Updating my will
in Deaths, funerals & probate
7 replies 589 views
My husband and I had 'mirror Wills' drawn up by a Solicitor under the 'Free Wills Month - October' system. The Solicitor keeps the originals. My husband has recently died so I need to update my own Will and (very importantly) change the Executor. I contacted the solicitor who now wishes to charge me. As I am a low income pensioner on Guaranteed Pension Credit, I can ill afford the cost and would prefer to change to a current Free Will service offered by some Charities. Can I do this? Is it ethical? Can the original Solicitor charge me to return and/or destroy my current Will? I don't want to leave it until this October in case I die in the meantime. Please advise? Thank you in advance.
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The new Will will contain a clause revoking all previous Wills which you have made in the past so no need to worry about the current Will. The custodian of the current Will should not, in any event, make any bones about releasing it to you or your new solicitor.
Well done for opting to have your Will drawn up by a professional.
Your original solicitor is entitled to charge you for a new one or codicil if it's minor changes, it's not a lifetime free will. Any charges are detailed in their original client care letter, however I highly doubt they will charge for posting it back to you.
My condolences for your loss.
Others work on the basis that you pay a reduced amount for the will, the solicitor donates their time and expertise and the money you pay goes directly to the charity. In that case, the charity has already got their cut and there is nothing to stop you changing your will. It would be sensible to write to the original solicitor to tell them you have made a newer will and asking them to send you the old one to destroy, also make sure that you tell your new executor where the most up to date will is held or stored, and the date it was made.
Have you re-read the original will? It's quite common when making wills for a couple that the will would include both the original appointment of the other spouse as executor and beneficiary but also set out alternate executors / beneficiaries to take effect on the second death - so do check whether it needs to be updated at all.