to pay, then that might have tipped me over into deciding to appoint a solicitor for peace of mind.
HMRC have a free help line if you need clarification about what goes on each form. I phoned once and found this facility to be excellent.
There is loads of free info about obtaining probate and being an executor. Much easier to appoint a solicitor, however, if you don't want the responsibility and hassle.
 

Lord Tyrion

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I went out with a Pal the other week. His father had passed away with COVID so his mum Had to change the Will. Anyway he tells me that his mum
Had mentioned it to his sister. She said point blank. “You always wanted us four kids to be equal. My three brothers have there mortgages paid off and are retired. I still have a mortgage and am still Working ( part time). Them three do not need anymore money”.
Me pal went ballistic as did his 2 brothers. It had ripped the family apart.
When it comes to money and families. Oh dear.
My sister has repeated similar stories. Depressing isn't it what money does to people?
 
Thread starter #19

Fade and Die

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Me and Mrs V got our first wills done with a solicitor when I was 28. Important because we were not married.
24 years later after we were married, we had to make new wills, as the marriage negated the previous ones.

I would not advise appointing a solicitor as executor at the point of making the will. I/we have appointed siblings. The executor can then appoint a solicitor of choosing to take over as executor, all those years down the line, when those firms might have changed, in order to make a good choice. Be aware that the fee for executorship will most likely be based on a % of the estate. That % increases with the size of the estate. Small estate - small percentage charge. Large estate - large percentage charge. The charge is deducted from the estate.
So whether the executor tries to do it themselves or appoint a solicitor - well - you won't be around to see it!

Our siblings will be most likely to appoint a solicitor - I reckon. If we outlive them all, we will have to appoint new executors.

When my mum passed away, I became sole executor (even though I have two older brothers) and got it all done with 0% charge. I was "the man for the job" as far as my bros were concerned and the saving I made on solicitor's fees was considerable.
It just takes a lot of reading and understanding of what needs to be done and then a whole raft of form filling and paperwork then checking and double checking everything. There are IHT forms to fill in even if the estate will not be subject to any IHT. If there had been IHT to pay, then that might have tipped me over into deciding to appoint a solicitor for peace of mind.

HMRC have a free help line if you need clarification about what goes on each form. I phoned once and found this facility to be excellent.
There is loads of free info about obtaining probate and being an executor. Much easier to appoint a solicitor, however, if you don't want the responsibility and hassle.
Whilst I appreciate it might cost, the highlighted section convinces me that I need to get a solicitor to do the job. If my wife survives me then I don’t want her to have the stress. If she doesn’t my eldest son is Autistic and he would not be able to do it. Youngest son is also not up to the job.
 

Voyager EMH

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Whilst I appreciate it might cost, the highlighted section convinces me that I need to get a solicitor to do the job. If my wife survives me then I don’t want her to have the stress. If she doesn’t my eldest son is Autistic and he would not be able to do it. Youngest son is also not up to the job.
Sound decision in your particular circumstances. When one spouse dies it is normal procedure for everything to be transferred into the surviving spouse's ownership. This is a fairly simple procedure for the solicitor and charges are not huge - so no great saving to be made by "do it yourself". IHT only becomes payable after second spouse dies.
 
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