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Choosing a solicitor for will writing.

(30 Posts)
Frisbeefreedom Tue 24-Oct-17 12:51:38

Does anyone have advice on having wills written? This is all new territory for me! I think we'll need more than the basic offer that you get where they do it for a charity donation, as we've got assets in two countries and step children to take in to account. How do I spot a decent solicitor, and how do I work out what is a reasonable cost estimate?

babybarrister Tue 24-Oct-17 13:02:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

zaalitje Tue 24-Oct-17 18:35:39

I second mumble chum

You'll find her listed in the classified pages as Marlow Wills

Frisbeefreedom Tue 24-Oct-17 19:56:03

Thanks both!

Pithivier Tue 24-Oct-17 20:05:10

Mumble Chum was so helpful to us. She did everything over the phone and explained very clearly.

Indigo90 Tue 24-Oct-17 20:20:08

I third Mumblechum. Excellent service and knows her stuff.

Alicekeach Tue 24-Oct-17 20:23:33

Look at either the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners or Solicitors for the Elderly websites and do a search for a specialist solicitor in your local area. With your circumstances, I'd recommended a face to face meeting to discuss the issues. Don't go for Willaid.

thesandwich Tue 24-Oct-17 20:25:19

I fourth mumblechum! Excellent helpful advice and v reasonable cost.

MyBrilliantDisguise Tue 24-Oct-17 20:25:23

I fourth mumblechum! She was brilliant.

MirandaWest Tue 24-Oct-17 20:26:00

We also used mumblechum smile

thesandwich Tue 24-Oct-17 20:26:19

Cross post😜

OneThingAndThenTheNext Tue 24-Oct-17 20:31:44

Mumblechum did ours too, several years ago. I emailed her the other day with a question, she responded within 2 hours (at the weekend) so the service continues to be great!

notthe1Parrot Tue 24-Oct-17 20:37:02

Another vote for mumblechum - she did ours a few years ago at a very stressful time for us.
Nothing was too much trouble for her, and she made the whole process simple.

retirednow Tue 24-Oct-17 20:40:04

November is usually 'free Wills month' which guides you to a list of local solicitors who will draw up a Will for you for free and they give the money you would have paid them to your chosen charity. Just google it.

Unicorn81 Tue 24-Oct-17 20:40:21

I got mine through Which, i think i paid just over a hundred for it, did it all online

Hoppinggreen Wed 25-Oct-17 10:00:38

Guess who I came on here to recommend???

Ttbb Wed 25-Oct-17 10:03:21

When you write a will it's more than just the initial will writing but also execution in probabate that you need to consider. You should find a law firm (not a solicitor, by the time it's all done it will be more than one person dealing with it in all likelihood) that has a good established reputation for trusts law.

Spaghettio Wed 25-Oct-17 10:33:29

I’ve used mumblechum twice (Pre dh and since we got married). She’s fab!

pizzaeatingmonkey Wed 25-Oct-17 16:06:34

Just Goggled free wills month, it's October and for over 55s. Unfortunately none in my area ( south east) ?!

Frisbeefreedom Thu 26-Oct-17 02:57:16

Well I'm definitely looking at Mumblechum after those responses!

Poosnu Thu 26-Oct-17 05:55:41

You need someone STEP qualified with a specialism in Wills and trusts (for step children).

Avoid anyone who tries to push their trust company to be appointed as trustee / executor unless there is a good reason within your family for this. It is money making for them.

With assets in different countries you will need someone quite experienced to guide you. The solicitor should be considering the need for separate advice (possibly Wills) in the relevant countries. Also considering the tax position in the other countries on death and how (if) relief will be granted to prevent double taxation. The structure of the Will can sometimes make a big difference to the level of tax paid.

With a more complex estate like yours (in terms of assets and family structure) a high street generalist lawyer is not going to be good enough.

mumblechum0 Thu 26-Oct-17 11:24:14

flowers to everyone who's so kindly recommended me! OP, I have an ad over on Classifieds if you're interested, but even if not, I'm happy to give you some pointers:

1. It's generally safest to have another will in the country in which the other property is. This is because the laws of inheritance vary from one jurisdiction to the next, eg France has forced heirship rules. The foreign will must start by saying that it doesn't revoke your English one, and I put the same clause in the English one. The 2 wills then run in parallel. The English one will declare that you're domiciled in England and Wales and that English jurisdiction applies.

2. As you're a step family, the crucial things to consider are:

a) if the children of the first relationship are entitled to ongoing maintenance, is there adequate insurance in place to continue paying until the end of the term ordered by the court?

b) are the children adequately covered by capital gifts in the will? If not (and most people don't have huge chunks of cash sitting around), then the safest option may be to make a life interest trust, usually attaching to your family home, which essentially ring fences the parent's share of the house for their children, inc those from the earlier relationship, whilst allowing the surviving spouse to continue living in the house until their death or remarriage.

c) is it fairer to split the estate equally between all of the children, or to give those of the first relationship a bit less, because they're going to inherit from their other bio parent and often are much older, so will be independent earlier? If you go for that option, often it's best to revisit once all of the children are adult, and even things up a bit.

Hope this helps smile

mumblechum0 Fri 27-Oct-17 17:30:16

By the way, if you do decide to make life interest trusts, you'll need to ensure that the property is held as tenants in common, not joint tenants, in order for the trust to take effect.

Severing the joint tenancy is very quick, easy and inexpensive.

Poosnu Sat 28-Oct-17 10:29:56

Local tax advice is also important. For example in France step children are taxed on inheritances as a non family member, so there is more tax payable if they inherit French assets.

mumblechum0 Sat 28-Oct-17 13:54:22

Yes, that's true. I always ask my clients to take tax advice from their foreign lawyer, as they're obviously qualified to give correct and up to date advice.

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