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Do you have questions about writing or updating your Will? Ask Cancer Research UK’s representatives - £200 voucher to be won

(123 Posts)
CeriGransnet (GNHQ) Thu 09-Sep-21 17:32:31

This Q&A is now closed for questions

Many of us have already written a Will, but it’s important to regularly review it as a change to your family structure, a house move or a decision to pledge a legacy gift to charity all might mean your Will needs to be updated. With this in mind, Cancer Research UK Legacy Management Officer Chloe Fairbrother, and WBW Solicitors Partner, Catherine Causey, are here to answer your questions on writing or updating your Will.

Here is some more information on CRUK’s representatives:

Chloe Fairbrother
As a Legacy Management Officer at Cancer Research UK, Chloe is responsible for ensuring that our supporters' generous legacy gifts are received in accordance with the wishes in their Will. She supports executors to administer an estate, ensuring gifts in Wills go on to fund a third of Cancer Research UK’s life-saving research.

Catherine Causey
Catherine Causey qualified as a Solicitor in 2005, and specialises in all aspects of private client work. She is now a Partner and head of the private client department at WBW Solicitors – one of Cancer Research UK’s trusted legal partners offering advice via the Free Will Service.

Here’s what Cancer Research UK has to say: “Our Free Will Service allows anyone 18+ to easily write or update a simple Will for free. We partner with best-in-class Will-writing providers, so you can make sure your final wishes and your loved ones are well looked after. Many supporters have chosen to pledge a gift in their Will when using our Free Will Service, because they are passionate about supporting the causes that matter to them.

We want to hear from Gransnetters via this thread, if you are considering writing or updating your will and want more information on leaving a gift in your Will. Our representatives from the Free Will Service are here to answer any questions.”

So do you have questions about writing or changing your Will? Perhaps you’re unsure how to go about updating it now your circumstances have changed? Have you decided you’d like to include a legacy gift to charity in your Will but you’d like some more information on how it works?

Whatever your questions around writing and updating your Will, post them on this thread and Catherine and Chloe will be back with the answers later this month.

Cancer Research UK is a registered charity in England and Wales (1089464), Scotland (SC041666), the Isle of Man (1103) and Jersey (247).

Gransnet prize draw

All who post on this thread will be entered by Gransnet into the Gransnet prize draw on 24/09/2021, where one lucky Gransnetter will win a £200 voucher for a store of their choice (from a list).

Vouchers of winner's choice will be an e-voucher ordered via the Voucher Express platform. Choice will be dependent on availability at the time. Winners will also have an option to select a 'VEX Gift Certificate" which will give them the option to select a physical voucher or gift card from the full Voucher Express range.

Thanks and good luck with the prize draw!

GNHQ

Gransnet Insight T&Cs apply

Judy54 Mon 27-Sep-21 17:37:22

Spot on FannyCornforth so many interesting questions on here please experts get back to us with answers.

FannyCornforth Mon 27-Sep-21 18:03:56

Thank you Judy
If we don’t hear anything within the next two days I will contact the management and ask what is going on.

ElderlyPerson Tue 28-Sep-21 11:44:25

Something that I have thought after looking into this is that if one leaves a legacy to a charity that one may be exposing one's executors to pressure to hurry up and get on with it.

If the executors are family it could get awkward for them if they have jobs or health issues etc and are doing it all as best they can.

So is it possible that if someone leaves a legacy to stipulate that the charity is not entitled to get anything for ten years unless the executor chooses to finish it up earlier?

Would that give the executors time to do the job without being pushed by the charity?

ElderlyPerson Tue 28-Sep-21 17:11:12

Is it the case that if one leaves something to a charity then unless and until the charity formally signs that it agrees with the executor's intentions that no beneficiary may receive anything, even if the charity delays due to a backlog of work causing delay?

muse Tue 28-Sep-21 17:47:49

I was about to write a question but spotted that All who post on this thread will be entered by Gransnet into the Gransnet prize draw on 24/09/2021

I don't know how these type of threads work but with it now presumably closed, it seems pointless to leave my question. I do hope they post the answers.

ElderlyPerson Tue 28-Sep-21 18:23:52

Well, if you don't post your question there is no possibility of it being answered.

The replies have not been posted yet so posting your question seems worth a try.

If the two questions that I have asked today get answered then you would have missed an opportunity.

It does not say it has closed, though that might perhaps be the implication or the practical reality.

FannyCornforth Tue 28-Sep-21 18:28:26

Hello Muse so do I.
I don’t know if you saw my post on the previous page, but I have contacted them this afternoon, asking what is going on.

