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Prep of wills from afar?

Discussion in 'Estate Planning' started by Ol School Skata, 19th Dec, 2005.

  1. Ol School Skata

    Ol School Skata Well-Known Member

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    Is it necessary to visit a solicitor to draw up a will? Can it be done over the phone, email, postage? Will i need to be in a solicitor's office for anything. My residential address tends to not make this visiting an easy and convenient process

    OSS
     
  2. Jacque

    Jacque Team InvestEd

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  3. Nigel Ward

    Nigel Ward Team InvestEd

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    Visiting need not be necessary with good phone calls and emails (but it always helps). As always, effective communication is the key.

    Witnessing of the wills is a critical point. Altho most states and territories now have "substantial compliance" type provisions, the formalities of will execution (ie 2 people both present while the will maker and each other signs and who are not beneficiaries or related to beneficiaries) remains important for a valid will. That doesn't mean you need to go to the lawyer's office to do it, but make sure you follow their instructions to the letter and that your witnesses realise this is a serious business and no monkeying around or leaving the room to answer the phone etc.

    If you're an investor with substantial assets or have a "complex" family situation with former spouse/s &/or step children etc I would strongly recommend you see a lawyer who specialises in estate planning.

    You could be doing your family a great disservice if you DIY it. A DIY will just will NOT cut it for any person with considerable assets.

    If it was worth the effort of making and protecting your wealth make sure it ends up in the hands of the right people when you're gone...

    To take an example - would you DIY some surgery for yourself (bring out the trusty and perhaps rusty hacksaw and chisel and go to work...of course Not! :eek: )

    Why do you think you can do the same with one of the most important legal documents you'll ever sign? This is your family's future.

    end of rant :D

    Cheers
    N.
     
  4. pthm

    pthm Well-Known Member

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    We are now very close to having our wills completed. We have not met the solicitor who has been drafting our wills, but engaged her on a lawyer friend's recommendation. We emailed her the outline of our wills and it has been a series of emails on questions / answers, clarifications / explanations for the last 8 months. She has now completed the drafting and emailed us the final versions of the wills, plus powers of attorney and guardianship, for review. She & her husband will come to our home and we will sign the wills with them as our witnesses for all the docs. She works from home, and they live south of Sydney and we live north of Sydney. So, the short answer to your question is to find a solicitor who is willing to do a lot of work via email.
     
  5. Tzaki

    Tzaki Well-Known Member

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    Now that may be the advantage of a face to face meeting, you can exchange info there and then. OUr wills were drawn up by our solicitor at a meeting, then a followup meeting ironed out any problems and presto! All done in a week.

    8 Months seems excessive to me (one or more of you could have died inthat period!!! :eek: :D ), but ours were fairly straightforward, and our solicitor knew us before hand. (yeah we folk down ere is fairly simple really!).

    An important follow-up to wills is continuing power-of-attourney; this allows your partner/named person to act on your behalf while you are unable (physically or mentally) to act for yourself. These should also be updated regularly, especially if your personal situation changes.
     
  6. pthm

    pthm Well-Known Member

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    [/quote] 8 Months seems excessive to me (one or more of you could have died inthat period!!! :eek: :D ), but ours were fairly straightforward, and our solicitor knew us before hand. (yeah we folk down ere is fairly simple really!).

    An important follow-up to wills is continuing power-of-attourney; this allows your partner/named person to act on your behalf while you are unable (physically or mentally) to act for yourself. These should also be updated regularly, especially if your personal situation changes.[/QUOTE]

    The reason why it has taken us 8 months to do our wills because the solicitor was busy and we did not have money to pay her to continue and then we were busy and then she was busy etc. And, our wills were not the normal, like leave money to children because we don't have any and we don't want the relatives to fight over it. And, who to appoint as our executors - don't want to appoint the relatives either, now some good friends are going to do it. The wills are now done - the solicitor even gave us the soft copies in Word just in case we want to change minor details later on. We signed them this week! :)

    Agree with you that it is important to have powers of attorney and guardianship done as well. These can be updated easliy, but have to signed with a solicitor or a prescribed person.

    Did you all know that you cannot number the pages of the wills, but each page has to be signed by the person who makes the will, and the 2 witnesses and using in the same pen?
     
  7. Ol School Skata

    Ol School Skata Well-Known Member

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    I am still waiting for mine. Have supplied a summary of the details and assets etc and now waiting for a schedule of fees for prep of wills, epoa and development of a hybrid trust.

    Other than waiting a while for these fees to be sent to me prior to commencing - i have no problems with doing this by email and fax. Made my partner and i sit down together discuss it (after writing it in whiteboard marker on the fridge) and putting it down on paper to send to solicitors.

    Hopefully we will get this info real soon to proceed.

    OSS