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Wills - Sorry for the morbid topic

(23 Posts)
LuckySalem Fri 25-Jul-08 21:30:48

How much does it cost these days to set up a will?

Can't we just write out what we want to have happen and leave it with someone? Do we really have to do it with a solicitor?

Kbear Sat 26-Jul-08 00:01:24

Write out what you want then get it witnessed by two independent witness (ie that are not beneficiaries of the will). I just wrote out what I want to happen to my body after my death, what I want to do with the house, who will have custody of the kids and what will happen to the money. That's all a solicitor will do. Gets complicated if you want trusts and if you have heaps of assets but if it's simple just do it yourself.

Start with

This is the last Will and Testament of { } which hereby revokes any previous wills made by me.

Make sure it's dated and correctly signed and witnessed.

LuckySalem Sat 26-Jul-08 09:45:33

Thanks KBear - I'm glad I don't have to pay sol fees. They're just silly!! lol

Freckle Sat 26-Jul-08 09:50:51

And not using a solicitor is silly. Most probate solicitors will confirm that they make more money out of dealing with estates where there was a home-made will, than from drafting a proper will in the first place. Think of it like an insurance policy.

A will can cost as little as £50 and you owe it to those who will have to deal with your estate to pay that out to avoid their having to go through loads of hassle when handling your estate.

LuckySalem Sat 26-Jul-08 09:54:18

I don't really have an estate though... surely if all I want to do is say who has money, who has house and who has child. What I want with my body. How is that complicated?

I don't understand what sols do in this instance other than sign something.

potoroo Sat 26-Jul-08 10:02:38

We had a will made for us. It included putting half the estate into trust if either DH or I died. This meant that if the other parent died at a later date the DCs could get the inheritance tax threshold from both of us.

We could also appoint guardians for the DCs and executors of the wills.

We also set up a policy so that if both DH and I died at the same time (or within 1 month of each other) a large sum of money would immediately be released to the guardians so they could fly over from Australia etc

Littlefish Sat 26-Jul-08 10:02:45

Ours is costing £250 to be drawn up by a solicitor.

Freckle Sat 26-Jul-08 10:03:16

But that isn't simple. Will you be leaving your estate to your child? If so, and you die before they reach majority, you will have to appoint guardians and you will have to appoint trustees, as under 18s cannot inherit. Any monies will have to be placed in a trust to be administered by trustees until your child reaches a specified age.

So not quite so simple.

LuckySalem Sat 26-Jul-08 10:06:28

Oh crap!! I didn't realise it would be that complicated. To me it was gonna be dead easy. House and money to DD, DD to my parent's if we die. We wanna be cremated! lol

Looks like i'll have to start saving then.

Freckle Sat 26-Jul-08 10:07:51

Then thank your lucky stars that you posted on here rather than just going ahead with a crap homemade will!

LuckySalem Sat 26-Jul-08 10:09:53

LOL!!

Do we have to draft it with them or can we write out our own and have them "touch it up"? and sign it.

onlyjoking Sat 26-Jul-08 10:20:34

do get a will, you really don't know what is around the corner, Steve died without a will as he always thought he could beat his cancer, he didn't beat it,it does make things more complicated, if you are not married then a will is even more important, please get one.
< reminder to self must sort out my own will >

LuckySalem Sat 26-Jul-08 10:23:52

Will do OJ - I hope your ok.

Freckle Sat 26-Jul-08 10:28:20

Set out clearly what you want and take that to the solicitor. He/she will ask you a lot of questions because whatever you have written down will only cover a portion of what will be needed. They will then draft out your will and ask you to approve.

If cost is a problem, check out when your local solicitors are taking part in WillAid. This is a charitable thing where solicitors draft wills in return for donations to charity. Check it out.

Locksikas Sat 26-Jul-08 10:37:22

Message withdrawn

MrsTittleMouse Sat 26-Jul-08 21:44:43

I agree with everyone else - get it done professionally. It only cost us £100 for both our wills and the solicitor thought up a load of stuff that we hadn't even considered. Stuff like the age that our DDs will get control of our money if we both die - would you really want your child/ren to get a huge windfall at the age of 18? I know that I would have been useless at managing my money at that age!

I genuinely do sleep better at night now that we have proper wills and life insurance. I know that if the worst did happen that our DDs would have financial protection at the worst time of their lives.

LuckySalem Sat 26-Jul-08 21:47:09

We have life insurance but I've been worrying lately (don't know why) about will's so I know we have to get it done.....

Just have to sort out what to be done and find a solicitor now.

FrazzledFairyFay Sat 26-Jul-08 21:53:26

DO NOT WRITE IT YOURSELF. There are various formalities that a Will has to have, otherwise it will be invalid. If the Will isn't properly worded and executed in the right way then it won't work at all and your estate will be divided up under the intestacy rules, which set out who gets what depending on whether you are survived by a spouse and children, or just children, etc.

If a Will is not worded and executed correctly then it cannot simply be corrected after your death, it just fails. I am a (currently not practising as a a SAHM) Wills and Probate solicitor and I saw many 'homemade' Wills that were brought in by relatives, which were utterly useless as they were not properly worded or weren't signed in the right place, or weren't dated or were witnessed in the wrong way, etc, etc. The relatives left behind were devastated when they realised that their loved ones wishes would not be carried out.

Please get it done properly.

hanaflower Sat 26-Jul-08 22:24:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Sidge Sat 26-Jul-08 22:55:55

Get it done properly, it could save you (well your family really) a lot of heartache. My uncle died leaving a homemade hand written will and it was invalid, and has cost the family hundreds to sort out (and his children were all adults).

In the meantime his wife was unable to access any accounts, as they were in his name. She had to borrow thousands just to pay the bills, mortgage and buy food until it was sorted.

We made our wills recently, ours cost £450 but that was expensive as we had to appoint trustees and guardians and set up a lifelong trust for DD2 (who has SN and is disabled).

Money well spent though as everything is now sorted should the worst happen.

LuckySalem Sun 27-Jul-08 17:50:27

Thanks Sidge - I have spoken to DP this morning and we are getting a proper will done. Just have to save up for it.

mummypoppins Mon 28-Jul-08 11:21:46

yes yes yes...........I am a probate solicitor and make a fortune out of those people who die without making a will.

DO NOT DO IT.

Most sols run promotions throughout the year and discount their fees usually to raise money for a charity.

hanaflower Mon 28-Jul-08 12:08:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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