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  • FIRST POST
    • Former MSE Wendy
    • By Former MSE Wendy 23rd Sep 10, 6:34 PM
    • 868Posts
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    Former MSE Wendy
    Will Aid suggested donations and etiquette discussion
    • #1
    • 23rd Sep 10, 6:34 PM
    Will Aid suggested donations and etiquette discussion 23rd Sep 10 at 6:34 PM
    What is WillAid?

    During the month of November many solicitors across the country will draft you a will at no charge through a scheme called WillAid in return they will ask you to make a donation to charity.

    This isn't forced and there's no fixed price, but in 2012 90 is suggested for a single will, 135 for a pair of wills or 40 for an update. If you can afford it then this is a very good price, and charities benefit so do donate. Yet if you can't, pay what you can... there is NO requirement to donate.

    IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT HOW MUCH TO PAY

    The whole purpose of WillAid is to raise as much money as possible for charity and to persuade people to get around to writing a proper will, and at the suggested 90 it's actually cheap compared to what the actual fee would be.

    If you cannot afford the full amount, don't blunder straight in and say "I will only donate 20 is that ok?"

    Some oversubscribed solicitors may take umbrage. Instead WillAid itself suggests you phone the solicitor and explain you want to make an appointment through the WillAid scheme without asking about the cost - tell it you'll make a donation via the WillAid website and bring the receipt. That should be fine.

    Why would a solicitor do it for free?

    First and foremost like many other individuals, to support charity. However, it's also a good way of encouraging people who have never been into a solicitor's office, and they may well gain new clients for other things in the long run because of it.
    Last edited by Former MSE Wendy; 27-09-2012 at 3:33 PM.
Page 1
  • Diflower
    • #2
    • 24th Sep 10, 12:32 PM
    • #2
    • 24th Sep 10, 12:32 PM
    Thanks to the weekly email I've booked ours. The lady I spoke to said they always get a lot and suggested we go in October since we booked early. She said they try not to turn anyone away so they get as much as they can for charity. Have already received a questionnaire to fill in before we go, plus their terms & conditions, which say they will store for free. Questionnaire says it's usually best to ask someone you know to be executor but they're always happy to act if you don't have anyone suitable.
    So far it sounds as though we've hit lucky.
  • Errata
    • #3
    • 24th Sep 10, 12:57 PM
    • #3
    • 24th Sep 10, 12:57 PM
    Thanks to the weekly email I've booked ours. The lady I spoke to said they always get a lot and suggested we go in October since we booked early. She said they try not to turn anyone away so they get as much as they can for charity. Have already received a questionnaire to fill in before we go, plus their terms & conditions, which say they will store for free. Questionnaire says it's usually best to ask someone you know to be executor but they're always happy to act if you don't have anyone suitable.
    So far it sounds as though we've hit lucky.
    Originally posted by Diflower
    That's how it should be run - properly and to achieve the most benefit for the charities.
    Re the free storage; ask them how much they charge for retrieval and what happens if the solicitors shuts down or merges with another.
    .....................I'm smiling because I have no idea what's going on ...
  • Diflower
    • #4
    • 24th Sep 10, 4:01 PM
    • #4
    • 24th Sep 10, 4:01 PM
    Just checked the T&C. No charge for retrieval, but (obviously) would charge if we or anyone on our behalf requests further work. Nothing about if they shut down/merge, will ask when we go.
    • Minerva69
    • By Minerva69 24th Sep 10, 7:20 PM
    • 800 Posts
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    Minerva69
    • #5
    • 24th Sep 10, 7:20 PM
    • #5
    • 24th Sep 10, 7:20 PM
    I too saw this in the weekly email and we've booked an appointment with a local solicitor for November, for my husband and I to do our wills. The lady I spoke to said they had received a lot of interest and appointments were getting booked up already. She said the minimum donation for a couple is 110, and she emailed me a leaflet about the scheme. My father paid around that for his own will earlier this year, so it's good value for the 2 of us. We've downloaded a form from the Will Aid website which we're going to complete before we go. Keeping our fingers crossed it all goes ok
    • MothballsWallet
    • By MothballsWallet 26th Sep 10, 9:14 AM
    • 13,703 Posts
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    MothballsWallet
    • #6
    • 26th Sep 10, 9:14 AM
    • #6
    • 26th Sep 10, 9:14 AM
    By the way, anyone who asks for a will to be drawn up and makes a low donation (or worse still, none at all) is totally out of order - would you steal from a charity, which is what you are in effect doing if you make no donation, by taking the service and not paying for it?
    Originally posted by rurallouise
    Then the scheme needs to set out firmer rules on minimum donations, simple.
    Always ask yourself one question: What would Gibbs do?

    I live in the UK City of Culture 2021
    • MothballsWallet
    • By MothballsWallet 26th Sep 10, 9:37 AM
    • 13,703 Posts
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    MothballsWallet
    • #7
    • 26th Sep 10, 9:37 AM
    • #7
    • 26th Sep 10, 9:37 AM
    I do feel it is cheeky for people to give less that the suggested donation as I am giving up my time (when I could be doing chargeable work) and my considerable expertise to help people.
    Originally posted by jgb9977
    I have to take exception at this, jgb9977, for the simple reason that the WillAid site states the monetary amounts as suggested minimum donations, but says that if people can't afford those, then to give what they can.

