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Have you written a will? Would you use an on-line will writing service?

(25 Posts)
ketchupkisses Wed 24-Sep-08 17:34:17

I've been putting this off for ages, but I'm now running out of excuses. The on-line service seems a lot cheaper than visiting a solicitor. Has anyone used one, and would they recommend it? I'm thinking of someone like www.wills.org.uk which costs from £39.

Freckle Wed 24-Sep-08 18:07:30

Pay peanuts, get monkeys. If something is cheap, there's probably a good reason.

I would always recommend seeing a solicitor face to face for this sort of thing. You can discuss your wishes and the solicitor will often point out things you haven't even thought of. I can't see an online service covering the same sort of ground.

MrsTittleMouse Wed 24-Sep-08 18:14:47

We did ours face-to-face with a solicitor and I don't regret the money that we paid her at all. She brought up a load of things that we wouldn't have otherwise thought of, and we got a really personalised service. Considering that we're only planning to write a will every 10 years, and we got mirror wills and power of attorneys for both of us for £150, I think that's very good value.

lurkingdad Wed 24-Sep-08 20:44:50

Get your will done in November at the right solicitors and they will give all of the money to charity. See this website here www.willaid.org.uk/ we did ours this way 4 years ago and now we need to update them we will do it again this year.

ketchupkisses Thu 25-Sep-08 14:29:35

Thanks lurking Dad. Now I really do have a good reason to procrastinate!

blithedance Sun 28-Sep-08 20:14:23

NOOOOOOOO don't procrastinate. I know a family who were waiting for that free month, missed it a few times, sadly the husband died suddenly (intestate) before they got around to it. It was an incalculable mess. If you love your partner/family, do not leave them with a legal and financial mess as your parting gift.

Get to a solicitor, a couple of hundred pounds now will probably save thousands lost/wasted/delayed/taxed/fought over if you or partner die. PLEASE do it.

If the free month is November, make the appointment now and start gathering the information and thinking through how you will want to leave things, speaking to possible guardians etc.

Onlyjoking Sun 28-Sep-08 20:29:53

i would suggest getting it done properly, my husband died in june, he didn't have a will.

wendyuk321 Sat 01-Nov-08 20:02:30

Hi,

I think MrsTittleMouse is wrong in this case

I shopped around alot until I made a Will I found wills.org.uk and was very pleased with their will writing service - and was very impressed with the result for £39.

It's a trade off - £150+ to a solicitor for a simple will (which most people need) is outrageous.

wendy

MrsTittleMouse Sun 02-Nov-08 10:00:13

I'm very willing to accept that I can't be right all the time. wink The £150 was for two wills and two power of attorneys though, so not such bad value. We had two unhurried appointments, plus advice over the phone a couple of times all included.

ninedragons Sun 02-Nov-08 10:24:13

Pay a solicitor. Everyone's circumstances are different, and this is where a solicitor earns his or her money.

jellyjelly Sun 02-Nov-08 10:39:19

Its also will aid month where you can get them done for free, well for a donation which is split between 9 charities.

Go to the will aid website and type in your postcode.

Have booked mine already.

Hulababy Sun 02-Nov-08 11:12:13

No - don;t use a will writing service. DH is a probate solcitor and makes more money from sorting out rubbish wills fromthe likes of such companies, as well as DIY wills, than he does from writing a decent bespoke will in the first place.

It is cheap because it isn't as good. Simple as.

I think Will Aid is coming up, some solicitors will be oing ths - you get a free will. You are supposed to give the money to charity, but this is entirely optional. Not all solicitors do Will Aid though so you would have to hunt around.

But on the whole - have a will drawn up be a solicitor who specialises in this area of law. Then you know it will be done right and will stand up properly after your death.

Hulababy Sun 02-Nov-08 11:14:04

Also, if you have it done properly there is no need for all this updating every 3 or 4 years. A good will will last for many years as it will look at lots of different scenarios and "what ifs."

We have had the same will for more than 10 years. It was done properly in the first place so even after gettign married and having a child it has not needed to be updated.

Hulababy Sun 02-Nov-08 11:17:46

I am afraid wendy, that you won't know if your will is any good until either you or your partner dies. Some of these cheap will writer and DIY packs really are a complete waste of money and really don't stand up to the job after a death. It is all to do with terminology and interpretation - it has to be spot on and done in a certain way to ensure there is only one right way of reading it. Done wrong and it can be worse than having no will at all.

