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Will

WJG

Registered User
Sep 13, 2020
81
0
I am in the process of being diagnosed ( early stage of Alzheimer's is suspected). I have been advised to have both a POA order and a Will. My sons have sorted the former for a time when I don't have capacity, but I don't have a will drafted. What advice would anyone offer concerning the simplest and most cost effective way to do this? My will is likely to be simple, just dividing my estate equally between my sons. I am aged 67.
 

nitram

Registered User
Apr 6, 2011
21,771
0
North Manchester
If you wait till March you could use the next free wills month.

You can choose from a list of charities who will put you in touch with participating local solicitor who will offer advice and draft a will for free.

You are expected to make a donation to your chosen charity and maybe a gift in your will.
 

Jaded'n'faded

Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
1,249
0
High Peak
If your estate will be really simple - maybe a house plus a bit of savings, there's no reason you can't do it yourself if you have a safe place to keep it. You can buy a 'kit' from post offices and elsewhere. As you've already set up LPA with your sons, you could give each one a copy. I assume you would also name one or more of your sons as executor...?
 

Lawson58

Registered User
Aug 1, 2014
2,284
0
Victoria, Australia
If your estate will be really simple - maybe a house plus a bit of savings, there's no reason you can't do it yourself if you have a safe place to keep it. You can buy a 'kit' from post offices and elsewhere. As you've already set up LPA with your sons, you could give each one a copy. I assume you would also name one or more of your sons as executor...?
I agree. If your will is straightforward without complications, I don't see any need to fork out money for a solicitor. You can also find free will drafts online. Unless a will is complex, it can be as simple as you want it to be. After all, wills have been written on brown paper bags, backs of serviettes, handkerchiefs and all sorts of odd places.

It could be a good idea to get proof of capacity though. Our doctor wrote a testamentary letter for us but we have difficult family members so needed to be careful.

If you feel that you would feel more comfortable using a solicitor, then do it that way.
 

nita

Registered User
Dec 30, 2011
2,058
0
Essex
If you do a will yourself without the help of a solicitor, does it have to be witnessed, I wonder, and perhaps not by a relative?
 

nita

Registered User
Dec 30, 2011
2,058
0
Essex
By the way, under the laws of intestacy, if you don't make a will, your estate automatically passes to your next of kin. If you have a spouse, it goes to them and, if you are a widow/widower it will go to your children divided equally between them.
 

Elle3

Registered User
Jun 30, 2016
656
0
My dad bought a diy Will pack, I think from WH Smith but you can probably buy them from other places. It also came with instructions on how to write a will.

He had no problems with doing it and kept it very simple. Just a couple of paragraphs. He named two executors, had a house and all its contents to leave and had money in two bank accounts. If you make a mistake at any point, initial the mistake. Then when it's completed sign it in front of 2 witnesses and then get them to Witness it.

When dad died I had no problems with sending this for probate and it was very easy to understand his wishes and execute them.

My husband and I have Wills and we used a Solicitor, cost us over £500 and to be honest its full of legal jargon and our Executors will probably have to go back to the Solicitor in order to understand it, which again will cost money.

So if its all very simple my advice would be to do it yourself if possible.
 

Banjomansmate

Registered User
Jan 13, 2019
2,575
0
Dorset
This came up in the Daily Mail financial pages today and their expert advised using a Solicitor for even what seems to be the simplest of wills. Also mentioned the month of March charity wills.
 

Jaded'n'faded

Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
1,249
0
High Peak
By the way, under the laws of intestacy, if you don't make a will, your estate automatically passes to your next of kin. If you have a spouse, it goes to them and, if you are a widow/widower it will go to your children divided equally between them.
Yes, I'd forgotten about the rules of intestacy! I'm intending to do a Will myself soon so I'm considering the options. I have a house and a small (very small!) amount of savings and 2 children. There's no one else - the family is dying out! I'd be leaving the kids 50% of whatever is left. It's possible my house will have to be sold if I get something awful (like dementia...) and have to go into care, but my intention would remain the same, that my kids get 50% of the remainder.

But I'm wondering if there's actually any point? If I don't make a will, that's what my kids would get anyway under the rules of intestacy. So should I bother? I will be setting up LPA for both kids equally, but I don't know what happens when I die as LPA ends on death. If there is no will, and therefore no executor to take over at that point to get probate and sort out the last financial matters, who does all that? Presumably if someone is appointed they would charge a fee which would come out of the estate, so there would be costs for this. I'd have to measure this against the cost of doing a will! Swings and roundabouts...