ElderlyPerson Tue 28-Sep-21 18:41:21

FannyCornforth

Hello Muse so do I.
I don’t know if you saw my post on the previous page, but I have contacted them this afternoon, asking what is going on.

> Whatever your questions around writing and updating your Will, post them on this thread and Catherine and Chloe will be back with the answers later this month.

Today is 28 September 2021.

So two and just under a quarter more days in September.

muse Tue 28-Sep-21 18:50:28

It would be better to stipulate a closing date.

👍 I did see your post on Monday FannyCornforth saying you’d contact them in 2 days.

muse Tue 28-Sep-21 18:56:11

EP.
Looking back jochrisbryan has asked a similar question to mine.

FannyCornforth Tue 28-Sep-21 19:30:53

Yes EP, that was my point.
The private health care people needed a kick up the backside to make them return.
I’m afraid that you have a rather rose tinted view of how things happen here!
Just be grateful that we have a platform on which to chat. It’s better when we are left to our devices smile

ElderlyPerson Tue 28-Sep-21 20:23:16

Hold on, in fairness, a date has been mentioned so that is perhaps in effect a cut-off date, though with optional flexibility for later questions,

So, then the people need time to prepare their answers, though perhaps that has been an on-going process.

As a result of your earlier posts I did look at some earlier sponsored discussions, but that was those and this is this.

With preparedness for allowance for possible unforeseen circumstances, that may mean that answers will be provided to all of the questions on Wednesday or Thursday, there would seem no point in paying to hold a sponsored discussion and then not providing what has been promised - indeed such a thing would seem to be very counterproductive.

From what I have been reading on the web it seems to me - but I am not a lawyer - that if someone wants to leave everything to a charity or divided amongst several charities and has a solicitor ot the Public Trustee as executor and just let them get on with it, then that is probably fine.

But if just some of it, no matter how small a part is going to a charity, which it seems has a legal obligation to pursue, perhaps focused solely on its own interests regardless of the circumstances of people who may be elderly and impoverished, then the effect upon other beneficiaries, such as relatives, could be devastating and certainly not what the person making the will had in mind.

Who knows how long the charity might take to do what might seem a very simple matter of signing a form, with things such as solicitor's holidays, backlogs, and basically people who might just be people going to work for so many hours a day with no great concern for getting things done promptly. The person making the will has no way of knowing the attitude of the people who will actually deal with it all.

It seems to me that although it seems kind and generous to put something for a charity in a will whilst also giving things to people whom one loves or hold in esteem as friends is potentially allowing a charity to cause great distress to the loved ones and friends.

I am open to being convinced otherwise.

CeriGransnet (GNHQ) Wed 29-Sep-21 17:39:43

Hello! Thank you all very much for sharing your questions. Cancer Research UK's representatives will be online later this week to post their answers to a selection of questions.

The winner of the prize draw is @Stef1972 - Congratulations! smile

ElderlyPerson Wed 29-Sep-21 18:04:41

CeriGransnet

Hello! Thank you all very much for sharing your questions. Cancer Research UK's representatives will be online later this week to post their answers to a selection of questions.

The winner of the prize draw is @Stef1972 - Congratulations! smile

Ah, answers to a selection of questions.

That was not what it says.

> Whatever your questions around writing and updating your Will, post them on this thread and Catherine and Chloe will be back with the answers later this month.

I have been advocating more sponsored discussions on various subjects and some people have written against it.

Changing from what was promised for this sponsored discussion simply reinforces opposition to sponsored discussions.

If only a selection of questions would be answered that should be made clear when the invitation to ask questions is offered.

Germanshepherdsmum Wed 29-Sep-21 18:32:27

Quite so. As a retired solicitor I have enjoyed reading the questions.

CeriGransnet (GNHQ) Thu 30-Sep-21 17:46:32

Hi @elderlyperson thanks so much for your feedback. Catherine and Chloe are working hard to answer as many of your questions as possible. They have found that there is quite a bit of crossover amongst the questions so some of their answers will cover similar questions, or questions that that have been asked multiple times in an attempt to provide as much useful and relevant information as possible, without repeating themselves too much. Hope that makes sense smile

Stay tuned for the answers - thanks!

FannyCornforth Thu 30-Sep-21 19:12:20

EP! You must be delighted! You got your own personalised blue response!

ElderlyPerson Fri 01-Oct-21 00:27:58

FannyCornforth

*EP*! You must be delighted! You got your own personalised blue response!

Yes.

