New Post Advanced Search
Important update! We have recently reviewed and updated our Forum Rules and FAQs. Please take the time to familiarise yourself with the latest version.

Free and Cheap Wills discussion area

edited 30 November -1 at 12:00AM in Deaths, Funerals & Probate
547 replies 174.8K views
Former_MSE_DanFormer_MSE_Dan
1.6K posts
✭✭✭
edited 30 November -1 at 12:00AM in Deaths, Funerals & Probate
articlealert.gif

This thread is to discuss the Free and Cheap Wills guide

Just click reply to discuss
MSE Web Editor, mainly responsible for looking after, and keeping up-to-date, ‘hard-core’ financial articles such as credit cards, savings and loans.

If you spot a rate change that we haven't already mentioned or added into articles or tips, Please send me a PM about it




Don't miss urgent MoneySaving, hear first by getting Martin's Money Tips Free E-mail at www.moneysavingexpert.com/tips
«13456755

Replies

  • Hello everyone. I've been a 'bystander' on this forum for a very long time, and as a Principal of an IFA, mortgage, insurance and estate planning Firm, I've often laughed, cried, seethed and even shouted at the screen at some of the forums, statements, questions and (on occasion) the blatant ignorance of so called 'expert' advice.

    However the FREE (!) Will issue is serious, and with approx 17,000 Wills chucked out of Court every year for not being valid (including many drawn up by solicitors), my comment / post here is to simply add a word of warning before anyone thinks that a free Will is a good idea.

    If you have already made your Will, did your solicitor or Will Writer (it doesn't have to be drawn up by a solicitor of course) take the time to visit your nominated Executors, Guardians and Attorneys too, in order to properly ensure that they know their duties, roles and legal obligations?

    This one act is where the 'free' service falls down and can end up costing the people left behind with mounting legal bills of thousands of pounds to rectify.

    Was the estate properly 'equalised' to ensure that IHT is minimised or eradicated? Again, a free will provider is unlikely to take the trouble to properly explain that a simple change in the land registry could also potentiall save thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) of pounds in IHT for some estates.

    What about the fact that the spousal transfer for IHT exemption is not automatic? The right to obtain the transfer is automatic, but the actual transfer is not Was that explained.

    I could go on.

    If all that is important is a free will and 'blow the consequences', then that's everyone's choice.

    My 'free' advice here is quite simply, make sure your will writer is professional, comprehensive and works (free or otherwise) for you.

    G'bye.
  • I'm interested to hear if anyone has used the will template provided by morethan as part of their legal service add on and if they would recommend it?

    As someone who keeps meaning to get round to making a joint will I thought it might be a good place to start so at least we have a basic will in place rather than nothing at all.
  • Hi,
    a point which may have been made elsewhere but is SO important it is worth repeating is . . . . .

    never never never appoint a solicitor, accountant, bank or other professional as your EXECUTOR. Never.
    Appoint friends or colleagues, even if they have no experience. Your friend or colleague can then instruct a professional to do technical bits as needed, at an agreed fee and under the friend's control..
    What's the difference? As executor, your friend/colleague is in control both of the process and its COSTS.

    Appoint a professional as an executor and you may well see . . .
    1) anything takes months and months to get done: the "client" is dead, so it's great gap-filling work to pick up and put down when you've nothing else to do between everyday work.
    2) as executor, the professional is unanswerable to anyone. He can take as long as he wants, charge as much as he wants, make (and charge for) whatever enquiries he sees fit to, make the family wait and so on and so on.
    3) professional executors charge the estate high to astronomical fees - normally thousands and often a percentage of the estate! The client's not there to complain and didn't appreciate the small print when the professional offered to prepare his will "free".

    Writing a will is too important to save a few quid on. Draft it, get it checked by a pro - and save the real money by leaving your assets to your family NOT your executors!
  • OK,
    Today, having seen the 'free wills' heading on Martins email, I contacted a local solicitor on the scheme. I was told that I HAD to make a 'donation' of £75 paid at the time of writing the will, (not a bequest in the will), I said I couldn't afford anything like that - the solicitor at the othere end said - 'goodbye'. No question as to what I might be able to donate. I used a similar service a couple of years ago but you were asked to make a legacy/bequest in your will which was, in my opinion, a better option for me anyway.
    I agree with an earlier post that you should get friends or relatives (but not one you intend to leave anything to), to be your executors.
  • edited 5 November 2009 at 12:33PM
    Mary_HartnellMary_Hartnell Forumite
    874 posts
    edited 5 November 2009 at 12:33PM
    OK,
    Today, having seen the 'free wills' heading on Martins email, I contacted a local solicitor on the scheme. I was told that I HAD to make a 'donation' of £75 paid at the time of writing the will, (not a bequest in the will), I said I couldn't afford anything like that - the solicitor at the othere end said - 'goodbye'. No question as to what I might be able to donate. I used a similar service a couple of years ago but you were asked to make a legacy/bequest in your will which was, in my opinion, a better option for me anyway.
    I agree with an earlier post that you should get friends or relatives (but not one you intend to leave anything to), to be your executors.

