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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 you are a witness, you cannot benefit from a will. If your spouse or common law partner has witnessed the will, then you can't benefit and vice versa. It looks like the will need remaking!
Executors can benefit from a will but this does not override their duties as executor.
if you are beneficiaries you CANNOT sign as a witness to your father's signature, nor can any close relative of you!

you can be executors however!
You cannot witness it if you are beneficiaries. Although it is under the IH level it still needs to go to probate where that will be picked up.
Beneficiaries can be executors, witnesses can be executors, but witnesses cannot be beneficiaries.
the best thing to do is let the solicitor provide witnesses from his office, and that will solve all problems!

remember solicitors make MORE money from bad wills, than the cost of good ones!

have it done again!
Oh My God, No! A witness to a will cannot benefit therefrom by law. Get it rewritten and re-signed asap, otherwise you heading for big problems.
Nooooo! s15 Wills Act 1837 provides that if a beneficiary or his spouse or his civil partner witnesses a Will then they cannot take their benefit. It won't matter on the first death since the surviving spouse will get it all. Assuming the survivor doesn't change their Will you and your brother will be unable to take your benefit. Of course your siblings may agree that you can, but they are not obliged to do so.
Hi Cassa

I know the witnesses should be people who will not benefit from the will and I think it would be best if they are non relatives. As it happened the solicitors secretary witnessed my fathers will and we found out a few weeks later we were related.
The solicitor thought it was best another will was drawn up and she did it free of charge.

No will can cater for this but you say the estate is to be split evenly.
I know in one situation there was a son and daughter and the daughter did most of the caring in the final years.
As it happened the son allowed his sister to take a higher percentage of the estate to allow for the fact she had lost earnings as a result of the care.
If this happens this would have to be agreed as it arises.

John
NEVER use a solicitor if you want a Will written unless they are members of The Will Writing Society. They may be experts in various legal matters, but NOT when it comes to writing Wills. There have been many cases of errors made by them because they are not experts which have resulted in a lot of heartache for bereaved people.
I disagree Crapmemory. Most of the poor Wills are the homemade ones. Any solicitor who is a member of the Probate Section of the Law Society or a member of STEP would be perfectly OK.
many cases? would you like to cite the statistics?
I said company NOT an online job! I write Wills and am a member of the Will Writing Society and STEP. No two Wills are ever exactly the same so avoid the "cheap and easy" ones online. It is not a job that you can learn in 5 minutes as there are laws and statutes that are regularly updated. The ones that you can but in WHSmith etc., do not tell you how to make your Will out in the most tax efficient way, therefore avoiding your beneficiaries having to pay inheritance tax on whatever you decide to leave them, enabling your money or estate going to your loved ones or charities without the taxman taking a slice of money that you paid tax on when you were alive!
so you aren't talking about most wills then only the rich folk?
I still disagree with your sweeping statement about solicitors though. By and large the majority are very good and are able to deal with tax and estate planning perfectly well.
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.
"would you prefer to leave it to your spouse or children or let the government take it if you have to go into care"

Can you explain precisely how if I make a Will today and it is incorrect in some way, the "government can take it if you go into care". Nonsense. A Will speaks from death and has no effect before then (at least not in these circumstances).
crapmemory, are you are solicitor? You say someone should never use a solicitor unless he is a member of the Will Writing Society, you see, and you draft wills (or 'write' them).

Is there any professional legal qualification (barrister, solicitor) required to be a will writer? If not, what qualification is required by law? And what professional insurance, to indemnify those who suffer because of negligence and the like, are they required by law to have?
If somebody has spent a time 'in care' and the costs have eaten up their assets their will wouldn't be worth the parchment it's written on.
Hadn't seen Barmaid's post but are we to judge, from what you have said, the level of knowledge of law and practice that you, in fact, possess ?
my remark was addressed to the chap, or chapess, with the bad memory.

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