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Free and Cheap Wills discussion area

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Deaths, Funerals & Probate
543 replies 171.5K views
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  • I just wanted to say that nothing is ever free.

    My uncle recently had a will drawn up by a solicitor for £51 which he was very happy about. However, what the solicitor did was to add him in as an executor which means he potentially stands to inherit £1000's from his estate.

    I am NOT saying that every solicitor does this or that the ones in this scheme do this but just to say always do your research first.

    I say that because I have just done a quick search on ebay and found a discount code for 10% off - item number 220508680748.

    If you find this code useful please can you thank me - as a newbie i'm trying to build up my profile.
  • titanic40 wrote: »
    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:

    If you have anything worth leaving you need to make wills NOW. Couples who live together have no automatic legal rights. If your partner died his legal wife would be his next of kin. She would also have rights to widows benefits and pensions. If you want protect your financial position you need to get divorced and marry your partner.
  • As a Professional Willwriter myself, I have found that fpwpp training specialists ltd to be very useful. They are looking towards regulating the industry, which in my opinion from previous experience is definately the way forward. We have all heard the horror stories of rogue willwriters giving the industry a bad name. Fpwpp provide from what I can see total training solutions backed by Edexel who are a leading training provide... I'm looking forward to working with them to gain a nationally recogised qualification

    Well good luck to you. Before you waste any more money it might be worth reminding yourself that the directors running this outfit were among the directors of the disgraced Estate Protection Services that were struck off by the Law Society.

    The colourful past of these directors even make it onto the first page of the Law Society Gazette:

    http://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/aspiring-will-writing-regulator039s-colourful-past-revealed
  • titanic40 wrote: »
    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:

    Succession Law does not recognise co-habiting or the phrase "common law(husband/wife)". Without a Will the survivor gets NOTHING! and could possibly be thrown out of a house they have helped pay for. DO NOT DELAY go and see a professional Will writer.

    By the way, did you know that solicitors do not have to have to pass an exam on Will writing or even have to study succession Law! Now you know why so many wills drawn up by solicitors cause more problems than they're worth - oH - unless you are the solicitor who then has to sort it out of course!:rotfl:
  • 66chorisia wrote: »
    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?

    Joint ownership of anything, (property, bank accounts etc.), under Law is where the WHOLE of the asset is owned by both at the same time. When one dies the survivor(s) still own the whole and so the asset passes outside any Will. I have seen many Wills where someone has put "I leave my share of..." thinking that 50% of the family home or whatever is going to go to the person of their choice. The moment they die they own NOTHING of any "Joint" owned asset and therefore NOTHING is left.
    I could explain how you can deal with this but it would dominate the forum! Get professional advice, (see my other comments)
  • 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.

    I always advise people to make beneficiaries executors for the following reasons: 1) they are normally close family members or friends, 2) they have a vested interest in keeping costs to a minimum. ALL executors are bound by law for as long as they live to act according to Law and are (usually), answerable to the beneficiaries if they do not. Probate is not difficult in the majority of cases and can be dealt with anyone who is over 18
  • There do appear to be a few horror stories in this thread which could have the adverse effect of putting people off from writing a Will. So I thought I’d throw my 2 pennies in: -

    1. If you appoint a professional as your executor they do have a duty to your beneficiaries and your beneficiaries can take them to court to enforce this duty or claim compensation if they have not acted properly. This means that they cannot cause unnecessary delays, rack up the costs or do anything that is not in the beneficiaries’ interests. I would always recommend instructing someone you know as they are more likely to know what you would have wanted, but in the absence of that, a professional will be obliged to act in your estate’s best interests.

    2. If said professional executor is a solicitor, you can also complain to the SRA if they are being unreasonable, which I recommend you do if any of you have this problem (it should not be happening!).

    3. I work for a solicitor’s firm and if we are ever appointed executor (through the client’s choice) we make sure that we explain very carefully to the client what our costs would be if we were to act as executor.

    4. A solicitor cannot “make” themselves executor as part of the terms of drawing up the Will, they have to be chosen by the client and the person signing the Will always has the choice to say no.

    5. If any of the Will Aid solicitors refused to deal with you unless you paid them £75, I would report them to Will Aid. We had many clients who donated any amount from £5-150. It is for charity and the point is that people should donate whatever they want.

    6. Running an estate as an executor does not have to be scary or a lot of work.

    I do agree with some of the posters though, always do your research first and make sure you get recommendations for your solicitor. There are a lot of good ones out there but unfortunately a handful of bad ones give us all a bad name!

    It is so important that you get a Will, especially if you have children, and so few people have one. Please don’t let the horror stories put you off. With the right solicitor, it can be quick, painless and straightforward.
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  • Hi
    I am about to start phoning round to find a solicitor to draft our wills and I know there's something I need to ask if they are experienced in - but I can't remember what. Can anyone help?
    I'm sure they need to be regulated by the law society but then all qualified solicitors are aren't they? But I'm sure I've read somewhere on here that there is a pertinent question I should ask.
    Many thanks if anyone can point me in the right direction
  • Savvy_SueSavvy_Sue Forumite
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    If it's a very straightforward will - I leave it all to Fred - then it's not such an issue, but if you want to limit possible Inheritance Tax liabilities, have young children, a house, a partner, or any combination of the above, then getting a STEP qualified solicitor could be worth the extra expense.
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  • I'm an executor for my parents wills. They've recently asked me about changing to a "bloodline" will. I've read the details from the solicitor but I'm unsure - anyone have an opinion as to whether they are significantly better than the mirror wills they currently hold?
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