    You would have to be some sort of REAL friend to agree to sort out a will for nothing but out of pocket expenses!
    In my opinion you would be mad to do it unless the deceased left more or less nothing and had the foresight to die with everything, including the milk bill, up to date.

    It takes MONTHS of effort to sort out a "normal" estate of a registration, a funeral, a memorial, some savings, investments, a house, car, TV (with automatic tax attached), self assessment tax return, direct debits (including the Council Tax), uncashed cheques, final nursing home fees, untrained idiots working in the financial services industry (especially in India) etc. etc. etc.

    And that is before you get the beneficiaries with their individual opinions on how and when the estate should be administered.

    It is a hair shirt job where you will never satisfy all the people all the time.

    2000 people a day die but as an MP recently pointed out, the system (or rather the 101 different interpretations of the system), gang up to compound the misery.

    Rant over,

    Mary

    PS It also helps of the deceased can arrange their demise for April 6th as that will be only one tax return that needs doing.

    http://www.ftadviser.com/FinancialAdviser/Regulation/Regulators/FSA/News/article/20091022/2500063e-bc9a-11de-8a16-00144f2af8e8/Recently-bereaved-are-not-being-treated-fairly--McFall.jsp
  • Important update! We have recently reviewed and updated our Forum Rules and FAQs. Please take the time to familiarise yourself with the latest version.
  • My boyfriend and I have been together for 12 yrs. We are both still married to our original spouses - but none of us - spouses included - see the need to divorce, we are all just getting on with our lives with our new partners. Could this cause difficulty if a will ISNT drawn up? My partner is a lot older than me but he thinks as we are together any of his assets will come to me - but isn't his wife his next of kin ? Any ideas or thoughts gratefully received. Thanks, Anita:confused:
  • The Law regarding 'who gets what' is based on the Intestacy Rules, as follows;

    hdconsultants.net/The%20Will%20Writers%20-%20Intestacy%20Tree%202009.gif

    Hope this helps.
  • edited 5 November 2009 at 2:07PM
    Mary_HartnellMary_Hartnell Forumite
    874 posts
    edited 5 November 2009 at 2:07PM
    Hi "estateplanner",

    Welcome to MSE. There are sound reasons why "newbies" are not allowed to post links.:spam:
    However we do welcome the input from qualified (?) advisors. They are allowed to declare their interest with every posting.
    Please check the forum rules and postings from similar advisers.

    In the mean time (as it is a useful decision tree for the likes of "titanic40":wave:) here is your free advert:

    http://www.hdconsultants.net/The%20Will%20Writers%20-%20Intestacy%20Tree%202009.gif
  • Thank you Mary-Hartnell

    Re "we do welcome the input from qualified (?) advisors", my position is as follows;

    for the past 17 years I have run my own financial services Firm, and I am FSA authorised, a Member of the Society of Will Writers, a member by diploma of the Chartered Insurance Institute, an IFA, mortgage broker, general insurance adviser, life insurance broker, commercial finance consultant, business protection adviser, Practice Principal, company superviser, estate planner, husband, father and stepdad.

    I'm qualified, experienced, professional, knowledgeable and .. still in business.

    Hope this helps.
  • 66chorisia66chorisia Forumite
    11 posts
    Tenth Anniversary 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    Is the payable on death bank account used in the USA an option in the U.K.? If a married couple have everything in joint names both having independant access as in a
    joint bank account either to sign can probate be avoided? How the vultures gather after death! what is the best way in England to minimise their feeding frenzy?
Sign In or Register to comment.

Quick links

Essential Money | Who & Where are you? | Work & Benefits | Household and travel | Shopping & Freebies | About MSE | The MoneySavers Arms | Covid-19 & Coronavirus Support