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Is this will legit
Mike Paget
Posted: 31 May 2018 08:32:11(UTC)
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Can you knock up a homemade will with the signatures from your children's partners as witnesses? So the parent of your grandchild. One who is living in the same house. Are these legit witnesses?

Been looking at a will and grant for a lady I worked with and who was blatantly manipulated by another woman to get on will
Keith Hilton
Posted: 31 May 2018 08:41:25(UTC)
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I'm no expert, but I would say that if any of the beneficiaries (or their partners) are witnesses then the will is invalid.
Mr Helpful
Posted: 31 May 2018 08:51:03(UTC)
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Keith Hilton;63171 wrote:
I'm no expert, but I would say that if any of the beneficiaries (or their partners) are witnesses then the will is invalid.

+!
Correct.
Tim D
Posted: 31 May 2018 08:57:50(UTC)
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IANAL but the coop's legal service advises:

Quote:
We would always advise that the following people should not be your witnesses:

Family members
Your husband/wife or civil partner
Any of your beneficiaries, who are the people you intend to inherit from your Estate
The husband/wife or civil partner of a beneficiary in your Will
Anyone under the age of 18 years of age
Anyone who is blind or partially sighted
Anyone who does not have sufficient mental capacity to understand what they are witnessing

If any of the above are witnesses to your Will, it could cause problems after you pass away. For instance, the law states that if a witness of the Will or their spouse is named as a beneficiary of the Will, then the law provides that the witnessing remains valid but the actual gift to the witness (or their spouse) fails.


Nothing inherently wrong with homemade wills though. For many years mine was the template form from some "Write your own will" kit from WHSmith/Which? or something like that. (To which I'll add - in light of some comments below - that the information accompanying the pack - which I studied carefully - helped me choose witnesses correctly!)
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Mike Paget
Posted: 31 May 2018 22:22:13(UTC)
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Keith Hilton;63171 wrote:
I'm no expert, but I would say that if any of the beneficiaries (or their partners) are witnesses then the will is invalid.



I sent the will to a lawyer (who deals with inheritance disputes) and she said the witnesses may be suspect, technically they are ok but suspect. She also said that and the will look suspect and she would like to take up the case. No solicitor had signed it.

The will is written so half is taken by the woman in her fifties who manipulated herself onto the will. She was the 'friend' and carer of the old lady for years and 50% for the nephew of the deceased old lady. The lawyer also believes that the difference between the gross and net amount £440,000 to £297,000 is too high to just be tax and that she must have gifted herself some money.

My issue is the lawyer wants me to be a witness and also the cleaner of the deceased who hated the woman who manipulated herself onto the will. The manipulative lady got both of us fired and accused the cleaner of stealing. It would only get to this stage if the nephew was interested. He lives abroad so there's no guarantee he will be interested. My worry is IF the manipulative lady gets say £100,000 knocked off her inheritance she won't be happy and is going to know I was the one who did it, along with the cleaner because we are witnesses at the civil case. I live in the same town and I guess with just my name she could find my address and want some sort of revenge.
Jon Snow
Posted: 31 May 2018 23:41:34(UTC)
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Mike Paget;63170 wrote:


Can you knock up a homemade will with the signatures from your children's partners as witnesses? So the parent of your grandchild. One who is living in the same house. Are these legit witnesses?

Been looking at a will and grant for a lady I worked with and who was blatantly manipulated by another woman to get on will


Just a view, based on what you posted, which begs a few questions that I won't get into.

Of course anyone can knock up a will, a form from W H Smith will do, the issue is when/if the will is challenged as to its legitimacy and that is likely to be on a technicality as they are the easiest issues to determine.

I am not a solicitor but have dealt closely with one over 3 estates/wills and drafting my own last year.

It is standard practice (afaik) for solicitors to ask that witnesses to a signature on a will are people you know but are not related to you (by blood or marriage) nor are they beneficiaries of the will.

You also mentioned grant, which I take to be grant of probate, which means that the estate has been cleared for distribution and power has been passed to the executors to distribute the estate according to the wishes in the will, so it's a bit late in the day.

