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Execute a Will

(13 Posts)
Stoker48 Wed 08-Jul-20 11:06:43

Apologies if this has been addressed before. I had a quick look and couldn’t see .
My husband has produced a flow chart for our son detailing what to do in event of our deaths.
He has suggested engaging solicitor to execute the Will. Could I ask for your opinions, please.
I heard that this can be very expensive.
We are lucky that we have a couple of rental properties and investments in various institutions. My son though well educated is hopeless with paperwork.
I’d be grateful for your feedback.

fiorentina51 Wed 08-Jul-20 11:17:00

I'm in the process of dealing with my aunt's will. It is a straightforward estate valued at less than £50000 so my solicitor suggested I deal with it myself.
If you have property, investments etc I would bite the bullet and pay a professional to deal with it.
Some banks and building societies will only close accounts valued over £50000 if the paperwork is completed by a solicitor.

Hetty58 Wed 08-Jul-20 11:25:06

Having been joint executor of quite a straightforward will - I'd never, ever, do it again.

I'm left hardly on speaking terms with other family members who wanted things done quickly and incorrectly. I wanted things done properly.

Therefore, I'd recommend always using a solicitor - money well spent.

Fennel Wed 08-Jul-20 11:35:29

if you've got other properties and investments I would hire a solicitor. Costs will vary depending on how much work needs to be done.
I was executor for Mum's will - it was fairly straightforward but still took me a few weeks. No family disputes, waiting for replies etc and I was so paranoid by then about losing the documents that I went in person to register it in London. As Hetty says
"I'd recommend always using a solicitor - money well spent."

Stoker48 Wed 08-Jul-20 12:22:21

Thank you all so much. Do appreciate your experiences. Those of you who used a solicitor, did you shop around for fees? If you did, did you find much difference?

fiorentina51 Wed 08-Jul-20 12:46:01

Just to add that no other family around to get involved in my aunt's will so for me, a person who hates all forms of paperwork, it wasn't a bad experience. She was in care when she died and owned no property so it was a case of sorting out her finances and paying out bequests.
DH and I have had to deal with the estates of 3 other relatives and have always got a solicitor to do it.

We used our family solicitor so didn't shop around.

Oldwoman70 Wed 08-Jul-20 12:59:27

If you can't get a recommendation from someone, contact the local Law Society. They will give you a list of solicitors who specialise in probate. Costs usually depend on the size of the estate - ask for quotes.

Hetty58 Wed 08-Jul-20 13:03:13

I would certainly shop around - and (on principle) negotiate a discount too!

Septimia Wed 08-Jul-20 14:41:16

My mum was executor for my dad, and I was for my mum's will. Both will simple and straighforward, no problems.

More recently DH and his sister were executors for their dad. Sister lives 10 hours away, so was happy to leave it to my DH.

A lot of things that need to be dealt with can be done when registering the death, which makes it much easier. The bank was very helpful and had a special department to help. The will had to go for probate before we could share out the money and sell the house. Probate wasn't difficult either - you get plenty of information about what to do and the authorities are actually quite willing to be helpful most of the time.

DH is intelligent but has never dealt with accounts and similar paperwork. He needed a nudge now and then but really didn't find it hard.

Fennel Wed 08-Jul-20 17:49:21

Just to add - I think solicitors now have an agreed list of fees which they're all obliged to stick to. eg for each individual letter sent, research of extended family etc. It all adds up and it's probably impossible to give an accurate estimate.
eg Mum and her sisters were left some money by a longlost cousin who they hardly knew, but who had never married and had lots of investment income from her father. The solicitor discovered that there was another branch of the family who lived in Australia and were also entitled to a share. So it all took ages and added to the cost.
They were happy with the result, though small, they hadn't expected it.

Stoker48 Thu 09-Jul-20 06:56:29

Thank you. Really helpful responses.

Davidhs Thu 09-Jul-20 09:23:34

If there is property to be sold you will need professional help, there is a lot of detailed regulations that have to be followed and tax paid where appropriate.

All that is inevitable, unless the estate was inherited by you as his wife, when no tax would be charged. So don’t assume that your husbands plan was the right one.

You have the option now of changing the terms of the will - Deed of Family Agreement, all beneficiaries have to agree. If you are young you might want to keep the rental properties to provide an income in the future. You really do need to talk to a good solicitor, there is no point paying tax now and leaving yourself short in the future

Witzend Thu 09-Jul-20 09:48:58

If your son is hopeless with paperwork, I’d definitely use a solicitor. Even a relatively straightforward estate can involve a lot of tedious paperwork and take what seems forever. Dh has been co-executor for 3 and twice ended up doing 99% of it - he’s extremely organised but it was still very time-consuming.

@Hetty58, that rang a bell. When dealing with a fairly hefty estate, dh was strongly pressured by an heir to take illegal measures to avoid the taxman. ‘Everybody does it!’
No way was dh going to - they just had to lump it.