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Wills -do I really need to use a solicitor?

(34 Posts)
INeedALieIn Mon 15-Jul-13 19:18:41

If I use an off the shelf will pack from WHSmiths would it still be valid if I follow the instructions?

DameDeepRedBetty Fri 19-Jul-13 14:13:02

Another quick vote for mumblechum, MN Goddess of Will Writers.

DameDeepRedBetty Fri 19-Jul-13 14:15:05

See I missed out on the flowers, however a glass of wine next time I'm in your neck of the woods would be entirely acceptable grin

mumblechum1 Fri 19-Jul-13 14:20:16

flowers for dame too! The best will writers are members of the institute of professional willwriters. You can only become a membet after training and examinations (tho qualified lawyers go thru a quicker route, as i did and I think MOS did). We have professional indemnity insurance, continuing professional training requirements, and are approved and regulated by trading standards. Sorry for typos, on phone

mumblechum1 Fri 19-Jul-13 14:21:54

Cross posted with dame wine for you since it's friday x

ComtessedeFrouFrou Fri 19-Jul-13 15:13:35

Thanks MOS and Poosnu. I will make enquiries about the options.

poshfrock Mon 05-Aug-13 18:34:41

As an experienced probate lawyer I can honestly say that I have never dealt with a homemade will that has been straightforward. We often have to instruct counsel to give an opinion on how a will should be interpreted which by itself often costs £3k plus. The testator may have saved themselves £100 by writing the will themselves but the costs to the estate and thus the ultimate beneficiaries can be thousands.

SheereKhann Tue 06-Aug-13 19:13:53


Solicitor, Legal Exec or Will Writer ?

All of the above are more than capable of writing a cast-iron will to provide for and protect your families.
The choice is really down to the individual but just make sure that the organisation you use has a good track record, Professional Indemnity Insurance and, as is the case with many things in life,
make sure you get a good referral from a friend, colleague etc.

Things to do:

Do keep it updated. Most firms will offer an arrangement where provisions of a will can be updated as part of the fee - or even complementary rewrites. It is of paramount importance to keep these documents updated after life events such as births, marriages, deaths, divorces & matters such as house purchases.

Do go for an organisation who understand the potential tax implications of inheritances. You don't want to leave partners and children with a tax liability they have to sell the house for.

Don't go for a solicitor, bank or other institution who waive a writing fee based upon the promise of a probate fee. Some banks in particular are known to charge up to 10% of the estate value for probate services. That's a lot of money.

Don't go to the stationers or the post office and try to write one by your own. DIY kits seem straightforward but a majority are proven to fail at court when contested by a disgruntled relative represented by a sharp-eyed barrister. Similarly, online wills are growing in popularity but the industry is carefully watching the courts to see how contestable the doctrine of 'capacity' is when formal instructions have been taken through an email.

I hope this helps

MattWalkden Wed 14-Aug-13 14:16:49

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Revengeofkarma Fri 16-Aug-13 21:40:18

Don't know Mumblechum or anyone on the thread but the advice is spot on. But I do want to recommend Will Aid. You see a solicitor, and the money goes to charity and you get a proper will done. Full wins all around. You need to get your appointment early as they do fill up.

As has been said, you can make a valid will with a kit. Though it is easy to screw up. But valid doesn't mean it does what you want, odds are against it doing what you think, and definitely isn't tax efficient. So either pay the money now (compared to the value of all you own it isn't much) or give the money to the government later.

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