A good solicitor will help you consider so many different scenarios and build it in to a decent will. A will writer service won;t do this.

I personally wouldn't take the risk of it all going wrong after my death.

catweazle Sun 02-Nov-08 12:04:07

We had one of those will writing companies round to the house. He wrote us two mirror wills but I didn't feel he asked us enough questions. He told us that everything would be held in trust for any minor children, but didn't explain who by or anything.

I checked out the will aid website last week and it seems I was right. There are many many questions they ask on there that he didn't even mention. A trust doesn't just happen, it needs setting up as I thought etc etc.

looks like we wasted almost £100, but we couldn't afford a solicitor... angry

gemmiegoatlegs Sun 02-Nov-08 12:09:09

has anyone tried the will writing service through Bradford and Bingley? I picked up a leaflet there recently and the will writing starts at £85 and all charges are fixed prices. The service is from Legal Services(ITC) and seems a good price. has anyone got any experience of it?

Hulababy Sun 02-Nov-08 19:45:30

gemmie - I would still recommend going to a proper solicitor over any will writing company. A solicitor is trained and qualified in doing such things. Many will writers are not.

Biasmum Sun 02-Nov-08 23:50:23

Can anyone tell me how much wills.org.uk charges for will changes? Apparently they will only tell you by phone... hmm

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 03-Nov-08 09:57:04

Would not touch such a company with a long pole but instead use a Solicitor. Poorly written wills cause much anguish and can even be invalid due to it being poorly worded.

mumoverseas Mon 03-Nov-08 12:13:52

agree with Attila, money well spent even thought it may not seem like it at the time.
I remember reading a few years ago about some DIY will packs on sale in a large chain of stationers in the uk that didn't include extremely important instructions regarding the witnessing of the will. As a result, many people found that their wills were not valid or if they were valid, the gifts to certain beneficiaries were not. Not worth taking the risk, get it done properly. As has been said above, if drafted correctly, it will take into account all sorts of future changes of circumstances and therefore could mean that a new will may not be required for many years.

changer22 Mon 03-Nov-08 12:21:27

We did our wills through willaid too. Money well spent. It was good to know our money was going to charity and it's something that needs to be done.

wendyuk321 Thu 06-Nov-08 19:09:02

Hi everyone,

I think how wrong you are!

I agree yes a Will is an important thing - but so is having n extra £100 feeding my son.

When I used www.wills.org.uk I was then contacted by a will writer, I was even sent a draft to make sure I approved before anything was done. my questions were answered and things explained so I could understand what was giogn on. I only have few assets and no complex wishes so it was ideal for me at £39

My friend who was recently made redundant from a solicitors told me about them and that for people such as me it is completly fine - better than no will!!

thank you

MattWalkden Fri 07-Nov-08 08:52:43

An anonymous person has sent me a link to this blog and I feel I ought to defend my business (and profession)somewhat that seem to be getting a bit of an undeserved slating!
I run the website www.Wills.org.uk and have done so for quite a few years now. I am a fully trained Professional Will Writer and a member of the Society of Will Writers. My wills are every bit as legal as those drawn up by a Solicitor, in fact, probably better as this is my only area of expertise and I keep myself up-to-date with current legislation in this complex area more so than most Solicitors.
The website is aimed at people who need basic wills, it says that on it, I have written many hundreds of wills for single mums and families alike that do a perfectly good job and I can always explain the contents to the people involved when they ask.
If I spot an area that I think the family or individual has not thought about, I will raise this point with htem before the will is finalised.
I charge £35 to alter or amend a Will previously written by me.
Amongst my clients, I have many Solicitors who openly admit that this is not their area of expertise, I also write wills for Solicitor's clients on their behalf as they recognise that this is better for their clients than attempting to do so themselves on many occasions.
I am sorry if this sounds like a rant but there are a lot of points that needed defending, feel free to contact me via the website, I personally answer every enquiry. Better than most Solicitors websites!

ketchupkisses Fri 07-Nov-08 15:34:06

Wow - thanks Matt. Never expected to get this kind of a response! I was just looking for some references.

Please don't feel offended. I think the thread is pretty balanced. Those with direct experience of wills.org.uk have commended your service, and others have said why they choose to do otherwise.

Thanks for posting!

redemily222 Wed 16-Sep-09 20:06:09

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