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My mum made a will with free wills month and has received a will with errors & a Bill

My mum has been saying for a while she needed to update her will but couldn't afford to so, when I heard about free wills month I suggested she use that especially as it was in our area in October.

Anyway, she booked an appointment with a solicitor during free wills month and told them when she booked and also when she attended the appointment that it was through free wills month. She rang me on the day of the appointment a few minutes after the appointment time to say she'd been seen but was only in the appointment for 5 minutes and she was really unhappy. I told her to wait until the draft came and we'd take it from there.

The draft will came in Saturday's post and it's riddled with errors. She named myself and my husband as executors and not only have they mispelt our name they've also named us as her children. They've then gone on to misspell my 2 sisters names, a nephew's name and missed out one of my children which my mum is insistent she named. My other 2 children they did name have also been mispelt.

To top it all of they've also enclosed a Bill for the privilege in the sum of £144.00.

I've told her I'll telephone them on her behalf as I feel partly responsible recommending free wills month to her. I'm going to call them tomorrow but I'm really scared. I don't fancy taking on a solicitors especially with a large Bill being involved.

Can anyone give me any words of advice or nudge me in the right direction.

I've also posted this on the Deaths, Funerals and Probate thread for optimum coverage.
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Replies

  • AnniseleAnnisele Forumite
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    I don't think that you ringing is going to help matters - the solicitor is likely to just say "you're not my client so I won't talk to you".

    I think your Mum would be better off deciding what she wants, and then writing to ask for that. So - does she want the solicitor to complete the will properly and for free? Or does she just want to give it up as a bad job, not see the solicitor again, and not have to pay the invoice? I think it's fine for you to draft the letter, but she should sign it.

    If you'd rather do the whole thing over the phone, I think your Mum will first need to write to the solicitor giving them authority to speak to you.
  • uknickuknick Forumite
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    I can't comment on the factual errors in the will, but are you talking about Will Aid? If so might the bill be for the donation to charity? £90 is the recommended amount, but I don't know what your mother's will entailed.

    This is taken from the Will Aid site;

    How Will Aid works
    • If you wish to write a Will through Will Aid, click here to find out which local solicitors are participating.
    • You contact your chosen solicitor directly to make an appointment.
    • Your solicitor will advise you on what you need to take into consideration and will then draft your Will.
    • Your solicitor will waive their usual fee, inviting you to make a donation to the Will Aid charities instead.
    • Suggested donations are £90 for a basic single Will or £135 for a pair of basic mirror Wills.
    • If your Will is more complex, you and your solicitor can agree a separate fee for the extra work outside of the Will Aid arrangement.
    • All the money raised by Will Aid is then divided between the nine Will Aid charities.
    • Leave a gift in your Will to charity and make a real difference to the future.
  • we did the same under another scheme and also received a bill but it was to show how much it would have cost, we also signed a paper so they could claim it back from whoever it was backing the scheme.
    do ring them and do not be afraid they are ordinary people and no different than you and insist on speaking on behalf of your mum and explain the situation.
    It could be said that if your have to speak on your mums behalf she was not able to arrange this anyway and they should not have taken the instruction so she owes them nothing.

    But if they have made so many mistakes do you really want the original completed, the whole thing might not be legal if its gobbldy gooch.
    :cool: Wisdom doesn't necessarily come with age.
    Sometimes age just shows up all by itself ;)

    In the end, it's not the years in your life
    that count....it's the life in your years :D
  • I, too, made a will under Will Aid month two years ago with a local company who I subsequently found out to be notaries and not solicitors, although notaries can make wills. There was a suggested donation but I made my own.
    I made a will at that time as I was about to undergo major surgery and was also completing a divorce - I had received my decree nisi but was still waiting for the decree absolute when I made the will. I made this quite clear to the notary who was a partner in the company and one of my bequests was £2,000 from my estate to my soon-to-be ex-husband.
    When I received my decree absolute, it stated in very small print right at the bottom that any previous bequests made to my previous husband would be considered null and void, which my divorce solicitor reiterated.
    I, then, had to get back to the notary and TELL THEM that the will was incorrect and tell them the legalities.
    They wanted me to come in and resign the papers, but at this stage, I was post surgery and on crutches.
    The whole business was a complete nightmare, and, even now, I have doubts in my mind as to whether the revised will is correct in other aspects.
    Lesson learned, you get what you pay for, use a solicitor who has been personally recommended.
  • uknick wrote: »
    I can't comment on the factual errors in the will, but are you talking about Will Aid? If so might the bill be for the donation to charity? £90 is the recommended amount, but I don't know what your mother's will entailed.

    This is taken from the Will Aid site;

    How Will Aid works
    • If you wish to write a Will through Will Aid, click here to find out which local solicitors are participating.
    • You contact your chosen solicitor directly to make an appointment.
    • Your solicitor will advise you on what you need to take into consideration and will then draft your Will.
    • Your solicitor will waive their usual fee, inviting you to make a donation to the Will Aid charities instead.
    • Suggested donations are £90 for a basic single Will or £135 for a pair of basic mirror Wills.
    • If your Will is more complex, you and your solicitor can agree a separate fee for the extra work outside of the Will Aid arrangement.
    • All the money raised by Will Aid is then divided between the nine Will Aid charities.
    • Leave a gift in your Will to charity and make a real difference to the future.

    It was freewillsmonth. It was on the MSE news letter towards the end of September (i'm on my phone so can't link) although I had heard about it previously. It states every march and October certain solicitors in selected areas will draft a free will for over 55's and the idea is to secure a donation to selected charities but you don't have to donate it's just hoped.
  • BigglesBiggles Forumite
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    idea is to secure a donation to selected charities but you don't have to donate it's just hoped.
    Yeah, that's the theory. Just try and get out of the door without having agreed to a substantial 'donation'.

    I wouldn't touch this scheme with a bargepole, better to use someone like an Institute of Professional Will-writers member. It'll cost you less in the long run.
  • zaksmumzaksmum Forumite
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    We made a will via a solicitor nominated by the trade union O/H used to be a member of.

    No charge at all was made.
  • dzug1dzug1 Forumite
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    I wonder if your mum got confused and booked an appointment with a solicitor who wasn't part of the scheme? Sounds unlikely I admit but stranger things have happened. Maybe she thought that all solicitors participated.
  • She needs to take up the errors with the solicitor who drew it up. As to the charge, it's possible that her will was not straighforward and that incurred a cost - there was a sign at our solicitors to that affect.
    'Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.' George Carlin
  • MojisolaMojisola Forumite
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    Anyway, she booked an appointment with a solicitor during free wills month and told them when she booked and also when she attended the appointment that it was through free wills month. She rang me on the day of the appointment a few minutes after the appointment time to say she'd been seen but was only in the appointment for 5 minutes and she was really unhappy. I told her to wait until the draft came and we'd take it from there.

    The draft will came in Saturday's post and it's riddled with errors. She named myself and my husband as executors and not only have they mispelt our name they've also named us as her children. They've then gone on to misspell my 2 sisters names, a nephew's name and missed out one of my children which my mum is insistent she named. My other 2 children they did name have also been mispelt.

    I can't see how all that information could have been taken down in five minutes!
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