Wills

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Hi. Please replace in the appropriate area, I cannot seem to find where to put this. 

I need to make a will. Only a mirror will. I'm so confused as to where to go with it? Property worth 200k. We have no children, not married. I have phoned solicitors that say £500 to £800 but co op do for £180?? When i ask why the big price difference they say I need to book an appointment. (Not free).  Can someone advise please. Not sure what I'm meant to ask now. Thanks in advance 
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  • kipsterno1
    kipsterno1 Posts: 346 Forumite
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    How many solicitors have you tried? The price quote seems high to me. I would have a shop around some more local solicitors.  Fees are often outlined on the website. Be aware that the Co op are likely to try and upsell thing like LPAs which are very straight forward and can be done yourself.
  • ree123
    ree123 Posts: 17 Forumite
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    Thanks. I've phoned 4 so far, solicitors that is, that price above is the range. The Co op seem so much cheaper. Doesn't make sense and I can't get an answer from anyone of them as to why? Thanks anyway 
  • poppystar
    poppystar Posts: 1,323 Forumite
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    edited 15 March 2023 at 9:10PM
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    The prices do seem high. Are the solicitors quoting for two wills (both sides of the mirror) and coop only for one? Have you said anything to the solicitors that might make them think it isn’t straightforward? 

    I’d expect any solicitor to give you a free ten or fifteen minutes, probably on the phone, before you decide to go ahead. 
  • NlghtOwl
    NlghtOwl Posts: 91 Forumite
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    £250 for each mirror will so £500 total I’d say is a fair price. Reading these forum threads shows the money wasted when wills aren’t done properly.
  • lr1277
    lr1277 Posts: 1,693 Forumite
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    A couple of years ago, I think parents paid 250-300 each for mirror wills which was a simple will. Also say £200 to convert property from tenants in common to joint ownership. Something like that but I don't remember exactly, so I may be quoting low figures.
    The solicitor said a more complex will would cost more depending on the complexity. This fee also included the solicitor visiting the house to get the instruction and then 2 people visiting the house to witness the signing of the wills.
    Also depends in which part of the country you are in. When I was in Essex, admittedly 8 years ago, the cost of a single will was £180-200, without home visits. A few years later in Hertfordshire, it was £250-300 each, for 2 mirror wills and home visits.
    HTH
  • lr1277
    lr1277 Posts: 1,693 Forumite
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    Pure guesswork on my part, but either you will need to decide on the following, or the solicitor will ask (btw this is not a comprehensive list):
    Not being married might and I say only might make complicate matters as opposed to being married. Pure speculation on my part.
    How is your house owned? Jointly or tenants in common?
    Do you want some kind of trust set up? Not usually recommended, but works in certain situations.
    How do you want assets distributed if you die first?
    How do you want assets distributed if you die 2nd?
    Also the person who survives 1st death, could write a new will with completely different set of beneficiaries.
    If the surviving person from the relationship gets into another relationship, would the person who died first be happy for their assets going to the survivor's new partner or their children?
    You need to choose an executor other than or as well as your partner. The latter incase you both die at the same time.
    A badly written will may be invalid in which case the rules of intestacy may apply.
    Some things for you to think about.
    HTH
  • gwynlas
    gwynlas Posts: 1,730 Forumite
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    lf you are not prepared to marry or enter into a civil partnership then it would be advisable to set up LPAs for both health and wealth if you regard each other as next of kin. Strokes or sudden death can strike at any time and family members however well  meaning might not act in the best interest of your partner or your own wishes.
  • lr1277
    lr1277 Posts: 1,693 Forumite
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    gwynlas said:
    lf you are not prepared to marry or enter into a civil partnership then it would be advisable to set up LPAs for both health and wealth if you regard each other as next of kin. Strokes or sudden death can strike at any time and family members however well  meaning might not act in the best interest of your partner or your own wishes.

    This!!

    For the LPA to work, it has to be registered with each financial institution as soon as you get it, before the donor has lost capacity.
    My parents were married, and had LPAs which weren't registered. So since the LPA's weren't registered with the bank, the banks would not deal with the spouse if the other spouse had not done security with customer service and given permission for their spouse to do the talking.
    I can't imagine it would be much different if a couple weren't married.
    Be aware:
    With a health or welfare LPA, the attorney can only act if the donor has lost capacity.
    With a finance and property LPA, the attorney can act if the donor has not yet lost capacity as long as the donor has given them permission to perform that particular task or tasks.
  • RAS
    RAS Posts: 32,779 Forumite
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    lr1277 said:
    gwynlas said:
    lf you are not prepared to marry or enter into a civil partnership then it would be advisable to set up LPAs for both health and wealth if you regard each other as next of kin. Strokes or sudden death can strike at any time and family members however well  meaning might not act in the best interest of your partner or your own wishes.

    This!!

    For the LPA to work, it has to be registered with each financial institution as soon as you get it, before the donor has lost capacity.

    Having an unregistered LPA is better than nothing, but it can take months to get it registered. And if there are any queries, the donor may not be able to help resolve them. Meantime, the attorney can do very little.

    People are encouraged to register the LPAs when they make them. They only become active if the donor wants the attorney to act for them, or the donor loses capacity. At that point the attorney needs to register the finance LPA with each financial institution.
    The person who has not made a mistake, has made nothing
  • Keep_pedalling
    Keep_pedalling Posts: 16,757 Forumite
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    lr1277 said:
    gwynlas said:
    lf you are not prepared to marry or enter into a civil partnership then it would be advisable to set up LPAs for both health and wealth if you regard each other as next of kin. Strokes or sudden death can strike at any time and family members however well  meaning might not act in the best interest of your partner or your own wishes.

    This!!

    For the LPA to work, it has to be registered with each financial institution as soon as you get it, before the donor has lost capacity.
    My parents were married, and had LPAs which weren't registered. So since the LPA's weren't registered with the bank, the banks would not deal with the spouse if the other spouse had not done security with customer service and given permission for their spouse to do the talking.

    It is important to register the LPA with the OoPG as soon all the sections have been signed off, but they don’t need to be registered with any of your financial institutions until needed regardless of if that is before or after mental capacity has been lost. If that was a requirement it would be a lot of hassle every time you switched  banks or opened an account with a new one. 

    Ours have been in place for 10 years and are not registered with our banks or ISA provider. Unfortunately bank staff are often poorly trained and don’t know how to deal with things like LPAs. While someone still has mental capacity, yes they have to be involved with registering it with the bank, but once the donor has lost capacity the attorneys have the authority to act for the donor. The bank may ask for proof of the loss of capacity but they cannot refuse to allow an attorney to act for the donor.

    With my mother we registered it with her bank before she lost capacity but was getting frail and forgetful which allowed me to use her account to get her shopping and manage her savings and I would recommend people do that once they have health issues that mean they no longer have the capacity to do everything themselves, but I would not do it on a just in case basis.
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