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Have you suffered from not having a will? Tell us

edited 4 November 2016 at 10:04AM in Marriage, Relationships & Families
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  • seven-day-weekendseven-day-weekend Forumite
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    Just read this thread, and I have a will dated 2016, so does my husband, in which we both state our wishes.

    However, I have just looked at mine again and wish to include two additional people as beneficiaries. Can I just type this out myself, and sign it in front of witnesses, or would I need to go back to my solicitor?
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  • SystemSystem
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    zagfles wrote: »
    Yes I deliberately have no will, nor has my wife, or parents. Circumstances are straightforwards and we understand the rules of intestacy. I've helped adminsiter a couple of estates with no will and they were straightforwards, if anything they were easier than if there'd been a will!

    However if you do this make certain to tell people you have no will! Otherwise they'll waste time searching for it.

    If you do make a will - don't make a solicitor or a bank the executor. If you do, they have a monopoly and if they're rubbish, slow, or expensive, your beneficiaries are stuck with them. Make one of the main beneficiaries the executor(s), or a trusted friend/relative. Having asked them first of course. They can always pay for legal help if they need it, and they'll be able to shop around and get rid of any slow/expensive solicitor.

    On a related point make sure you have "expression of wish" forms filled out for any pensions you have, will or no will. Pensions do not (generally) get included in wills so you can't usually leave pensions in a will.

    I would disagree with the advice "don't make a solicitor or a bank the executor. If you do, they have a monopoly and if they're rubbish, slow, or expensive", as having an expert on hand can be helpful if you run into issues. I can't speak for banks, as I have never had dealings with banks with regard to executing the wishes of any of my deceased relatives (I must note here that I am of an age where there have been a few over the past couple of decades years).

    As I used to work in a solicitors office, for a time in the Probate Department (typing up Wills and preparing estate accounts rather than on the legal side) I became aware of how useful it can be if you have solicitor or probate executive as a co-executor (and also of the problems when people have no will).

    I have been named executor on three Wills which have had a solicitor as a co-executor / trustee and in each case I have done 97% of the work and just left it to them to sort out any inheritance tax and check my work (especially the estate accounts). It has never been an issue (ie them letting me do a lot of the work). It saves money and gives me the peace of mind that everything has been done correctly. My own Will names a legal firm (or its successors) as co-executor / trustee as my husband isn't sure that he will be able to cope with dealing with my Estate if I die before him.

    In any event, if Trusts need to be set up for minors or other dependents, you'll need to appoint someone who knows what they are doing, so if there's a professional on hand to call upon, it saves time. Not everyone is mentally up to dealing with a loved one's estate when they deal with it themselves, so again, having a professional on hand, even if they aren't needed, is good backup when you can't cope.

    The other advantage is that with a solicitor (or indeed a bank) is that if the named person is no longer with the firm, the addition of words along the lines of :

    "2. (a) I APPOINT my Wife [NAME], my daughter [NAME], both of 1 Any Street, Anywhere, Britain, the Partners at the date of my death in the firm of RIPOFF AND SCARPER of 5 High Road, Anywhere Solicitors or the firm or incorporated practice which at that date has succeeded to and carries on its practice to be the executors and trustees of this Will and I EXPRESS THE WISH that one or two only of the partners shall prove my Will.

    In (a) above "firm" incudes an incorporated practice recognised by the Law Society and "partners" includes Solicitors who are directors or members of or beneficial owners of shares In such a practice

    The expression "my Trustees" whenever used in this Will shall mean my executors and the trustee or trustees for the time being whether original or substituted"


    will save hunting round for a firm of solicitors when you aren't necessarily in the best position to want to.
  • MojisolaMojisola Forumite
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    As I used to work in a solicitors office, for a time in the Probate Department (typing up Wills and preparing estate accounts rather than on the legal side) I became aware of how useful it can be if you have solicitor or probate executive as a co-executor

    As your named executors can appoint a solicitor to do the work for them if they can't cope or don't want the hassle, why not leave the decision with them?

    I would much prefer to have the solicitor working for the executor than being a co-executor.
  • *max**max* Forumite
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    I know it's not very important, but the wording of this thread's title has been bothering me for ages. Nobody "suffers from not having a will", it's the people left behind that potentially do.
  • edited 9 March 2019 at 1:31PM
    zagfleszagfles Forumite
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    edited 9 March 2019 at 1:31PM
    Mojisola wrote: »
    As your named executors can appoint a solicitor to do the work for them if they can't cope or don't want the hassle, why not leave the decision with them?

    I would much prefer to have the solicitor working for the executor than being a co-executor.
    Exactly - if the executor appoints a solicitor, they can sack them if they're slow/expensive etc. They can't if the solicitor is an executor.

    The executor could always be pointed at a trusted solicitor who they'll contact when necessary - that way they have the best of both world - a recommended solicitor but retaining the option to get rid of them if they're slow/expensive etc.
  • Hey!

    I'm not strugglie with it, but I have issues and got very confused since my GF seems not have will... She even can't stop smoking w/o special pills, I'm trying to convince her with my arguments about health/future kids etc., but nothing helps, I really got disappointed in it ;[

    Can someone advise me how can I affect my girl to stop smoking cigarettes?
    IT is one the most growing industry to work in
  • alanfpalanfp Forumite
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    In addition to saying what you want to be done with your assets, I suggest you make it very clear what you want to be done with your remains. If you are being buried, state exactly which burial place or at least which area of the country you would like to be buried in. If you are being cremated, please say where you would like your ashes to be scattered or kept.
    My personal experience is of an ex of mine who wanted her mother's ashes to be scattered somewhere where she could go and visit. But her sister wanted the Ashes to be scattered on the rose bushes in their late mother's garden. After 3 years (when I became an ex) the disagreement still wasn't resolved.
  • MojisolaMojisola Forumite
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    alanfp wrote: »
    In addition to saying what you want to be done with your assets, I suggest you make it very clear what you want to be done with your remains. If you are being buried, state exactly which burial place or at least which area of the country you would like to be buried in. If you are being cremated, please say where you would like your ashes to be scattered or kept.

    If you do this, you need to keep the details up-to-date.

    It's very expensive to transport a body half-way across the country because the last time the deceased stated a preference, they lived hundreds of miles away from where they were when they died.
  • My Father died without a will when i was a child. It took 37 years to get matters finalised! This was due to he and his brother having owned a business together and my Uncle refusing to sort things out hence I only actually got my inheritance once he died.


    Therefore a message to all - make a will!!!!!!
  • Dingbat77Dingbat77 Forumite
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    I haven't personally but last year a close friend developed terminal cancer he was 54 he lived with his partner ( not a legal civil partner) and their daughter he did not have a will. There were all sorts of issues as his partner firstly was not as far as the hospital/care home were concerned entitled to any clinical information , that had to be given to his NOK his mother or sister, when he passed about 6weeks after being diagnosed his partner did not have any right to his assets , the house was in their joint names, but she could not sell his car or access his bank accounts to support their daughter . His assets in fact legally passed to his 12yr old daughter and there was no objection from his NOK , his partner had to apply to the courts to have administrative rights over the monies.

    I have no idea why he didn't make a will , he was lucid and completely with it after his diagnosis but it caused all sorts of problems. The episode prompted me to make a will , arrange a funeral plan and appoint executors as I have no family which has given me piece of mind.
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