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  • Errata
    Errata Posts: 38,230 Forumite
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    Does your mum have capacity? Would she understand what making a will meant and be able to use her judgment about its contents?
    Is there anyone who could challenge the will when the time comes on the grounds that she had a diagnosis of dementia and didn't have capacity at the time she made it?
    .................:)....I'm smiling because I have no idea what's going on ...:)
  • Mojisola
    Mojisola Posts: 35,559 Forumite
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    trishiem68 wrote: »
    My mom has been diagnosed with dementia and I've been told to get her affairs in order sooner rather than later but my mom hasn't done a will. Can anyone tell me whether I can do a will online with her or do I actually have to get a solicitor involved as I'm struggling to know what to do for the best

    It depends how bad she is. She may be considered too advanced to be able to make the decisions necessary for a will.

    If you think she is still capable, use a solicitor. If the will is challenged on the basis of incompetency, it will help to have a solicitor on your side who can say that she was capable during the preparation of the will.
  • trishiem68
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    Sorry you will have to forgive me as this is the first forum I've ever joined so hopefully I'm replying the correct way!

    Some days you forget that there's anything wrong with her but then she has bad days and I'm worried that going to a solicitors that it will unnerve her. I don't think anyone would challenge the will as my brother and sister are in agreement of what mom would want to happen.
  • Errata
    Errata Posts: 38,230 Forumite
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    These days solicitors are pretty cute to people taking their dear old mum to them to make her will and are hyper-sensitive to any sign of distress/anxiety/confuddlement and will err on the side of caution and take the view that dear old mum doesn't have sufficient mental capacity to understand what she intends to do and what the consequences of her actions are.
    If the solicitor is advised that mum has a diagnosis of dementia they will either ask for medical opinion on capacity, which can only be a snapshot on the day the opinion is given, and even then they still may decline a request to write the will, or they will flatly refuse.
    .................:)....I'm smiling because I have no idea what's going on ...:)
  • Gotapikapokitor2
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    Is there anything logical on this site? I wanted to ask a question (as others have) but none of the headings relate to doing this, so I'm guessing (illogically) as nothing else has a space to write in, that this "Message" will appear somewhere maybe? (Even though it appears under the heading "Quick Reply").
    Q1. Can I add my son as an additional executor via a codicil?
    Q2. My daughter has divorced and re-married. Does my will need changing, and if so, would a codicil be appropriate, and are there DIY codicil forms?
  • Savvy_Sue
    Savvy_Sue Posts: 46,105 Forumite
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    trishiem68 wrote: »
    My mom has been diagnosed with dementia and I've been told to get her affairs in order sooner rather than later but my mom hasn't done a will. Can anyone tell me whether I can do a will online with her or do I actually have to get a solicitor involved as I'm struggling to know what to do for the best
    Errata wrote: »
    Does your mum have capacity? Would she understand what making a will meant and be able to use her judgment about its contents?
    Is there anyone who could challenge the will when the time comes on the grounds that she had a diagnosis of dementia and didn't have capacity at the time she made it?
    Errata wrote: »
    These days solicitors are pretty cute to people taking their dear old mum to them to make her will and are hyper-sensitive to any sign of distress/anxiety/confuddlement and will err on the side of caution and take the view that dear old mum doesn't have sufficient mental capacity to understand what she intends to do and what the consequences of her actions are.
    If the solicitor is advised that mum has a diagnosis of dementia they will either ask for medical opinion on capacity, which can only be a snapshot on the day the opinion is given, and even then they still may decline a request to write the will, or they will flatly refuse.
    One piece of advice AS WELL AS making a will is to sort out Power of Attorney, if she still has capacity. Because it's easier while she still has capacity than once she's lost it.

    'Capacity' doesn't have to be there all the time. If you know she's better in the mornings, then that's when you make the appointment - although a decent solicitor will still want to check she has capacity. If she's better at home than out, get the solicitor in.

    That applies to both writing the will, and getting PofA.

    And to add to that, I have a vague feeling that someone with PofA can make a will on behalf of the person they're acting for, because they can do anything the person would have done. Can anyone confirm my vague feeling?
    Signature removed for peace of mind
  • Savvy_Sue
    Savvy_Sue Posts: 46,105 Forumite
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    Is there anything logical on this site? I wanted to ask a question (as others have) but none of the headings relate to doing this, so I'm guessing (illogically) as nothing else has a space to write in, that this "Message" will appear somewhere maybe? (Even though it appears under the heading "Quick Reply").
    It can be a bit confusing at times ...

