Trust Inheritance Will Writing Service

in Cutting Tax
191 replies 119.6K views
Hello

I am posting for the first time to try to get some info about a company called Trust Inheritance based in Weston-Super-Mare. They cold called my wife to offer a £49 Will writing and storage service. We accepted this offer as we were wanting to write a Will anyway. The rep turned up and off we went, setting out who was to get what etc.
Along the way the subject of executor(s) came up, with examples of what a time consuming and potentially expensive and stressful role this could be for someone with no legal experience etc. So it became more and more obvious that a solicitor could not only stand paying out the death duty before reclaiming this later but would also be more able to 'wind up the estate' more efficiently than Uncle Jed who agreed 20 years ago to act as executor but who now lives in Spain and is a bit deaf etc etc......
So then as you agree that it would be easier for TI solicitors to deal with it all you are then asked how you wish to pay the £2600 for them to do this....

I thought we were getting a lot for £49......

However, it does seem like a good deal.
£2600 one off + 1% max fees when 'winding up the estate' on each death. Complared to 4% on each death when using a solicitor or bank.
Examples given for a £750k estate = 2600 + 7500 + 7500 = 17600
v 30000 + 30000 = 60000 (+cost of storing Will etc)

or a £42,400 saving........
on todays property prices.

Sounds as if Wills are being sold on what they cost NOW to set up but not on what they cost to sort out at death. Obviously it won't effect you too much but who would you rather give th money too after you are gone - the solicitor or the kids....?

What do you think? Is this genuine or a scam - has anyone else come across this firm or know anything that would put my mind at rest......??

Thanks in advance

Mark
«13456720

Replies

  • CLAPTONCLAPTON Forumite
    41.9K Posts
    10,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    depends upon how complicated your affairs are.

    most wills are pretty straightforward and the best people to be executors are the beneficiaries as they have a vested intersted in getting the job done.

    basically appoint your heirs....they tend not to be forgetful and it costs nothing at all.

    but without knowing how complicated your affairs and wishes are it's impossible to say.
  • Seems a bit pricey my Dad and my uncle were the executors of my Gran's will and while there is a lot to do upon death the executor doesn't have to do it all and in the case of a solicitor acting as executor I doubt they ever do.
    Her estate was in the region of £750K and whilst I do remember there being a couple of things that a solicitor had to do I know for sure the bill wasn't anywhere near even the £17,600 mark.
    My Dad is no legal eagle and he managed to carry out the job ok.
  • Mark - I was a consultant for Trust Inheritance for a year - I only left because my acting career took off. A con it is certainly NOT. They are a very reputable company and professional. The fees they charge for the Wills for Life service is extremely competitive and although it is impossible to say whether any cash savings will be made in the long run (due to everyone's individual circumstances), they will certainly alleviate any burden that your family will have. The peace of mind is worth the price and for sure the 1% is a great deal for estate administration.
  • dzugdzug Forumite
    2.3K Posts
    ilanshefer wrote: »
    Mark - I was a consultant for Trust Inheritance for a year - I only left because my acting career took off. A con it is certainly NOT. They are a very reputable company and professional. The fees they charge for the Wills for Life service is extremely competitive and although it is impossible to say whether any cash savings will be made in the long run (due to everyone's individual circumstances), they will certainly alleviate any burden that your family will have. The peace of mind is worth the price and for sure the 1% is a great deal for estate administration.

    Whilst they may be reputable, will they be around in 20 years or more time when your executors come to call on the services you have pre-paid for? If they are will they still be reputable?

    In general it is not wise to appoint a solicitor or bank or other professional as executor in your will. You appoint a relative or friend. They then have the choice of doing the job themselves at low cost (and it isn't actually that difficult) or choosing and appointing their own professional help at a price they negotiate. Don't tie them down.

    1% of a fairly modest estate is still a lot to pay for a bit of simple clerical work. Banks (in particular) and solicitors get away with murder.
  • I'll be checking the News of the World this Sunday to see how many solicitors are accused of murder.

    However the advice is correct. The executors should always be trusted family members with a power in the Will allowing them to appoint professionl advisers if they need (eg valuers, solicitors, accountants etc).

