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Updating will - do they need to go back to the original solicitor?
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Kathrynss · 29/06/2022 14:08

I have been asked by my mother in law for advice on wills and updating. Before talking to her I wonder what we need to do first

The situation
MIL made a will 10 years ago splitting everything between her two children: my husband and his sister (both in 30s, unmarried at the time). Will was lodged with solicitors. Both will be executors.

Since then husband has married me and we have had two children. Sister of husband has also married but decided not to have children (not sure how happy she is with this but her husband already had 2 so she became stepmum)

Mother in law would like to now update her will to leave something to our children.

Sister of husband has expressed concern about this and has had a row with MIL about 'fairness' - MIL stood her ground and said she will leave it to who she wants. SIster has threatened to challenge the will (?) when MIL dies - I'm not sure on what grounds. MIL has moved house since writing will and now lives in same town as us (possible other source of tension with the sister)

Action now
So do we go back to the original solicitor and ask them to update the existing will or do we need a completely new will? If a new will can we get a new solicitor to do a will and write to the original solicitor and tell them to destroy the original?

OP's posts:
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SummerInSun · 29/06/2022 14:14

Any of the above. If you like the old solicitor and still want them to be executors, ask them what's the most efficient (ie cost-effective) way to add a bequest to the children - in practice it won't really be any difference costs wise to do a codicil for the kids or just rewrite the old will to include them. Alternatively, if your MIL has found a solicitor she likes better, get him/her to get a copy of the old will and use that as a base for the new one and tell the old solicitors to destroy the old one. Either way, warm the solicitor about SIL's threats

Your MIL needs to consider this - is she happy for whatever money she leaves SIL to go to SIL'a husband after SIL dies is she dies before her husband?

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GoldenGorilla · 29/06/2022 14:15

You can use the original lawyer, or a new layer. Either is fine from a legal perspective.

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Mosaic123 · 01/07/2022 08:12

Your most recent will is the valid one. Any previous will is automatically void.

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JennyMule · 01/07/2022 18:31

Either returning to the original solicitor or finding a new one more locally would be fine. SIL stands zero chance of success in a challenge unless she can prove on balance that MIL lacks testamentary capacity, or made a new will (or codicil to existing will) under such duress that she lacked free will. We always insist that testators include a letter of wishes/explanation when making "unpopular bequests" to demonstrate that they know person X may perceive the will to be unfair, but that's nevertheless what the testator wants

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