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Help - Mum has second Will she forgot about.

(8 Posts)
dobby2001 Tue 22-Sep-15 19:21:39

Hi all. I have been helping my elderly Mother sort out her affairs. During this we have found letter from a solicitor in 1999, confirming safe lodging of documents and a copy of a will. Mother initially said she did not remember this , as she already has a mirror will to my father who died in 1991. It was straightforward, my self and my brother were executors, and aside from some small cash and jewellery gifts, the whole estate was divided equally between their children. This is kept at home in a safe place, but we all know the contents.

This "new" will, is exactly the same, but places the solicitors as executors and trustees. For which I assume they will make their fee from Mums estate. From our conversations with Mum,it looks like she may have been persuaded to do a new will during one of the will month promotions for charity. She is a supporter of several good causes.

It has taken some time to track down the documents, as the firm of solicitors have been bought out multiple times, but we now have and are waiting to speak to somebody about the matter.

Mother has capacity to discuss the matter, This was confirmed at a recent medical check, but we have PoA due to her having increasing problems . She has recently been diagnosed with Dementia so her ability to make decisions wont be there for much longer.

I am cross that she seems to have paid for something she had already, and that people may make money off her estate out of this. That said, How useful would it be in this scenario to have solicitors to act as trustees/executors and how expensive? All her children are adults and her only big asset is her house which is worth under £300K

eurochick Tue 22-Sep-15 19:27:07

If she still has capacity she could make a new will or codicil naming someone else as executor if she wants to.

InternationalEspionage Tue 22-Sep-15 19:31:26

Speak to an expert, but my personal opi ion is that if no dischord between beneficiaries and under IHT thresholds then no benefit to use solicitor as executor.

I think you can resolve this issue most simply by your mum doing another will start with a phrase stating that this new document overrides any previously written wills.

Grazia1984 Tue 22-Sep-15 21:17:03

She just needs to write a simple codicil (change to will or a new will as someone suggested above) following the legal formality to that appointing her children as executors and I would get the will back from the lawyers (the original) and you hold it for her too. I did my father's estate. It DID take 100 hours (I recorded the time) so do be aware it can be a lot of work but we certainly saved on legal bills.

Nonnainglese Tue 22-Sep-15 21:23:41

Be thankful you found this out, FIL had 3 wills, we found number 1, and number 3 that referred to number 2 which never surfaced. It was horrendous, the only blessing being that there was very little in his estate but it made things very protracted and complex.

mumblechum1 Tue 22-Sep-15 23:15:57

As pps have said, she needs to either make a codicil (which must be kept with the original 1999 will) changing the executors to you and your sibling (or whomever she chooses).

Alternatively she can make a completely fresh will. The first clause will state that she revokes any earlier will. She should then retrieve the 1999 will and destroy it once the new one is signed.

fastdaytears Tue 22-Sep-15 23:21:43

Well I would say it's worth instructing solicitors as it's my day job! BUT

- naming them as exors means you can't shop around for someone you like better or gives better cost info
- instructed a bad solicitor is worse than instructing none
- if you're sure it's non taxable and you're good with paperwork you can do it yourself, just make sure you appreciate the time involved upfront and that your siblings appreciate quite how many weekends you've given up to save them a few grand!

You can get a codicil to this Will done very easily and quickly to name you in the firm's place.

dobby2001 Wed 23-Sep-15 20:16:09

Thank you everyone. I really appreciate the help.
To be honest given the amount of time this will has seemed to change hands from the original firm, we dont know the worth of the current Solitictors . They are also no longer local so even if they were good, its not conveniant.

Fastday, having spent hours trying to track down bank accounts and other paperwork, and currently sorting out wheelchair assessments, blue badge renewals, dial a ride and taxicard applications, as well as getting Mum to day activities, its fair to say I know which of my siblings appreciate the time involved and which dont hmmgrin

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