ElderlyPerson Fri 01-Oct-21 00:39:10

CeriGransnet

Hi @elderlyperson thanks so much for your feedback. Catherine and Chloe are working hard to answer as many of your questions as possible. They have found that there is quite a bit of crossover amongst the questions so some of their answers will cover similar questions, or questions that that have been asked multiple times in an attempt to provide as much useful and relevant information as possible, without repeating themselves too much. Hope that makes sense smile

Stay tuned for the answers - thanks!

Thank you for replying.

ChloeFairbrother Fri 01-Oct-21 19:30:30

FindingNemo15

I have a small amount of savings in my own name which I want to leave to charity. If I die first will this wish be carried out if I include this in my will or does it automatically become my husbands to do with what he wishes.

FindingNemo15

When writing your Will, if you instruct your solicitor to include a gift of a sum of money, or the contents of a named savings account to a specific charity, then this will be honoured and the remainder of your estate will pass to your spouse or any other beneficiary you choose – although jointly owned assets (for example a shared bank account held in the names of both you and your spouse) may pass automatically to the surviving joint owner.

You should be cautious though in leaving a gift of a specific bank account, for example, as over time account names, numbers and even banks themselves can change name - potentially causing the gift to fail.

ChloeFairbrother Fri 01-Oct-21 19:31:44

juliedee

what happens if you don't name executors?

juliedee

If you write a Will but don’t name an executor then it is commonplace for the main residuary beneficiary (the person who will receive the bulk of your estate after the payment of any specific gifts, taxes and debts), to be appointed as executor and apply for the Grant of Probate.

It is always advisable to name an Executor in your Will (most people will consider having a minimum of two), this can be a spouse, friend, family member or even a professional such as a solicitor to act on your behalf. By choosing who you would like to act as Executor, somebody who you trust to look after your affairs, then you have retained a degree of control – you know them, and they know you - rather than leaving it to a stranger to manage things when you are no longer here.

ChloeFairbrother Fri 01-Oct-21 19:33:21

Silverbridge

Will Cancer Research UK act as professional executors in an estate? If so, do you require the will to stipulate a minimum legacy to do so? What happens if, in the future, assets have to be disposed of to pay for care fees reducing the size of the legacy to below that minimum? Would CRUK still act? Is it just a risk you would take?

I assume that your trusted legal partners deal with the legal work. Do you have partners throughout the UK in major towns and cities?

Silverbridge

We would always suggest that it is better to appoint somebody who you know and who will know your wishes and your personal affairs. Having said that, we are happy to be named as executor in estates where we are also named as a residuary beneficiary. A ‘residuary beneficiary’ is someone who is left a share, percentage or sometimes all, of an estate after all the other payments have been made. As a charity we have to make this clarification because of the internal costs to us of the administration, we have to ensure that we are maximising the funds available for life-saving research.

We don’t stipulate any minimum gift to our charity, but we would not be able to act as executor if the estate was insolvent (ie unable to pay its debts), whether because of care fees payments or any other reason.

ChloeFairbrother Fri 01-Oct-21 19:35:18

Lucylucciano

Do you have to use a solicitor to write your will?

Lucylucciano

It is not essential to use a professional to write your Will and there are now more choices than ever with online Wills, home Will packs and so on. However, there are common pitfalls that people can fall into if they choose to write their own Will which can be avoided by using a professional. We would always recommend that you take proper advice and Cancer Research UK offers a free Will service which allows anyone 18+ to easily write or update a simple Will for free. Most people who use the service pledge a gift to the charity as well. You can follow this link to find your local partnered solicitor.

ChloeFairbrother Fri 01-Oct-21 19:36:36

annette18

Do I need to update my will
My husband died and when I asked I was told mine was fine and didn't need updating

annette18

It is not necessary to update your Will after the death of a spouse as long as you are still content with the wishes you have made in the event that you survived your spouse. However, it is advisable to review your Will every five years or so - or whenever there are any other significant life events, such as births, deaths, marriages and divorces, among your circle - to ensure you are still in agreement with your previous wishes and to make any additional gifts that you may now choose to make. It is possible to add an addendum to an existing Will, often called a ‘codicil’, if you wish to make some simple changes, for example to remove or add a gift to the existing Will.

ChloeFairbrother Fri 01-Oct-21 19:37:14

Albangirl14

If leaving money to Grandchildren should they each be named? What if another baby comes along after the Will is written?

Albangirl14

If this is something you are concerned about, it could be advisable to ensure the Will is drafted by a professional and that they ensure the gift extends to Grandchildren who may not have been born at the time the Will is executed. It is possible to make gifts to unnamed beneficiaries, like in the explanation you have provided.