There are instruments that you can invoke to challenge/suspend the distribution process but you need to get to a solicitor quickly and have good grounds and evidence.




Jon Snow
Posted: 31 May 2018 23:45:35(UTC)
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Mike Paget;63212 wrote:
Keith Hilton;63171 wrote:
I'm no expert, but I would say that if any of the beneficiaries (or their partners) are witnesses then the will is invalid.



I sent the will to a lawyer (who deals with inheritance disputes) and she said the witnesses may be suspect, technically they are ok but suspect. She also said that and the will look suspect and she would like to take up the case. No solicitor had signed it.

The will is written so half is taken by the woman in her fifties who manipulated herself onto the will. She was the 'friend' and carer of the old lady for years and 50% for the nephew of the deceased old lady. The lawyer also believes that the difference between the gross and net amount £440,000 to £297,000 is too high to just be tax and that she must have gifted herself some money.

My issue is the lawyer wants me to be a witness and also the cleaner of the deceased who hated the woman who manipulated herself onto the will. The manipulative lady got both of us fired and accused the cleaner of stealing. It would only get to this stage if the nephew was interested. He lives abroad so there's no guarantee he will be interested. My worry is IF the manipulative lady gets say £100,000 knocked off her inheritance she won't be happy and is going to know I was the one who did it, along with the cleaner because we are witnesses at the civil case. I live in the same town and I guess with just my name she could find my address and want some sort of revenge.


Can I ask, what do you get out of this convoluted mess and why are you bothering?
Law Man
Posted: 01 June 2018 14:46:45(UTC)
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Witnesses: I believe the problem is when a witness is also a beneficiary I.e. a beneficiary must not witness.

The problem is not that the will is invalid, but that the witness/ beneficiaries lose their gifts - which go to the residual Y legatees, or if none under the statutory rules which apply when there is no will.

For drafting a will, bluntly it is foolish to draft your own. A solicitor will charge little, and give you a price beforehand.

As regards the suggestion of undue influence. again, the testatatrix should use a solicitor who can discuss this. It gives the test arid a 'get out' excuse to resist the unfair pressure.

You can not change things after the person dies. Much better to do it properly now.
Bruce J.
Posted: 01 June 2018 15:16:09(UTC)
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In addition to all of the good advice above, social services do sometimes get involved if the person is deemed vulnerable and recieving support.
JohnW
Posted: 01 June 2018 15:37:28(UTC)
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Quote:
A solicitor will charge little,


£500 plus vat in my case, which for ten minutes work on the part of the office junior typing it up I consider a little more than "little" for a straight forward will leaving to just one person and divided equally to her two sons in the event that she does not survive me. Talk about money for old rope!
Money Spider
Posted: 01 June 2018 16:02:28(UTC)
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Two elderly relatives of mine have written new wills in the past 2-3 years, one only being completed this week. Both used a solicitor. The fee in each case was £150 + VAT. The work was done over two home visits in each case (plus some 'tuning' via email in between those visits). In each case the solicitor (different firms in each case) arrived for the second visit with another member of their staff who acted as (independent) witness.

There were multiple beneficiaries in each case with condition clauses if beneficiaries pre-deceased the testatrix and bequests to several charities in one case. So, not entirely straightforward.

My point: Why would you bother doing it yourself when the cost is so low (and the potential risk/cost of error so high)?
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Tim D on 01/06/2018(UTC)
Michael Loveridge
Posted: 01 June 2018 17:06:22(UTC)
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JohnW;63257 wrote:
Quote:
A solicitor will charge little,


£500 plus vat in my case, which for ten minutes work on the part of the office junior typing it up I consider a little more than "little" for a straight forward will leaving to just one person and divided equally to her two sons in the event that she does not survive me. Talk about money for old rope!


If this is true, then it's (a) a disgraceful overcharge; and (b) not at all typical.

Most solicitors make Wills at less than cost price either because they recognise that they're `a good thing', and they don't want people to be put off making one by the cost, or because they hope to deal with probate when the testator drops off their perch, which is relatively profitable work.

