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Do I have to see a solicitor to write a will?

(18 Posts)
randomtask Wed 12-Aug-09 14:41:20

And if so, how much would that cost?

If I don't have to see a solicitor, how does one go about doing their own?

We need to write a will guaranteeing not only who gets DSS if DH and I die but also making sure that his three sets of grandparents all get access to him as they do now.

Thank you!

CybilLiberty Wed 12-Aug-09 14:46:07

We had a rep from a will making company come round to see us as we don't have wills.

I thought it would be very straightforward. How wrong I was.

He started talking about power of attorney, trust funds, paying for nursing homes etc. The cost ranged from about 3100 each for the most basic of wills (which of course he wouldn't recommend) to £600+ for a more involved one. Then you've got the 'where do we keep it' problem.

We havent bothered to get one still! Despite the reps many badgering phone calls.

CybilLiberty Wed 12-Aug-09 14:46:22

£100 each not 3100 each

OnlyWantsOne Wed 12-Aug-09 14:46:57

....

go to lellow pages and find a solicitor firm that practises family law and give them a call.

I outlined what my wishes were and they just sorted it :-)

randomtask Wed 12-Aug-09 14:56:44

Excellent. Will look in Yellow Pages.

We're about to buy a house (possibly exchanging right now!) and I'm in the process of adopting DSS. His maternal grandmother is concerned that if DH and I died she wouldn't get to see DSS (his Godparents incidentally are great and would make sure he did) but we want to write a will saying the house money will go to DSS if he's 18 or to look after him if not and, that all of his grandparents can see him still. That way we'll give a copy to all grandparents and his Godparents and then hopefully it'll make them feel more stable.

PortAndLemon Wed 12-Aug-09 14:59:36

Your bank may offer a will-writing service if you don't need to do anything complicated, and that can work out slightly cheaper than engaging a solicitor yourself.

randomtask Wed 12-Aug-09 15:01:39

Ah. Do you just go in and ask? Also, would it have to be the bank that DH and I have a joint account or could it be where our mortgage is or the other banks where our individual accounts are? [realises she has too many bank involvement...]

CMOTdibbler Wed 12-Aug-09 15:04:32

I think where the family is a bit more complex, you need to see a solicitor as they will ensure that everything is tied up properly.

Ours was very good at making sure that all aspects were covered, and I think we paid 200 for both our wills, plus it being stored there etc

PortAndLemon Wed 12-Aug-09 15:04:34

Um. Well, we only had the one bank, but <brightly> if you have three then it increases the chances that one of them will offer the service.

Tamarto Wed 12-Aug-09 15:04:42

A will wont guarantee that those things happen. it just shows that is what you want.

mumof2222222222222222boys Wed 12-Aug-09 15:05:48

You have some quite specific requirements. I would therefore suggest that you do go to a solicitor, but give them a list of the requirements first, and ask for a quote. go to a couple of solicitors. I would reckon bwteen £100 and £200.

PerArduaAdNauseum Wed 12-Aug-09 15:08:41

Random - the last (and only) time I wrote a will I had the solicitor who was doing my conveyancing do it. It was all rolled in with the fees for that so didn't hurt a bit - is it worth asking?

randomtask Wed 12-Aug-09 15:13:00

Our conveyancing solicitor is through our bank and thus free.

I think you're probably right about seeing a solicitor as we're very specific in what we need it to say. I want to make sure it's water tight although (thankfully) I know even if we didn't write a will our families would make sure our wishes would happen anway. It's really just to 'tie up loose ends' and put DSS's grandmother's mind at ease (the adoption severs her legal relationship with DSS and since her DH recently died she's understandably a little nervous).

NetworkGuy Tue 18-Aug-09 13:21:57

I think you might be best to avoid a bank - not that saving money is a bad idea (and not sure that the conveyancing solicitor might be worth using - some do that exclusively for years and would be out of date on lots more aspects of law/life) but in case they pressure you to make them executors.

It's just that they will have fees which they would be able to pay themselves (out of the estate) before anyone else, and a legal wrangle (if whoever gets the rest feels the bank has been too costly) is the last thing one would want at that time.

Look out for promotions (since you have not done it so far, you may well want to just wait a little) as in the past there have been "Will Writing Week" promotions with solicitors (at least that's how come I got mine done some time ago).

Bear in mind that it's worth reviewing every 5 years or so, as situations change.

Also worth considering the 'power of attorney' aspect for when you get really old - in that the situation has changed in the last couple of years, and fees to do this and registration etc are now involved (another Govt money grab, I sometimes think!)

NetworkGuy Tue 18-Aug-09 14:16:37

For CybilLiberty - best tell the hassling rep that you've been to a local solicitor, and you are fixed up now, so please not to ring any more!

Then look out for any local newspaper coverage about Will Writing Month

For OP - I hunted around and it is not a will writing week but the whole month of November...

Apparently this used to be organised by the Law Society but perhaps some of the solicitors didn't want to offer a discount...

Anyway, there's a website for Will Aid which has a postcode search box (and will send a reminder e-mail nearer the time, according to what I read, but I didn't go much further on the site).

It seems that the idea is to give cash to a charity (perhaps via Will Aid, not sure) and get the will written by the local solicitor.

I can see how this might be even less popular than the previous where they dropped the price or did 2 (husb + wife) for a lower fee than normal.

loflo Tue 18-Aug-09 14:46:15

i am a member of unison (trade union) and through them myself and DH got our wills done for free. Worth checking out if you are a union member.

Eddas Thu 20-Aug-09 13:37:35

I need to get a will sorted for dh and I so have been reading this with interest. I recently got a letter from Cancer Research saying that some solicitors were offering a free service for a set time. Is it a good idea to use one of these offers? I'm dubious of them for some reason. Something for nothing hmm but it's a big charity(Cancer Research) so makes me less hmm I really ought to get it sorted as we have 2 dc and a house and no legal guardians sorted for the children should anything happen to either of us and tbh that worries me. But then there's the fight over who we ask to be guardian(between dh and I)

<<< Eddas runs away from thread pushing will writing to the back of her mind again >>>>>

NetworkGuy Sun 23-Aug-09 03:41:05

You've got Sept + October to agree who to ask about being legal guardians, then keep eyes peeled for local solicitors involved with writing them.

I'm not surprised that charities are keen to remind / encourage / {cajole?} people into writing wills, as you do hear, from time to time, about disputes when someone has left everything to a charity (RSPCA springs to mind)...

Some charities will fight in court to keep estate, even if it leaves family with nowt (and a legal bill on top).

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