Any advice/opinions appreciated!
 

Lawson58

Registered User
Aug 1, 2014
2,284
0
Victoria, Australia
By the way, under the laws of intestacy, if you don't make a will, your estate automatically passes to your next of kin. If you have a spouse, it goes to them and, if you are a widow/widower it will go to your children divided equally between them.
I know things are different here to UK but my ex son in law died a few months ago . He knew he was dying and got a solicitor to prepare a will as he was too unwell. Unfortunately, he died before he signed the will so had it had to go before the state justice Dept. Considering the circumstances, the state took the view that as his intentions were very clear, they would appoint my grandchildren to be executors. Perhaps because a solicitor had prepared the will that made it very easy for that decision to be made.
 

Spamar

Registered User
Oct 5, 2013
7,560
0
Suffolk
Another problem is that you leave your money to eg your children and they die before you, your money will be subject to intestacy laws, which is fine if thats what you were going to do. But a line in your Will stating that if your children have died the money should be divided as to their Wills will be appreciated by the eventual legatees, as well as make life easier for everybody else.
And do write a Will regularly. Solicitors go bust or behave badly and get struck off and, although you can find out what’s happened, it adds another layer of worry ( and time) to sorting things out.
 

Up the Creek

Registered User
Sep 9, 2020
94
0
East Anglia
My partner died without leaving a will. The house i had lived in with him for15 years was sold so his estate could be divided between his estranged children. I wasn’t entitled to anything and received nothing. The children also tried to take control of his funeral.

I would be wary about not making a will. Not all families are happy families, blood isn’t always thicker than water. It clarifies what you’d like to happen on your death including what sort of funeral you want. It’s not just about dividing up what you have in terms of cash and capital.
 

nita

Registered User
Dec 30, 2011
2,058
0
Essex
Yes, I'd forgotten about the rules of intestacy! I'm intending to do a Will myself soon so I'm considering the options. I have a house and a small (very small!) amount of savings and 2 children. There's no one else - the family is dying out! I'd be leaving the kids 50% of whatever is left. It's possible my house will have to be sold if I get something awful (like dementia...) and have to go into care, but my intention would remain the same, that my kids get 50% of the remainder.

But I'm wondering if there's actually any point? If I don't make a will, that's what my kids would get anyway under the rules of intestacy. So should I bother? I will be setting up LPA for both kids equally, but I don't know what happens when I die as LPA ends on death. If there is no will, and therefore no executor to take over at that point to get probate and sort out the last financial matters, who does all that? Presumably if someone is appointed they would charge a fee which would come out of the estate, so there would be costs for this. I'd have to measure this against the cost of doing a will! Swings and roundabouts...

Any advice/opinions appreciated!
My mother died without having made a will. As the eldest and with the agreement of my brother, I applied for letters of administration (it is called a grant of probate if someone has a will), in effect acting like an executor. I dealt with getting the death certificate, informing the authorities and I also arranged the funeral but that is a matter between your children. As I had worked a long time in offices, it was natural I would take on the role.

I filled in the probate forms once I had dealt with the life assurance, under/overpayments of pension and benefits, closing bank accounts and obtaining final statements and house valuation to work out the value of the estate. That was quite a bit of work but not too onerous. I applied for the letters of administration about 3 months after her death and it was settled fairly quickly. I drew up a spreadsheet of all the assets and expenses and then split the residue between us.

I think it would be quite expensive to appoint a solicitor to do this. Guidance can be found online and there is advice on what to do on the government site.

What to do after someone dies - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Have a look at the intestacy rules to see the actual rules and whether you can foresee any problems.

Who can inherit if there is no will – the rules of intestacy - Citizens Advice
 

Jaded'n'faded

Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
1,249
0
High Peak
Thanks @nita - that really helps. My daughter is good at such things (my son not!) but it sounds like the work involved is pretty much the same whether there is a will or not!. On reflection, as I'll be seeing a solicitor to do the LPA, I think I'll also do the will there at the same time. I also intend to pay for a funeral plan. My mum did these things and I have to say it made life a lot easier for my brother and I, so I will do the same for my kids. After all, there will probably be s*d all left of my money after I've paid my dementia care costs... If I have to do 3 years as my mum did, it will easily clean me out :(
 

Banjomansmate

Registered User
Jan 13, 2019
2,575
0
Dorset
My will is 50/50 to my children. If the childless one should die before me his sibling gets the lot. If anything happened to my daughter then when I die her children will get her half split equally between them.
 

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