    If solicitors like yourself don't like that provision, then don't sign up/agree to take part in the scheme, it's common sense; if lots of people just didn't give, I can see where you're coming from

    But if that's all they can afford at the time, don't criticise them, we're all going through financial difficulties right now. Perhaps if WillAid agreed a monthly plan for people to be able to make the suggested minimum amount over a few months, but that would cost them more in overheads.
    Always ask yourself one question: What would Gibbs do?

    I live in the UK City of Culture 2021
  • ~Demeter~
    • #8
    • 5th Nov 10, 2:19 PM
    • #8
    • 5th Nov 10, 2:19 PM
    Then the scheme needs to set out firmer rules on minimum donations, simple.
    Originally posted by MothballsWallet
    @ rurallouise
    How sad it is to read these kinds of comments from small minded people.
    Some people find themselves in a situation of low income and have the need to make or update a Will.
    The Will Aid scheme helps these people to bring their affairs up to date in a professional and cost effective manner.
    Making a lower than suggested donation is still providing money for charities that normally would not benifit from those low income families / people.
    I agree making no donation at all should not be the way forward but donations of what can be afforded should not be treated with contempt.

    Please try looking up "Empathy" in the dictionary.

    As for the comment from the solicitor complaining about their time in completing these Wills for Will Aid, i find contemptuous.
    From an industry that charges hundreds of pound per hour you will find very little support for your whinge on this web site.
    Do feel free not to sign up for Will Aid if you don't like the income you receive from it won't you? God forbid you would do it for a charitable reason.
  • sue_denim
    • #9
    • 10th Feb 11, 9:55 AM
    • #9
    • 10th Feb 11, 9:55 AM
    Having tried to make a Will through this scheme this year, I would advise others not to.

    My partner and I made a substantial donation well above the recommended minimum. We have been waiting 3 months to get our will finalised.

    I wish I had paid a solicitor to give it his proper attention. This is clearly a low priority as its not billable hours. Law firms are having a tough time at the moment, business is tough, so I think its not unreasonable that they prioritise elsewhere. However, at the end of the day, I paid over the going rate to get a will made and I don't have one. Solicitors also seem to miss the point, that this is a chance to secure a new client. Not once during the interview did the chap see the potential to sell me additional services.
    Last edited by sue_denim; 10-02-2011 at 10:00 AM.
    • Minerva69
    • By Minerva69 27th Feb 11, 5:59 PM
    • 800 Posts
    • 395 Thanks
    Minerva69
    Having tried to make a Will through this scheme this year, I would advise others not to.

    My partner and I made a substantial donation well above the recommended minimum. We have been waiting 3 months to get our will finalised.

    I wish I had paid a solicitor to give it his proper attention. This is clearly a low priority as its not billable hours. Law firms are having a tough time at the moment, business is tough, so I think its not unreasonable that they prioritise elsewhere. However, at the end of the day, I paid over the going rate to get a will made and I don't have one. Solicitors also seem to miss the point, that this is a chance to secure a new client. Not once during the interview did the chap see the potential to sell me additional services.
    Originally posted by sue_denim
    I guess it depends on the solicitor! I had a completely different experience to you. Our solicitor was great, we drafted the wills with them and because of the bad weather and family illnesses we were unable to get back into the office to sign them when we should have. I thought it would be too late, but in January they phoned us and asked us to go in and make the final arrangements, they couldn't have been nicer. They even registered them on the national will register for us (free) and are storing our wills for us (again for free). They didn't once try to sell us anything else either, which I saw as a bonus We will use the solicitors again in future though if we need one.
  • Errata
    They even registered them on the national will register for us (free) .
    Originally posted by Minerva69
    Could you post some information about this register? I've never heard of it .
    .....................I'm smiling because I have no idea what's going on ...
    • Minerva69
    • By Minerva69 27th Feb 11, 6:13 PM
    • 800 Posts
    • 395 Thanks
    Minerva69
    Could you post some information about this register? I've never heard of it .
    Originally posted by Errata
    We didn't know about it either, the solicitor told us about it. Now I've looked it is mentioned on the Will Aid website, and the will register site is here: http://www.certainty.co.uk/willaid/default.asp
  • Errata
    Thank you. I see it seems to be a fairly new initiative, and although it appears straightforward there's no indication of who owns and runs the Register website, which seems odd.
    .....................I'm smiling because I have no idea what's going on ...
    • Minerva69
    • By Minerva69 27th Feb 11, 6:50 PM
    • 800 Posts
    • 395 Thanks
    Minerva69
    Thank you. I see it seems to be a fairly new initiative, and although it appears straightforward there's no indication of who owns and runs the Register website, which seems odd.
    Originally posted by Errata
    I'm intrigued now, but thought it must be ok as it was recommended by the solicitor, they registered the wills for us and sent us the registration certificates. I did a WHOIS request for the domain name, it belongs to someone who is registered as an individual (not a business) so doesn't give any details other than their name. There are some contact details on the Certainty website though http://www.certainty.co.uk/contact
  • Errata
    A sneak around google seems to indicate it's a limited company, the address seems to be a house in the middle of the countryside in the midlands, and I have no idea how the company makes its money.
    However - as the company gets a mention in the Law Society's website, your solicitor is using the company and it hasn't cost you anthing - there shouldn't be a problem.
    .....................I'm smiling because I have no idea what's going on ...
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