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Who signs a will?

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cassa333 | 13:59 Tue 15th May 2012 | Civil
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Further to the post from the lady who's step sons appear to have signed their fahters will...

My brother and I have witnessed our parents will's and we are executors. The will's are mirrors of each and should one die the other inherits everything.

When they both die their entire estate (a house, small amount of savings depending on old age care etc) is probably worth well under £200,000 and will be divided between us four children (myself, my brother and two older sisters).

No one is likely to bicker or contest the will as we all know what is in it and it is split evenly.

Should we have witnessed it?

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If someone has spent time in care and their assets are thereby diminished, how does their Will, written on parchment or not , which cannot possibly operate until they are dead, and thus after that expense for care and consequent loss of assets has happened, make any difference ? Can you explain that? Some of us on here might need you advice.
My reply was directed at the will writer too. The reference to 'on parchment' was borrowed from Sandy's post, because it seemed an apt image. The idea that a will can affect such matters is ill- founded, methinks but perhaps the writer can explain how it is possible.
Just because you go into care it does not mean your assetts are gone.
I know somebody who went into care and he died 3 weeks later.
Another situation is if your house is jointly owned with someone else your share of the house can not be used to pay for your care.
Some people are fully NHS funded. They keep their state and occupational pension so their wealth may be increasing every month for their children to inherit.

John
You can put your house or any other assets into a Trust Fund, or name a person (such as your spouse) who can have a lifetime interest in your home until they die, then your children can inherit the house tax free. There are many different variations on this theme, so a Will Writer who is also a finance expert is ideal. I do not have anything against solicitors drafting Wills, but because they also deal with various aspects of law, your Will may take longer to prepare as they cannot devote all their time to it.
I'm grateful for your climbdown Crapmemory, it's not precisely what you said in your earlier post. Be aware that there are a number of solicitors and legal executives who post on here and give good, free, cogent advice concerning wills, trusts and other related areas.

You cannot accomplish what you have suggested by a Will during your lifetime as your previous post implied! Your Will only takes effect from death. If you want to protect assets during your lifetime, you need to consider a declaration of trust for which the "significant reason" must not be to deprive yourself of assets. You CAN protect assets AFTER your death (say for instance if a spouse needs paid for care but that will not affect your own care), but that is not what your earlier post implied.

With the greatest of respect if you hold yourself out to be particularly qualified in an area and purport to represent a particular profession whilst denigrating another profession, be prepared to nail your colours to the mast and give credible advice rather than throwaway remarks which can easily be misconstrued by those members who are not "in the know".
Please read my post again. I never said that this is to protect assets while alive. The whole point of having a Will is that your wishes are carried out after your death. You can state in your Will that your spouse/partner can live in the property for their lifetime, then it in turn goes to whoever you want to have it. If you are married/in a relationship, then you can make mirror Wills so that this applies to whichever of you is the survivor of the other.
"No, not just rich folk. If you have worked hard all your life say, to buy your house, would you prefer to leave it to your spouse or children or let the government take it if you have to go into care? With a properly written Will, your estate will go EXACTLY where YOU want it to go.....not where the government decide. "

Well you need to be more precise in your answers then since that ^^ is capable of misinterpretation (and from the other posts, I wasn't the only one). And Fredpuli has asked some pertinent questions that still have not been answered.

Please though can I ask that you refrain from casting aspersions to a profession that frankly does a jolly good job. There are bad apples in every barrel, but giving advice saying "NEVER ask a solicitor to write your will" is, frankly, plain wrong. You have done your own profession no favours.
Well said, Barmaid. Methinks crapmemory could easily have left this poster with something of a prejudice against Will Writers, but of course just as there may be poor solicitors & good ones, so there may be poor Will Writers & good ones.
Six years ago the Law Society and the general public were asking for legislation to protect them from unregulated will writers such as "The Will Writing Society". As far as I know they are still unregulated.
I would much rather trust a qualified solicitor for my will than one of these unregulated companies.
Yes Graham. Try googling 'will writers' and you find many advertisements. One firm offers an online ten minute will service!
Can't find any organisation with the exact name given by the poster, to which they say they belong. There is a society of professional will writers and one other with a similar name, both of which say their members can have qualifications; these consist of passing whatever test the society approves of and administers
As it stands, anyone can call themselves a will writer. The 'writer' might be a bus driver or anything else, with no expertise in the law, or trusts or anything pertinent to wills, probate and tax, and no records kept, and, above all no insurance against claims for loss from negligence or sheer incompetence.
Would frighten me, even more than the answers we got from the 'will writer' on here. Even lawyers don't act for themselves; " the lawyer who acts for himself has a fool for a client" is the old saying, because they've nobody to sue if the case goes wrong, among other reasons.
Does a witness have to read the contents of the will before they sign it?
No. What they are witnessing is the signature of the testator. They must see the testator sign the will and then sign themselves in the presence of the testator and of each other.
<I would much rather trust a qualified solicitor for my will>

Whilst all solicitors (except trainees) are qualified, I'd hazard a guess that the majority of them are not qualified to write wills.
And the witnesses should write, before their signatures, that they sign in the presence of each other and the testator. Printed will forms should have words to that effect already included on the form. It does make a difference. My father wrote his own will but had been guided by very old instructions which didn't mention that. When he died, we had to find the witnesses and have them make an affidavit saying it; if we hadn't found at least one, the will might not have been admitted to probate. The office had been refusing it until we produced that evidence .
dzug, given fredpuli's statement, define "qualified to write wills"

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