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Thread: On line Wills?

  1. #1
    Craftsman Crispin's Avatar
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    On line Wills?

    Anyone experience using these services, recommendations?

  2. #2
    Journeyman
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    Any particular reason for considering these rather than engaging a reputable, tried and tested professional in person ?

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    Master KavKav's Avatar
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    The consequences of getting it wrong or leaving it open to multiple misinterpretations do not bear contemplation if the estate is sizeable. In this instance it is value to stump up for a professional as DA56 has intimated.

  4. #4
    Craftsman
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    My recommendation is - use a solicitor- my wife and I had two wills and a gifted deed of transfer completed for about £250.00 - cheap as chips imo

  5. #5
    My wife works at a solicitors we made our will 5 years ago and have just updated them, it’s not till you talk to some9ne who does wills day in day out that you realise why it’s worth the money. And when you hear some of the stories about families contesting wills you realise that £250-350 is money very well spent.

  6. #6
    Journeyman
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    See here to help yourself and help some impoverished kids in the process.

  7. #7
    Craftsman
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    Perhaps it depends on the size of your estate on whether a simple on-line will would suffice? Also, don't overlook lasting powers of attorney (assets and well being), they can be just as important.

  8. #8
    Master draftsmann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ALindsay View Post
    Perhaps it depends on the size of your estate on whether a simple on-line will would suffice? Also, don't overlook lasting powers of attorney (assets and well being), they can be just as important.
    That’s just one of a number of factors. Consider also:

    Remarriages, children from different marriages;
    Overseas assets in the estate;
    Testator or spouse is domiciled overseas;
    Business interests;
    Vulnerable family members including disabilities;
    Family members at risk of bankruptcy or divorce, or with spendthrift tendencies...

    Just to name a few. Forget online will-writing services, and unqualified will-writers generally. Look for a STEP member - he or she will have TEP or “Registered Trust & Estate Practitioner “ after his or her name.

  9. #9
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by draftsmann View Post
    That’s just one of a number of factors. Consider also:

    Remarriages, children from different marriages;
    Overseas assets in the estate;
    Testator or spouse is domiciled overseas;
    Business interests;
    Vulnerable family members including disabilities;
    Family members at risk of bankruptcy or divorce, or with spendthrift tendencies...

    Just to name a few. Forget online will-writing services, and unqualified will-writers generally. Look for a STEP member - he or she will have TEP or “Registered Trust & Estate Practitioner “ after his or her name.
    This ^^^

    Quote Originally Posted by DA56 View Post
    Any particular reason for considering these rather than engaging a reputable, tried and tested professional in person ?
    Exactly Al.

  10. #10
    Journeyman
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    Weigh up the pros & cons, what do I stand to gain by going cheap, a few hundred £ perhaps? Then, what do I or my dependents stand to lose by not using a professional, endless grief & perhaps thousands of £?

    I and my wife just had ours done, there were all sorts of protections included that we wouldn't have had a scooby about if we hadn't been talking to an expert.

  11. #11
    Journeyman
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    In my job I have seen hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of Wills.

    The ones produced by solicitors are mostly quite clear and understandable. The ones produced by will writing services are generally rather poor, with a tendency to be overly long. I have no reason to think that an online will would be significantly different to that from a will writing service - but I have never seen one that definitively claimed to be the product of an online service.

    If your bequests are very simple and your estate small (say tens of thousands GBP), then why not write your own, you can find simple guidance online. I have seen several very straightforward Wills handwritten on pages torn from exercise books.

    Otherwise, if you have a slightly more complex set of bequests, or a larger estate, just spend the money on a solicitor.

  12. #12
    Grand Master sundial's Avatar
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    "… but the greatest gift the railways give to us is the proper treatment of time." John Betjeman , BBC Home Service radio broadcast 4 July 1940.

  13. #13
    Master draftsmann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sundial View Post
    That link is for a 1994 edition, so only slightly out of date!

  14. #14
    Grand Master JasonM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by draftsmann View Post
    That link is for a 1994 edition, so only slightly out of date!
    You know you’re getting old when 1994 doesn’t feel very long ago.
    Cheers..
    Jase

  15. #15
    Grand Master sundial's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by draftsmann View Post
    That link is for a 1994 edition, so only slightly out of date!
    Still a very useful text and not so 'out of date' as you imply. And well worth the asking price as an introduction to wills. Wills and probate law has changed very little apart from death duties.

    dunk
    "… but the greatest gift the railways give to us is the proper treatment of time." John Betjeman , BBC Home Service radio broadcast 4 July 1940.

  16. #16
    Master draftsmann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sundial View Post
    Still a very useful text and not so 'out of date' as you imply. And well worth the asking price as an introduction to wills. Wills and probate law has changed very little apart from death duties.

    dunk
    You’re wrong.

    “Death duties” were a product of the Victorian age, replaced by estate duty, which was replaced by capital transfer tax, which was finally replaced by inheritance tax in 1986.

    The inheritance tax rules have subsequently come full circle to a great extent and are now fairly close to the tax they replaced, with an additional raft of new anti-avoidance provisions grafted onto them. That aside, some notable relevant highlights are:

    The Finance Act 2006 recategorising of certain types of trust, in this context particularly relevant to trusts for young family members.

    The introduction of the transferable nil rate band for married and civil partner couples which rendered obsolete the sort of convoluted will drafting that was routinely done in 1994 for married couples to make provision for the family home.

    The Finance Act 2013 changes to the rules for deductibility of debts.

    The more recent introduction of the residence nil rate band within its strict qualifying rules.

    Additionally since 1994 there have been some significant changes to English trust law, including changes to the perpetuities and accumulations rules, plus the Trustee Act 2000 coming into force.

    In terms of succession and probate law, there has indeed been little legislative change of consequence; but the courts’ recent extrapolated interpretation of the Inheritance (Provision for Family & Dependants)Act 1975 in a few cases may have significant implications where parents do not wish their children to inherit.

    An experienced practitioner will ensure that any advice he or she gives and any will prepares will take account of these developments over the past 20+ years. A lay reader who relies on a 1994 book stands a very good chance of unwittingly falling into any of a number of traps, to the disadvantage of those he or she leaves behind.

  17. #17
    Grand Master sundial's Avatar
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    ^^^ Thank you. I'd better buy a more current wills and probate guide.

    dunk
    "… but the greatest gift the railways give to us is the proper treatment of time." John Betjeman , BBC Home Service radio broadcast 4 July 1940.

  18. #18
    Master draftsmann's Avatar
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    The best book on the subject in my opinion is James Kessler QC’s manual on drafting trusts and will trusts. The author is the foremost pioneer of the drafting of such documents in a plain English style and while its target readership is professionals working in the field it is surprisingly accessible.

    It’s been through a number of editions since the 1990s so my comments above still apply as earlier editions won’t reflect subsequent changes in law and practice.

  19. #19
    What about a simple will? Not everyone needs/wants a trust.

  20. #20
    Master draftsmann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingstepper View Post
    What about a simple will? Not everyone needs/wants a trust.
    Correct. But neither does everyone know what they need.

  21. #21
    Craftsman
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    Find your nearest solicitor, preferably one recommended & use them.
    If you ever get called upon to be an executor local is best.
    My wife’s just been through this episode & we were glad we were not travelling far, surprising how many visits were needed.

    Others have mentioned the greater detail of face to face meetings & deeper understanding of your needs.

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