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Free and Cheap Wills discussion area

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Deaths, Funerals & Probate
543 replies 171.5K views
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  • MojisolaMojisola Forumite
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    shelleywa wrote: »
    My Dad is terminally ill and I am his live-in carer. He doesn't have a will. But his argument is that he doesn't have much, so he doesn't need one. Granted, his life is pretty simple - no spouse, no property, no car, no money (he lives in a housing association home and receives benefits. Has no savings) and I am his only child.

    What will ACTUALLY happen if he dies with nothing?

    With you as the only beneficiary under the intestate rules and a very small estate, a will really isn't necessary in this case.

    Unless he's got thousands tucked away that he hasn't told you about, it unlikely that probate or letters of administration would be needed.

    If the estate has debts that can't be covered, you wouldn't want to get involved anyway.

    It could be worth sorting out any personal possessions with sentimental value like photos and him giving them to you now.
  • Savvy_SueSavvy_Sue Forumite
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    shelleywa wrote: »
    My Dad is terminally ill and I am his live-in carer. He doesn't have a will. But his argument is that he doesn't have much, so he doesn't need one. Granted, his life is pretty simple - no spouse, no property, no car, no money (he lives in a housing association home and receives benefits.:
    I'd say the key thing for you to sort out right now is your housing. Are you named on the tenancy? If not, would you be able to succeed to it?
    Still knitting!
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    Current projects: pink balaclava (for myself), seaman's hat, about to start another cardigan!
  • badmemorybadmemory Forumite
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    I am definitely with Savvy_Sue on this. First put on your own metaphorical oxygen mask. Being a carer, you need to first care for yourself, unless you do you will not be able to care for someone else. Whilst this may go against the grain, it is what you need to do.
  • edited 11 May 2019 at 1:33PM
    shelleywashelleywa Forumite
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    edited 11 May 2019 at 1:33PM
    Savvy_Sue wrote: »
    I'd say the key thing for you to sort out right now is your housing. Are you named on the tenancy? If not, would you be able to succeed to it?
    The housing isn't an issue. He doesn't own it and I'm only here for as long as I'm needed as a carer. My "real life" is waiting for me elsewhere.
  • shelleywashelleywa Forumite
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    Mojisola wrote: »
    With you as the only beneficiary under the intestate rules and a very small estate, a will really isn't necessary in this case.

    Unless he's got thousands tucked away that he hasn't told you about, it unlikely that probate or letters of administration would be needed.

    If the estate has debts that can't be covered, you wouldn't want to get involved anyway.

    It could be worth sorting out any personal possessions with sentimental value like photos and him giving them to you now.

    I found some useful info on citizens advice:

    https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/family/death-and-wills/dealing-with-the-financial-affairs-of-someone-who-has-died/

    He probably won't need one but it feels crazy to leave it all to chance.

    I think we are going to go with one of the free or discounted will writing services of a charity that partner with The Goodwill Partnership. They also do home visits, which will help us immensely, as my Dad is pretty much housebound. I hope this info will help others, too.
  • shelleywa wrote: »
    I found some useful info on citizens advice:

    https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/family/death-and-wills/dealing-with-the-financial-affairs-of-someone-who-has-died/

    He probably won't need one but it feels crazy to leave it all to chance.

    I think we are going to go with one of the free or discounted will writing services of a charity that partner with The Goodwill Partnership. They also do home visits, which will help us immensely, as my Dad is pretty much housebound. I hope this info will help others, too.
    Beware of the “free” offers. A common pitfall is that they press clients to make their firm the executor. Never, ever agree to this as. your estate can end up with with big bills when in many cases the beneficiaries can easily DIY it. Another lassis ploy is to charge fat fees for will storage or huge sums to prepare powers of attorney when they be done easily and cheaply on line. The basic thing to remember that there never is truly free lunch.
  • shelleywashelleywa Forumite
    125 posts
    Beware of the “free” offers. A common pitfall is that they press clients to make their firm the executor. Never, ever agree to this as. your estate can end up with with big bills when in many cases the beneficiaries can easily DIY it. Another lassis ploy is to charge fat fees for will storage or huge sums to prepare powers of attorney when they be done easily and cheaply on line. The basic thing to remember that there never is truly free lunch.

    Thank you, that's worth remembering :)
  • Savvy_SueSavvy_Sue Forumite
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    shelleywa wrote: »
    The housing isn't an issue. He doesn't own it and I'm only here for as long as I'm needed as a carer. My "real life" is waiting for me elsewhere.
    That's good then - was worried for you otherwise! Just be aware that the HA will want the flat cleared promptly, which may feel rushed and pressurised when the time comes.

    Since the result of intestacy will be the same as your dad would put in a will, it is less important to do a will if you are sure things are as you state.
    Still knitting!
    Completed: TWO adult cardigans, 3 baby jumpers, 3 shawls, 1 sweat band, 3 pairs baby bootees, 2 sets of handwarmers, 1 Wise Man Knitivity figure + 1 sheep, 2 pairs socks, 3 balaclavas, multiple hats and poppies, 3 peony flowers, 4 butterflies ...
    Current projects: pink balaclava (for myself), seaman's hat, about to start another cardigan!
  • Hi

    I'm posting on behalf of a friend and would be very grateful for any advice.

    He is a divorced father living and working in the UK for many years. Italian by birth, but with no property or earnings outside the UK.

    In the UK he has a 9 year old daughter and owns (with a mortgage) a small flat worth around £130,000. He has some small savings probably under £10,000.

    The relationship between him and his ex-wife is very good and they share the bringing up of their daughter, but live separately. He pays maintenance to her voluntarily on a sum they have agreed between them.

    He would like to make a Will leaving everything to his daughter when he dies.

    Even though he is divorced can we just use a simple online basic Will in these circumstances or does it need to contain any special clauses?

    Who would be most appropriate to appoint as Executor - I think he would be happy to appoint his ex-wife as she has main care of the daughter and there are no trust issues etc.

    Can he just have one executor? Or should he have more than one?

    Any advice much appreciated, including a reliable source for a free or low cost Will.

    Many thanks in advance.
  • MalthusianMalthusian Forumite
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    He needs to see an SRA-registered solicitor.

    To be pedantic, the biggest question that would arise on his death is not who administers the estate, but who will look after his daughter's inheritance until she is 18.

    If he is single and has one daughter then intestacy would result in all the money going to her, but he should still make a Will to ensure that his ex-wife is appointed executor and possibly trustee as he wishes.

    Leave no Will and I can see someone sticking their oar in and going "oh no, he didn't trust his ex-wife one bit" if he's not left a Will that says otherwise.

    You wouldn't trust some dude off the Internet to repair a car worth £2,000 for free, which means that trusting some dude off the Internet to write a Will for you governing an estate worth £140,000 is stark raving mad. Online Wills are frequently full of errors or for the wrong jurisdiction entirely.

    If he's 55 or above he can look into Free Wills Month which happily enough is in October. The idea is that Free Wills Month is backed by charities so he would be nudged into leaving a charity a bequest, but he can get a free Will done without leaving anything to charity. If he does decide to leave something to charity he should leave a specific bequest in £ terms, not a percentage.

    Do they have life insurance in place to cover the maintenance?
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