    The executors can then deal with the simple things if they wish and pay for the more complex work after getting several quotes.
  • How interesting, I actually am currently employed by Trust Inheritance and would like to make a few pointers:

    Every one agrees that when it comes to Estate Administration Banks are rather expensive, latest information from HSBC states: £750 set up fee plus 3% of the first £300,000 plus 1% of anything else above £300,000 plus VAT.....please note HSBC minimum charge for executing an Estate is £2,000 plus VAT.....they are not the cheapest yet they are by far not the most expensive.

    Plenty of information at http://www.ifishoulddie.co.uk

    Solicitors will charge by the hour and the maximum hourly rates are fixed by the Law Society.....one local (to me) solicitor quotes £135 ph for Legal Executive (please read: young lady at reception who answers phones and does typing) and £170 for a Probate Specialist, with additional charge of 1/2% of the value of the house the deceased lived in plus 1% of the remainder plus VAT plus disbursements.

    Trust Inheritance offers their clients a Personal Estate Plan membership that will give them a bit more than expected.
    • Free legal advice to the member for any estate they have an interest in (includes all the estates this member is an executor for), and this advice is available for as long as it takes to wind up the Estate in question.
    • Free legal advise to the members executors, again for as long as it takes to wind up the estate.
    • Free set up of any Trust which is required following the will's instructions (remember that people under the age of 18 can not legally sign a receipt, so any inheritance to a minor has to go into Trust, one of these costs £500).
    • Free legal advice on how to manage a Trust.
    • Lifetime storage of the wills and unlimited updates to the wills.
    • 10% discount on any funeral arranged by the member or for the member when such funeral is booked via DIGNITY.
    • Free bereavement counselling.
    All this for an upfront payment of £2,500, and the cost can be spread over a number of years.

    Potential saving of: £250 if two wills are to be stored for 20 years; £100 for a couple of updates to the will; £1,700 for legal advice for 5 hours each death; £6,000 based on an Estate valued at £300,000 administered twice; £500 when the Trust to save the property from Care Home Fees is set up; £300 saving on 5 years of accountant fee for administering the Trust; £500 saving on two funerals; £200 saving on 4 hours of bereavement counselling. Total £9,550...and this is a very conservative figure.

    By the way, nobody else in Probate World offers this type of service!
    Nobody is perfect, except me of course :D

    Please note: my opinions are mine alone, nobody asked me to have them, obliged me to have them or even coerced me to have them, they are mine but they are free, so if you want to share them I will not charge you for it!

  • TorbyTorby Forumite
    1.7K Posts
    Have your will drawn up by a solicitor....if you haven't already got one...ask friends and family who they use...name a relative or close friend as executor...upon any changes in circumstance...death/marriage/divorce or changes in estate/savings/property revisit your solicitor and get will rewritten....

    it could be a false economy and a real disaster to do it any other way....I'm not saying ALL will writing companies are poor...and I know legal advice is not always best when it comes from the legal profession....but for a watertight legal document....use someone from the legal profession....you may find its not that expensive....


    here's a link to the recent ITV program about "Will Writers" who are springing up all over the country
    http://www.itv.com/News/tonight/episodes/WillWars/default.html
    there's also loads of great information on the subject and more links at the bottom of the page for the "Institute of Professional Willwriters" etc etc and following links you can search for

    Contacts
    The Law Society
    http://www.lawsociety.org.uk/home.law
    (for a list of reputable lawyers)
    Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists
    http://www.actaps.com/
    (for a list of reputable contentious probate lawyers)
    Solicitors Regulation Authority
    http://www.sra.org.uk/consumers/consumers.page
    (regulatory body of The Law Society)
    Institute of Professional Will Writers
    http://www.ipw.org.uk/
    (for a list of reputable will writers)

    Do a search and see if Trust Inheritance is affiliated to any of the professional (or reputable as ITV put it!) bodies.
    I'm now a retired teacher... hooray ...:j

    Those who can do, those who can't, come to me for lessons:cool:

  • How interesting, I actually am currently employed by Trust Inheritance and would like to make a few pointers:

    Every one agrees that when it comes to Estate Administration Banks are rather expensive, latest information from HSBC states: £750 set up fee plus 3% of the first £300,000 plus 1% of anything else above £300,000 plus VAT.....please note HSBC minimum charge for executing an Estate is £2,000 plus VAT.....they are not the cheapest yet they are by far not the most expensive.

