National Trust Wills Service - Free Wills

Hello,

Has anyone used the national trust free wills writing service?

My mum has asked me to sort her will for her. I'm debating the quick and cheap option vs using a solicitor. Both my parents are alive and married, the only issue is that my dad isn't interested in writing a will - he's a stubborn old man who believes he can live forever and won't entertain any discussion on the matter.

 My parents estate is above the £325K threshold. They've got multiple children and grand children.

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/support-us/gifts-in-wills/free-will-writing?campid=PPC_Central_Fundraising_Google_AWLegacyNationalTrust&gad=1&gclid=Cj0KCQiAo7KqBhDhARIsAKhZ4ujb-aqFd3XMNxul87clmfZX3-mDOlSeMREk-3mgMCbBxuzGLmZH6y0aApX2EALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds

I'm leaning towards using a professional solicitor, but wanted  to get a second opinion.

Thanks

Comments

  • Keep_pedalling
    Keep_pedalling Posts: 16,216
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    I would go with your leanings and use a local solicitor.

    Sounds like your father is a lost cause so it is important that that your mother gets sound advice which will be particularly important if she is the one to go first. In her shoes I would be making sure my assets when exactly where I want them and not left to chance through the irresponsible actions of her husband.

    I would not for instance let the house pass into his sole ownership, but instead leave my share to my children / grand children and just give him a life interest in. This would likely need her to sever the joint tenancy which she can do without his permission, but a local solicitor would be able to cover of this and any other concern at a face to face meeting.
  • Thanks, OK, next question do I need a professional solicitor as opposed to using a member of the society of will writers?

    It seems a number of firms specialise in will writing without a solicitor which seems a little concerning...

    https://www.willwriters.com/
  • SiliconChip
    SiliconChip Posts: 1,281
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    Please don't use anybody other than a solicitor, will writers may be cheaper but it could prove to be a false economy.
  • Anyone can set up as a will writer as they are not regulated. There are probably some good ones out there, but if anything goes wrong your beneficiaries have no comeback as chances are the firm will no longer be in existence but the time it comes to light. Some also try to upsell trusts that are of dubious use.

    The costs for a local solicitor will not be that high and this is one of the most important documents you will ever make so not one to penny pinch on.

    Your mother should consider who would make the best executors and it sounds like your father would be a bad choice. She should also put lasting powers of attorney in place (does not require a solicitor) and again careful consideration needs to be given on who she appoints as attorneys.
  • RAS
    RAS Posts: 32,462
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    edited 10 November 2023 at 7:52AM
    With dad being a lost cause, it is all the more important that mum has a bomb proof will.

    The starting point is that they both have a £325k allowance and if they own a house that could be increased to £1m in total.

    Do either of them understand that if they die and the other partner remarries, everything could go to the new spouse and their children could get nothing? A solicitor will understand this.

    But be careful of trusts. Severing the tenancy on a house and leaving the other spouse a life interest trust is one thing, as is leaving stuff in trust to underage grandchildren. Other trusts often mean losing control, paying large fees and high taxes.

    Don't allow solicitors or will writers to up-sell LPAs that are easy and cheap to do online, or IHT wheezes.

    And it costs a very small fee to deposit your will with the Probate Service. Yes, it can take three weeks to recover but that's a lot faster than your executors can find it if the original solicitors have gone bankrupt, closed shop etc.
    The person who has not made a mistake, has made nothing
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