The Great Planning for Death Hunt

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Comments

  • mary43
    mary43 Posts: 5,845 Forumite
    margaretclare - thanks for that. It's just what me and OH had in mind. Just got to find one round out area now.
    Other option is sending my remains (such as they will be) for medical research as has been mentioned earlier.
    Bit undecided really...............think the family would prefer a woodland burial and I do feel I've got to consider how they might feel at the time.
    Trouble is, its never the sort of subject that seems to come up in conversation and no-one ever seems to want to mention it.
    Mary

    I'm creative -you can't expect me to be neat too !
    (Good Enough Member No.48)
  • paddy's_mum
    paddy's_mum Posts: 3,977 Forumite
    I've been Money Tipped!
    SuzySF - please, please don't go down the write your own will route. Years ago, I watched my normally astute grandfather's estate wither away from many, many thousands of pounds to almost nothing, simply because he thought he could save a few bob and do his own will. He didn't do it right, there were huge complications and the only people who gained anything were the lawyers!

    The major sticking point was such a simple error. We knew what he meant but the Probate people didn't. His surname was an unusual one - let's say Edward Abcde. Because he had married again after my grandmother's death, he wrote his will like this - "I, Edward Abcde, leave £1000 to each of my Abcde grandchildren". Sounds straightforward doesn't it?

    It wasn't though because there were several children like me whose mothers had changed their name on marriage and so my surname was that of my own father, not Abcde. I was still his grandchild but I did not carry the name that he had inadvertently specified. The lawyers and probate bods read it that only children who had the surname Abcde could inherit - the others lost out, although in the end, there was very little to inherit.

    Having a simple will drawn is not expensive at all if you compare it to the costs and complications of getting it wrong. I do hope you will reconsider.
  • Looking at the various Insurance Companies offers of 'buy this much life insurance for x much per month' I decided that a simple £2,500 ISA in the wife's name will be worth enough at my point of popping off to cover the exes of me being cremated and all the associated costs, [funeral director, cars, crematorium fees, vicar, church fee, hole digger,etc;] and the remains being buried - I have also pre-bought a plot in my local parish graveyard for the both of us [it is on a 25 year lease, which if we don't use it we forfeit it - I'm 69 now, the wife 52].
  • My firm recomendation is to get the Will prepared by a good solicitor, The £49 per Will or "Prepare your Will" packs are just not up to scratch unless your affairs are very straightforward ... most people,s are not.

    If the Will is not clear and exactly prepared it can lead to huge and expensive complications when you are gone. Unless you happen to be a trained lawyer you probably would never know if something wasnt as it should be or as you wanted, until it,s too late.

    Solicitors offer the first half hour free deals, or sometimes Will amnesties whereby they will prepare a will for a fixed fee, look out for those types of deal. If you go prepared it,s amazing what you can get done in the first half hour ... go prepared, and know what you want, after having done your homework .. After all MSE folks are good at homework.
  • toshkininny
    toshkininny Posts: 1,189 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    so can anyone tell me how much a solicitor should charge to write a Will for a couple? The average price?

    I have just seen this (sorry no good at doing links!)

    http://www.whsmith.co.uk/CatalogAndSearch/ProductDetails-Last+Will+and+Testament+Kit+-9781904053538.html

    and wondered if it was worth doing.
  • mary43
    mary43 Posts: 5,845 Forumite
    Cancer Research do a Free Will Service where they send you a list of solicitors in your area who will do this.
    They do like you do leave a donation to cancer research but its not obligatory and can be as big or small as you want from what I gather.
    I think there is a limited amount of money cancer research agree to pay for the will making and the amount isn't specified. I suppose if someone has a very complicated will drawn up then the cost might be more than the charity can pay and that amount you have to pay yourself.
    It's worth checking out the website and getting some info on it.
    There is an age limit of 55 mentioned.
    Mary

    I'm creative -you can't expect me to be neat too !
    (Good Enough Member No.48)
  • margaretclare
    margaretclare Posts: 10,789 Forumite
    SuzySF - please, please don't go down the write your own will route. Years ago, I watched my normally astute grandfather's estate wither away from many, many thousands of pounds to almost nothing, simply because he thought he could save a few bob and do his own will. He didn't do it right, there were huge complications and the only people who gained anything were the lawyers!