Consequently, the experience of Money Spider is far more typical. Most solicitors outside Central London would charge around £100 - £200 + VAT for a reasonably straightforward Will.

This may still seem a lot compared with buying a form from WH Smith or downloading a Will from the internet, but not only are you receiving advice from someone who will ask the right questions and prevent you from cocking up but they are also covered by PI insurance, so if they do mess up at least compensation will be available.

I had a client years ago who had helped his elderly mother make her WH Smith style Will. He witnessed her signature and thereby deprived himself of around £350k. The saving over using a solicitor didn't look so good at that point.

And they always say that the last toast at the lawyers' annual dinner is to the man who makes his own Will - lawyers make far more money from fighting over home made Wills than they do from actually making Wills themselves.
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JohnW
Posted: 01 June 2018 17:42:29(UTC)
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Believe me, it's 100% true. Near enough 4 weeks state pension money. I was told the rate per hour, but not how long it would take. I would say if I was writing it myself I could do it in 15 minutes, so never envisaged it would cost anything like as much. But as the saying goes, "Once bitten twice shy!" They wont get any more business from me. I'll just copy the wording and write it myself. There is nothing difficult about an uncomplicated will.
Tim D
Posted: 01 June 2018 18:04:33(UTC)
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The coop do a fixed-fee will writing service for ~ £150 or £234 for a couple (those prices include VAT).

Age UK have organized some "Free Wills Month" campaigns where over 55s can get a "simple" will done for free... the next one is scheduled for October... more info at https://freewillsmonth.org.uk/ or https://www.ageuk.org.uk...egacy/free-wills-month/ (I think the idea is you're expected to leave a donation to Age UK or the other charities involved with it).

And if you do intend to leave any sort of legacy to charities like Guide Dogs for the Blind or BHF or the Red Cross etc you don't even need to wait: you'll find the "legacy teams" there only too happy to help you get your will done for free e.g https://www.guidedogs.or...e-will-writing-service/ or https://www.bhf.org.uk/g...will/free-wills-network or https://www.redcross.org...ur-will/free-will-offer (generally seems to be done via https://nationalfreewills.net/ ).
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Mike Paget
Posted: 02 June 2018 08:43:23(UTC)
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Jon Snow;63220 wrote:
Mike Paget;63212 wrote:
Keith Hilton;63171 wrote:
I'm no expert, but I would say that if any of the beneficiaries (or their partners) are witnesses then the will is invalid.



I sent the will to a lawyer (who deals with inheritance disputes) and she said the witnesses may be suspect, technically they are ok but suspect. She also said that and the will look suspect and she would like to take up the case. No solicitor had signed it.

The will is written so half is taken by the woman in her fifties who manipulated herself onto the will. She was the 'friend' and carer of the old lady for years and 50% for the nephew of the deceased old lady. The lawyer also believes that the difference between the gross and net amount £440,000 to £297,000 is too high to just be tax and that she must have gifted herself some money.

My issue is the lawyer wants me to be a witness and also the cleaner of the deceased who hated the woman who manipulated herself onto the will. The manipulative lady got both of us fired and accused the cleaner of stealing. It would only get to this stage if the nephew was interested. He lives abroad so there's no guarantee he will be interested. My worry is IF the manipulative lady gets say £100,000 knocked off her inheritance she won't be happy and is going to know I was the one who did it, along with the cleaner because we are witnesses at the civil case. I live in the same town and I guess with just my name she could find my address and want some sort of revenge.


Can I ask, what do you get out of this convoluted mess and why are you bothering?


Nothing really financially unless if the nephew who would get more gave me something for being a witness. It was just a few years of watching this manipulative lady in action and also suffering her stirring, getting me fired and causing me a lot of stress. So I guess it's anger and satisfaction to see her suffer for her bad behaviour. Another lady suffered at her hands as well, might ask her if she's interested give her the option. But is this really worth it? I was hoping to pass on what I had found out to a lawyer and let them deal with it, but now it seems I would have put neck on the line to do that. She would find out it was me who caused her trouble and I suspect if she lost £100,000 she could do something bad or cause me trouble. We live in same town.

The gift to herself may also be wrong.