    Plenty of information at http://www.ifishoulddie.co.uk

    Solicitors will charge by the hour and the maximum hourly rates are fixed by the Law Society.....one local (to me) solicitor quotes £135 ph for Legal Executive (please read: young lady at reception who answers phones and does typing) and £170 for a Probate Specialist, with additional charge of 1/2% of the value of the house the deceased lived in plus 1% of the remainder plus VAT plus disbursements.

    Trust Inheritance offers their clients a Personal Estate Plan membership that will give them a bit more than expected.
    • Free legal advice to the member for any estate they have an interest in (includes all the estates this member is an executor for), and this advice is available for as long as it takes to wind up the Estate in question.
    • Free legal advise to the members executors, again for as long as it takes to wind up the estate.
    • Free set up of any Trust which is required following the will's instructions (remember that people under the age of 18 can not legally sign a receipt, so any inheritance to a minor has to go into Trust, one of these costs £500).
    • Free legal advice on how to manage a Trust.
    • Lifetime storage of the wills and unlimited updates to the wills.
    • 10% discount on any funeral arranged by the member or for the member when such funeral is booked via DIGNITY.
    • Free bereavement counselling.
    All this for an upfront payment of £2,500, and the cost can be spread over a number of years.

    Potential saving of: £250 if two wills are to be stored for 20 years; £100 for a couple of updates to the will; £1,700 for legal advice for 5 hours each death; £6,000 based on an Estate valued at £300,000 administered twice; £500 when the Trust to save the property from Care Home Fees is set up; £300 saving on 5 years of accountant fee for administering the Trust; £500 saving on two funerals; £200 saving on 4 hours of bereavement counselling. Total £9,550...and this is a very conservative figure.

    You’ve revived an old thread to give what looks like a sales spiel.
    £250 if two wills are to be stored for 20 years….You can store Wills at the probate office for a small one off fee of £15
    http://www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk/cms/1202.htm
    £1,700 for legal advice for 5 hours each death…. Which may not be required and anyway you can call the probate helpline for FREE
    £6,000 based on an Estate valued at £300,000 administered twice…OP mentioned £2600 plus 1% so no saving here
    £500 when the Trust to save the property from Care Home Fees is set up….Shouldn’t this be part of the Will?
    £300 saving on 5 years of accountant fee for administering the Trust…Maybe but how would we know that Trust inheritance is up to the job? Nothing on website.
    £200 saving on 4 hours of bereavement counselling….Not everyone needs bereavement counselling
    £500 saving on two funerals…but tied to ‘dignity’
    I would urge anyone to name trusted friends or family members to be executors. They can then choose to seek professional help if they need to rather than being tied to a company that may not even exist in the future.

    Here is an example where an incompetent solicitor is named executor and the difficulties this has created:
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.html?t=1120993

    I don’t think I would ever have considered this company since from the website it is not clear who the company is answerable to if things go wrong .

    Certainly if I was given the above sales pitches ( OP and above), I’d have politely shown the person the door.
    .one local (to me) solicitor quotes £135 ph for Legal Executive (please read: young lady at reception who answers phones and does typing)

    As for your charming description of a legal executive, your company prefers to say this:
    Legal Executives are qualified lawyers specialising in a particular area of law. They will have passed the ILEX Professional Qualification in Law in an area of legal practice to the same level as that required of solicitors, visit: www.ilex.org.uk.
  • Torby wrote: »
    Have your will drawn up by a solicitor
    Torby wrote: »
    it could be a false economy and a real disaster to do it any other way.
    Except not all solicitors are up to the job ( even those practising solely in Wills and probate) but at least they are answerable to the SRA.You are guaranteed suitable qualifications with a STEP member though.
    Torby wrote: »
    here's a link to the recent ITV program about "Will Writers" who are springing up all over the country
    http://www.itv.com/News/tonight/episodes/WillWars/default.html
    I too watched that programme with horror.
    An IPW member who regularly posts in this section made some interesting points on qualifications in this thread:
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.html?t=1120993
    Well worth reading.
  • For the record: I came across this forum as I was doing a bit of research on line, and as an employee of Trust Inheritance I thought I should expand a bit more on some of the services that we offer, if it comes across as a sell spiel than be it, I never thought that drumming up business for one's employer was wrong....but I might be.