    The major sticking point was such a simple error. We knew what he meant but the Probate people didn't. His surname was an unusual one - let's say Edward Abcde. Because he had married again after my grandmother's death, he wrote his will like this - "I, Edward Abcde, leave £1000 to each of my Abcde grandchildren". Sounds straightforward doesn't it?

    It wasn't though because there were several children like me whose mothers had changed their name on marriage and so my surname was that of my own father, not Abcde. I was still his grandchild but I did not carry the name that he had inadvertently specified. The lawyers and probate bods read it that only children who had the surname Abcde could inherit - the others lost out, although in the end, there was very little to inherit.

    Having a simple will drawn is not expensive at all if you compare it to the costs and complications of getting it wrong. I do hope you will reconsider.

    I agree with this.

    In our case, we've done back-to-back wills leaving everything to each other but when the second of us goes, everything that remains is to be turned into cash and split between 5 grandchildren. We've had to name them individually, because 3 of them are mine and 2 are his, and apparently writing 'my grandchildren' would not do what we want, because stepchildren and step-grandchildren are not recognised unless specifically named. So their names have all been included, and I've kept the solicitor informed of their changes of address.

    We're fortunate in that IHT is not likely to be a consideration, but for those with considerable estates, it has got to be thought about beforehand.

    I heard one experienced solicitor say that most of the work to do with wills that their firm had to do was sorting out the messes left by people who thought it was 'too expensive' to get a proper will written by a solicitor and did it themselves. You've just highlighted this!

    I think ours cost us about £90 each. Cheap at the price.

    HTH

    Margaret
    [FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Æ[/FONT]r ic wisdom funde, [FONT=Times New Roman, serif]æ[/FONT]r wear[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]ð[/FONT] ic eald.
    Before I found wisdom, I became old.
  • margaretclare
    margaretclare Posts: 10,789 Forumite
    mary43 wrote: »
    margaretclare - thanks for that. It's just what me and OH had in mind. Just got to find one round out area now.
    Other option is sending my remains (such as they will be) for medical research as has been mentioned earlier.
    Bit undecided really...............think the family would prefer a woodland burial and I do feel I've got to consider how they might feel at the time.
    Trouble is, its never the sort of subject that seems to come up in conversation and no-one ever seems to want to mention it.

    I know what you mean. I've often tried to talk about this with my daughter but she always sheers off the subject and doesn't want to discuss it.

    Have a look at: http://www.greenburialsite.co.uk/green-burial.html

    HTH

    Margaret
    [FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Æ[/FONT]r ic wisdom funde, [FONT=Times New Roman, serif]æ[/FONT]r wear[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]ð[/FONT] ic eald.
    Before I found wisdom, I became old.
  • paddy's_mum
    paddy's_mum Posts: 3,977 Forumite
    I've been Money Tipped!
    If planning to leave instructions about how you would like your funeral to be conducted, you also need to tell your executors what you have in mind.

    There is some debate about who actually has control of a corpse, and if I remember correctly, "ownership" of a dead body is vested in the executors and not necessarily in the next of kin, or indeed, kin generally.

    (Any solicitors on board who could clear that one up?)
  • inkie wrote: »
    I am a minister and so have a lot of dealings with the funeral directors. I was there the other day having a coffee with them, and they told me that if you are a Co-op divvy member (which costs £1 to join), then you get £56 reduction on the funeral bill if you use Co-op funeral service. Better in your pocket than theirs.
    Can I add as well that if you have a 'pre-paid' plan, then if the deceased is a a church member and therefore your minister doesn't charge a ministers fee, then please ensure that the final bill is checked, as this fee is costed in for a pre-payment plan, and so will need reimbursing.
    I've never heard of a minister not charging a family for their services before...in fact they bring up, BEFORE even enquiring about the deceased or their family :mad: Oh, sorry, yes there are some that give their services for free...Jehovah's Witnesses.
    So many contradictions to do with the benefit system....my child is now 16 so isn't a child anymore, or so say tax credits...yet they can't vote coz, according to the government they're still a child! :confused:
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