Wills and Funerals - Help!

Discussion in 'Finance, Property, Law' started by Lumber_Jack, Mar 19, 2007.

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  1. I am looking to sort out my will and final wishes regarding funeral arrangements etc. in order to prevent the inevitable squabbling between my partner and my parents should I unfortunately cop it.

    Unfortunately, there isnt a great deal of money available to pay for a solicitor and Ive resorted to looking at those 'EZ Will' packs in WHSmiths and the Post Office. As you need to buy one to actually find out what they legally cover, I was wondering if anyone could shed some sort of light on how good they are.

    Are there any alternative arrangments? If i simply set out my wishes (particulalry regarding funerals) in the form of a witnessed letter will this be sufficient?

    Thanks for the help.
    LJ
     
  2. The ready made packs are ok if what you plan to do is straight forward however as soon as there's an ex or children involved or you're not married, it becomes more complicated and these wills can end up being as much use as a chocolate teapot.

    You can probably pick up an application form from your solicitor without any costs being incurred and this will give you more of an idea of what will be involved and what you need to include if you decide to go down the ready made will route.
     
  3. As long as your situation isn't complex, the will packs should be OK. However, you used the word "partner" which could mean many things... and that means a potential pitfall.

    My understanding is that any form of written will is acceptable as long as it has not been amended, has been signed by you and your signature was witnessed by two independent witnesses (names and addresses supplied). However, anything scribbled on a piece of paper may make a challenge more likely!

    IMHO, funeral arrangements should be dealt with separately from the will; they are your wish but your executor does not have to follow them, whereas he does have to follow your will (subject to agreement with the recipients). An amendment to the funeral page could invalidate the whole will if challenged!

    Finally, make certain that you tell the important people where the original is kept! It would also make sense to tell your executor that you have nominated them!

    All very complex and easy to make a mistake! However, to make it very easy for you, just write down "I leave everything to Litotes@arrse.co.uk", sign it, get it witnessed and seal it in an envelope. I promise I will remember you at the subsequent party. LOL!

    Litotes
     
  4. Shop around with solicitors. The first one I went to wanted £800 (I think it was gold plated), the second £300 and the one I used only cost £80. Worth it in the end.
     
  5. oldbaldy

    oldbaldy LE Moderator Good Egg (charities)
    1. Battlefield Tours

    Wife & I did ours for £80 + VAT for the pair of us at a local solicitor, a couple of years ago now though. They will also store free & just give you a copy, that way they hope to pick up the probate work when your time comes.
     
  6. I was executor for a guy who had used one of the DIY forms. He had a common law wife who objected to much of what was in it. Doubtless, she would have objected to a pukka job but a properly drafted will would have made things very much simpler and saved his estate a fair sum of money. I got mine and Mrs ORC's done for £50 here in Scotland. I'd recommend you get the job done professionally. Can then sleep safe in your grave.
     
  7. It is worth adding the reminder that if you die intestate (without leaving a valid will) the Law decides how your estate is distributed. Spouses and legal children have first rights....

    So, if you leave your wife and first-born for the tall blonde with big etceteras.... and you have a child with her, but do not get round to adding your name to the certificate..... and then you croak......

    ...your wife and first-born inherit everything. It is very unlikely that your girlfriend and child could make a case without DNA and a good lawyer.

    Messy.

    But, of course, you're dead.....

    Litotes