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Vinyl Art

Wills and Solicitors

11 posts in this topic

Any experience here from those who have been through the provess of dealing with a will? is it simple enough to not require a solicitor to discharge the will?

In my case there is only my sister and i and my dad has a Will. It is very simple and splits assets equally with a small amount going to one or two others. I assume it is easy enough for me and my sister to discharge this will.

be good to know other's thoughts.
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There are plenty of on-line wills. The biggest issue we have found is finding an executor. If you can find one that can withstand a challenge of independence then it is quite easy to do one without the need of a solicitor. Having said that, there are many areas that may need advice on the wording in order for your wishes to be fullfilled. A phrase or word misplaced could make a world of difference if it was challenged.

My wife and I have done our own on-line. We are reasonably confident that our use of language will reduce any conflict from misinterpretation. Plus we have an Executor that we trust and the family trust.
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My Dads will was an online version (minutewill IIRC), I was the executor, it was very straight forward, and got through the whole probate in about 4 months. Make sure you have plenty of copies of the death certificates (when the time comes) and plenty of copies of the Grant of representation, they dont cost much, so ask for a few extras. The probate & tax forms are a bit of a slog, but it's not so bad.

Most everything you need to know here

[URL]http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/governmentcitizensandrights/death/whattodoafteradeath/dg_10029808[/URL]
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If your dad has named a third-party executor (bank, solicitor etc) in his will make very sure that he understands what they will charge. A few percent of the estate might not sound like much but if there's a house involved it will be thousands and thousands of pounds. And once the process starts, after the death, the executor holds a lot of legal rights and may want to run things their way rather than yours. It's easy to remove executors at this stage but becomes more difficult (=expensive) later. I submitted the probate application for my mum's estate last week. There was a fair degree of faff involved with the form-filling but nothing too taxing. And if I had needed professional help I would have been in a much stronger position to negotiate the best deal with a solicitor because [I]I[/I] was the executor and they would be working for [I]me[/I].

VB
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Thanks VB, that was the question i was trying to ask. My dad aleady has a will and a friend of his suggested he name an executor. I said i would ask around and see what others thought....sounds easy enough to do on our own, a few forms won't trip me up, years of Civuil Service training me:D Thanks

[COLOR="silver"]- - - Updated - - -[/COLOR]

Thanks Karl and Terry too:)
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I am in similar situation with my parents Bob.
My brother and I are the only beneficiaries and I have been named as the executor.

I don't envisage any major problems.
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[quote name='BobC']Thanks VB, that was the question i was trying to ask. My dad aleady has a will and a friend of his suggested he name an executor. I said i would ask around and see what others thought....sounds easy enough to do on our own, a few forms won't trip me up, years of Civuil Service training me:D Thanks

[COLOR=silver]- - - Updated - - -[/COLOR]

Thanks Karl and Terry too:)[/QUOTE]

I was executor on my mum's will. I spoke to a friendly solicitor who told me to do it all myself - that he costs would be exhorbitant. Haven't hit too many problems yet <fingers crossed>
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In my mum's case she named the bank, and my stepfather who died before she did, as her only executors. We paid the bank to go away (much cheaper than letting them stay, but £120 for a single signed A4 sheet still felt like a lot). Anyway that meant that there were then no executors. My siblings and I have applied for probate as 'administrators'. In practice this means we can allocate my mum's estate exactly as we would if we were executors. However I think (remember I'm definitely not an expert in this) it means we don't have any administrative rights [I]until probate has been granted[/I]. If I'm right about this then effectively nobody has been responsible for the estate from the time my mum died up to the time that we get the 'grant of representation'. In practice this hasn't caused us any real trouble. We were able to extend the insurance on the property, for example, and close my mum's gas, electric and phone accounts even though we seem to have no legal status. They just asked us if we were the executors and we said no, but we were applying for the grant and would act like executors to all intents and purposes. I would have felt that I was on stronger ground though if I really had been named as an executor in the will. In fact it was only due to incompetence on the bank's part that we got our hands on the will at all. It had been lodged with my mum's local (tiny) branch and the chap in charge wasn't familiar with the process. So when we asked if we could have the original copy of the will he had to 'phone a friend'. The friend (who turned out to be the wrong person in the bank's hierarchy) told him 'Yes'. So he gave us the will and we left. When the right person found out she was furious and tried to get us to give them the will back. I called a friendly solicitor and when she'd stopped laughing she said 'Tell them you'll see them in court'. We heard nothing more from them. I believe that if we'd been the executors though we could have obtained the will with no trouble. It matters because you need the original to apply for probate. A copy won't do.

VB
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Unless the estate is large and/or complicated, there's no reason one can't do it oneself, so no need to use solicitors except for specific things like conveyancy. I would avoid at all costs naming a Bank as Executor as the costs are very high, and they will take far longer, as they have no incentive to be quick. They will run the Estate for their convenience, not for that of the beneficiaries.

I've now handled two estates as Executor, and in both cases they were straight-forward. If there's no Inheritance Tax to pay the forms are simple, if there is, the forms are longer but still not that difficult.

S.
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If it is a straight 'division of estate' then you can do it yourself quite easily. It starts to get complicated when you want to leave specific items to specific people and are concerned about allowing for that in division of other items.

My father in law had a neat trick - kids were to distribute items between themselves and if there was any dispute the item would be sold and the price split between the three of them. That helped prevent any bickering!
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I administered my Dad's estate after he died, as a benficiary and and executor. Pretty straightforward. Register death and get plenty copies of Death Certificate; find will; obtain probate; administer estate to beneficieries (according to will if expressly stated, using best judgement otherwise). Notifying all the various utlities, authorities, and pensions folk is the slog - that's why you need plenty copies of DC. One of them may get it wrong and start sending snotty demand letters to the deceased - quite upsetting for some, i found it funny, and easily solved with phone call -and another copy of DC.

A sad but strangely cathartic process in my experience. Lawyers fees unecessary imo for what is an administrative task.

Off/on topic - I donated his last hi fi to his fav pub - Marantz CD63SE K1 sig, K1 sig integrated amp and small pair Tannoys - as no one else wanted them. Seemed fitting.
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