    One thing is quite evident is that not every one actually read the bullet points very well, jus to re-iterate:
    • Free legal advice to the member for any estate they have an interest in (includes all the estates this member is an executor for), and this advice is available for as long as it takes to wind up the Estate in question.
    • Free legal advise to the members executors, again for as long as it takes to wind up the estate.
    • Free set up of any Trust which is required following the will's instructions (remember that people under the age of 18 can not legally sign a receipt, so any inheritance to a minor has to go into Trust, one of these costs £500).
    • Free legal advice on how to manage a Trust.
    • Lifetime storage of the wills and unlimited updates to the wills.
    • 10% discount on any funeral arranged by the member or for the member when such funeral is booked via DIGNITY.
    • Free bereavement counselling.
    Now to answer sloughflint point by point:

    £250 if two wills are to be stored for 20 years….You can store Wills at the probate office for a small one off fee of £15 True, so two wills £30
    http://www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk/cms/1202.htm
    £1,700 for legal advice for 5 hours each death…. Which may not be required and anyway you can call the probate helpline for FREE Probate Court Staff are very helpful, but can not give legal advice, which one will need as soon as there are competing claims on the estate
    £6,000 based on an Estate valued at £300,000 administered twice…OP mentioned £2600 plus 1% so no saving here OP reference is to the cost charged by Trust Inheritance to actually be the executors of the estate, which is a separate "product"
    £500 when the Trust to save the property from Care Home Fees is set up….Shouldn’t this be part of the Will? The will is set up as a Will Trust, no money is payable unless the Trust is set up, which it would not if the second spouse died within 31 days of the first
    £300 saving on 5 years of accountant fee for administering the Trust…Maybe but how would we know that Trust inheritance is up to the job? Nothing on website. Obviously being a Corporate Trust has got nothing to do with it
    £200 saving on 4 hours of bereavement counselling….Not everyone needs bereavement counselling I am glad to know that nothing will touch your feelings
    £500 saving on two funerals…but tied to ‘dignity’ which are an association of Funeral Directors whose prices are in line with the "market", just google them, enter your postcode and you'll see.

    Anyhow, I never said that TI is better than solicitors, except that sloughflint does mention that some solicitors are not up to the task, even those specializing in probate.....OK, who to go next then? The Post Office with £3.50 for a DIY job? TI is a trust corporation specializing in wills and probate, and our legal department is made up by lawyers who specialize in probate.

    As my mention of the description of Legal Executive by a local firm of lawyers, I can not see why it would take a "proper" Legal Executive up to 60 hours to to carry out probate work.....the fact is that I personally know this "Legal Executive", and she's paid £7.50 an hour....but that's another issue.

    I never advocated that my Company should be nominated as an executor to replace close family, oddly enough we encourage it, we only offer Legal Advice to whoever needs it.

    As a small note, if one visits the fool website and looks up probate and such, there is a "real" lawyer who says that nominating friends, from his previous experiences, is not a good idea.

    As far as the longevity of the Company goes, no one has a crystal ball to say that we are going to be there in 60 years time or not, alas I know of at least two solicitors who having ceased to trade due to death (their own) all their unfinished business remained so because they were not members of any professional association.

    I totally agree with Torby about having a will drawn up asap by a professional and about keeping it up to date.

    last but not least.....I would like to know how many of my critics actually do have a will and how many have experienced the loss of a spouse, and if they did what frame of mind they were in when it happened and lastly how many did administer an estate without any legal advice? After all, administering an estate is a legal procedure and as such it would be foolish, for the inexperienced, to try to do so without legal aid.

    .........Now let's get prepared for the onslought.......:D
    Nobody is perfect, except me of course :D

    Please note: my opinions are mine alone, nobody asked me to have them, obliged me to have them or even coerced me to have them, they are mine but they are free, so if you want to share them I will not charge you for it!

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