    You can also use the larger REPLY button, or use the QUOTE button if you want to refer to a previous post.
    Q1. Can I add my son as an additional executor via a codicil?
    Q2. My daughter has divorced and re-married. Does my will need changing, and if so, would a codicil be appropriate, and are there DIY codicil forms?
    I believe you can do practically anything with a codicil. Whether it's a good idea to use a codicil is another matter. As for whether your will NEEDS changing because of your DD's divorce and re-marriage, I'd say it partly depended on what your will said - if it refers to Janet and John where John is the ex, obviously it does need changing unless you still want John to have anything.

    It's important to get a codicil right in the same way as the will itself - witnesses, dating, etc. So it may be simpler to go to a solicitor and start again - if the changes are simple then the solicitor who drew up the first one may amend it for a lesser fee.
    Signature removed for peace of mind
  • trishiem68
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    Savvy_Sue wrote: »
    One piece of advice AS WELL AS making a will is to sort out Power of Attorney, if she still has capacity. Because it's easier while she still has capacity than once she's lost it.

    'Capacity' doesn't have to be there all the time. If you know she's better in the mornings, then that's when you make the appointment - although a decent solicitor will still want to check she has capacity. If she's better at home than out, get the solicitor in.

    That applies to both writing the will, and getting PofA.

    And to add to that, I have a vague feeling that someone with PofA can make a will on behalf of the person they're acting for, because they can do anything the person would have done. Can anyone confirm my vague feeling?

    Thanks for the advice. I've completed the PofA and posted it about three weeks ago and but not heard anything yet but I did notice that it can take up to thirteen weeks before it will come through providing that I haven't made any mistakes, fingers crossed. I'm a bit worried about leaving it that long just in case they say I can't and with mom's illness I don't know if she will still have the capacity in thirteen weeks, I just don't know. My mom worked many years ago at a solicitors office so she does understand why she needs to do it but I just don't know what to do for the best. I have rang a solicitors recently and explained about mom but they said that I need a letter confirming that she has capacity but then when you speak to mom's consultant they said that the solicitor usually have to form their own opinion and do their own test but I don't know whose right
  • John_Pierpoint
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    If you are not trying to do something contentious but just trying to improve and simplify the effects of intestacy, you could mug up on DIY wills.
    Then you could help mum to formulate her will, on one of her good days.

    "Which?" used to include suitable wordings in their guide, but these days they plug their on-line service.
    My mum and I, used the "Which?" guide to re-write her will [and cut out the solicitor who had conveniently made himself the executor] and it passed the acid test of getting grant of probate when the time came - even though it was only printed using a dot matrix printer and then photocopied down to fit it all on one side of paper (before being signed and witnessed).
    That is more than I can say for my uncle's will. It had been solicitor created and was partially intestate - the worst of both worlds.

    [I have "fond" memories of a solicitor and a hospital doctor arguing over who was going to sign the Lasting Power of Attorney application forms. This was I think pure "anus protectus" on their part as neither wanted the responsibility, but the NHS bloke wanted the bed.
    The reality was that my uncle had lost most of the ability to speak and all the ability to sign. However he still understood.
    In the event he passed on within about 6 weeks and the whole expensive pantomime proved a waste of time and money.]
  • John_Pierpoint
    John_Pierpoint Posts: 8,391 Forumite
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    edited 10 February 2012 at 5:14PM
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    BAS/BAL wrote: »
    Please, please everyone make a will. One of my parents didn't and as a result (too complicated to go in to here) all of the family estate, worth over 7 figures has gone out of the family. Nothing we can do cos it is the law of intestacy. So do it. I would hate others to go through the grief and angst that I have had to suffer.

    Is this a "step family" situation? Increasingly common in our new millennium society or perhaps an adoption that had not been done correctly?
    Otherwise a DNA test would sort it out.

    Assuming we are talking about an England and Wales resident and death, here are the rules:
    http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/index/your_family/family_index_ew/who_can_inherit_if_there_is_no_will___the_rules_of_intestacy.htm

    Basically if the deceased has no surviving legal partner or children/grandchildren/greatgrandchildren then the money goes backwards to the parents of the deceased and then works its way forwards looking for someone still alive.
    If that does not work it goes backwards to the grandparents and works forwards through the uncles and aunts looking for someone still alive.
    "Full blood" taking precedence over "half blood" - My FiL had a grandparent who managed to have 4 wives.

    In the Celtic fringes there is more of an effort to find and favour family members; for example in Scotland the money can go all the way backwards to the great grandparents before rolling forwards looking for living relatives.

    The only recent changes are increases in the amounts going to the surviving partner (Now up to £450K) - as the survivor is usually a woman, this can favour a switch from the male line to the female one but it is not "7 figures".

    There is also legislation that says if someone is a dependent of the deceased then that dependent can make a claim on the estate for their maintenance.
    [The rest of us don't want to pay for him/her]
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