Another note, a solicitor I spoke today said that beneficiaries can be witnesses (the law changed ten yrs ago), although the first solicitor said the opposite and she saw the will so will go with her view.

How about the cleaner, should I talk to her and ask if she wants to be a witness?

I was so nervous I sent this info from a throw away email so solicitor thinks my name is different. Just call her explain I was just so nervous about giving this info I sent from a made up name email.
Mr J
Posted: 03 June 2018 06:36:55(UTC)
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I think you would normally expect the potential beneficiary or beneficiaries that are losing out from the potentially invalid will to be the ones taking action. From your description it is unclear who this would be. You talk of the partners of her children but surely it is her children that would normally expect to benefit and should be taking this up ?
Dian
Posted: 03 June 2018 06:48:27(UTC)
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Mike Paget
Posted: 04 June 2018 07:52:06(UTC)
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Mr J;63297 wrote:
I think you would normally expect the potential beneficiary or beneficiaries that are losing out from the potentially invalid will to be the ones taking action. From your description it is unclear who this would be. You talk of the partners of her children but surely it is her children that would normally expect to benefit and should be taking this up ?


The deceased's nephew gets half currently and would be the one who wants to take action. he's German and so would need to be contacted. But myself and the cleaner would apparently need to give evidence to show there was manipulation or whatever. This is what I am uncomfortable with as the the manipulative lady's family may want to take revenge. Maybe let the cleaner know the situation and see if she's interested.


huudi
Posted: 04 June 2018 09:57:22(UTC)
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Sadly this is something that is commonplace. Robbing the dead or dying, I hear such stories from friends & relatives, it seem that people have no conscience or morality, each hoping to have the last signed will. This behaviour then degrades to scrounging, so-called 'borrowing', taking all you can before somebody else gets it, the 'bank of mum & dad'.
My father was relieved when I visited before his death because I never wanted from him, I had no idea what my siblings took. His second wife was 'out shopping' he said, it later transpired that she had been 'out shopping' for two years returning once to get his signature on his will. "She's not interested in the house" he said correctly, on his death she called house clearance cowboys and sold the house & family memories without returning. I am still unsure as to whether he believed she was just 'out shopping'.
My brother-in-law, a joint executor took signed documents allowing him to wind-up & distribute his mothers estate, the house was gutted of any value & 8 years on his whereabouts are unknown.
Similar stories I hear constantly, it happens because the law is lax and people always get away with it. If you fear revenge then it shows the nature of the beast you confront.
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Mike Paget
Posted: 06 June 2018 07:40:26(UTC)
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huudi;63346 wrote:
Sadly this is something that is commonplace. Robbing the dead or dying, I hear such stories from friends & relatives, it seem that people have no conscience or morality, each hoping to have the last signed will. This behaviour then degrades to scrounging, so-called 'borrowing', taking all you can before somebody else gets it, the 'bank of mum & dad'.
My father was relieved when I visited before his death because I never wanted from him, I had no idea what my siblings took. His second wife was 'out shopping' he said, it later transpired that she had been 'out shopping' for two years returning once to get his signature on his will. "She's not interested in the house" he said correctly, on his death she called house clearance cowboys and sold the house & family memories without returning. I am still unsure as to whether he believed she was just 'out shopping'.
My brother-in-law, a joint executor took signed documents allowing him to wind-up & distribute his mothers estate, the house was gutted of any value & 8 years on his whereabouts are unknown.
Similar stories I hear constantly, it happens because the law is lax and people always get away with it. If you fear revenge then it shows the nature of the beast you confront.


Well I can chat with the cleaner and also solicitor again I guess before making final decision.

Your story is similar to this one. This lady was isolated so had no one to really monitor the situation. This is the problem, it's difficult for some old people to have a third party monitor what's going on away from them and the manipulator. Weren't you aware of what was going on? How this woman can sell your family memories is awful. At least contact you about this. Horrible lady. Did you try and contact a solicitor?

To be fair to the manipulative lady in this case, she did go round as a friend four days a week for years. She also cared at the end. It was just she made everyone elses lives difficult- getting us fired and stirring up trouble and now we know why.
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