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DIY Will Kit versus a Will with a solicitor?
11 replies to this topic
Posted 31 July 2014 - 02:33 PM
There's such a difference in price - $30 for the DIY kit from the post office versus $650 with a solicitor! The solicitor was quoting for a will that is enduring and includes power of attorney, last wishes, etc.
The solicitor emailed through a form for us to complete which is basically what is contained within the DIY kit.
Are there any consequences to having done it ourselves? Could someone please explain Public Trustee's involvement? From my basic understanding if you don't have a will they handle the estate and take a significant cut of the proceeds, while slowing up the whole process.
We have two small children and guardians chosen, a mortgaged home, investment property and good life insurance policies. Nothing too complicated - everything would be passed to our chlldren.
Any advice would be appreciated as we've put this off for 10+ years!
Posted 31 July 2014 - 02:54 PM
Honestly, go with the solicitor.
We paid (from memory) about $450 to have our two wills done through a solicitor, and I thought too, how hard is it really, one child, everything to them, guardian picked, sorted.
Questions we hadn’t considered.
We had named my brother and his wife – solicitor shot that down, as should be brother only – no reflection on SIL or their marriage, but she may not be around in 5 years time.
He suggested to also nominate financial guardians and went through the reasons – all good, and we named my same brother and DH’s sister as co-financial trustees.
He also wanted to go through what happens if all three of us die, say in the same car accident. So our wills cover that scenario, that basically, all our assets get split 50/50, and his half goes to his siblings and my half going to my siblings.
Also, we had talked about being quite prescriptive about how money would be left to DD – as in trusts, 25 when she gets everything etc – he talked us out of all that, and asked us to just leave it to the co-trustees to manage, and giving them permission to spend money on the physical guardians adjusting to having an extra in their family.
We will re-visit this financial stuff as she gets older – the will we wrote when she was 2 may not be same will we write when she’s 15.
Part of the fee we paid also included any amendments we make within a 5 year period – which is the time frame he suggested anyway for revisiting wills.
Posted 31 July 2014 - 02:56 PM
Sounds simple enough except it isn't.
Everything goes to the children. So will the guardians be having to dip into their hip pockets to cover the costs of raising and educating your children?
Will the properties be sold or are they to be rented out to cover mortgages?
How will any monies be invested for your children?
Go to the solicitor. Best money you will spend.
Posted 31 July 2014 - 03:00 PM
You get what you pay for, honestly. Even if you think your affairs are simple I guarantee the soli will ask questions you hadn't even considered. They're highly trained for a reason and well worth the money. $650 isn't bad to know that everything will be as enforceable as possible and that your wishes will be adhered to. Disclaimer- I'm a lawyer. I don't specialise in wills and estates so I paid to have mine done by someone who does!
Posted 31 July 2014 - 03:03 PM
Even just signing a will properly without legal advice is fraught with hazard.
Posted 31 July 2014 - 03:09 PM
Why dont u shop around for a cheaper lawyer? Some may do special prices or deals or they might be a new business. That's how I met my solicitor, she was just starting out and I've kept her ever since. And her business is flourishing
Posted 31 July 2014 - 04:19 PM
Thanks OP, I was wondering the same thing! I think we will spend the money.....
Posted 31 July 2014 - 04:21 PM
The way I see it, if you can afford an investment property, you can afford to see a lawyer to get proper watertight wills and POA drawn up.
There are just too many pitfalls with the DIY kits.
Posted 31 July 2014 - 04:28 PM
The Public Trustee issue varies state by state. In QLD they will write up a will for you free with no requirement that they be involved in the execution so you just turn up, get the will done, leave with your will (they do keep a copy on file should it be needed). In NSW I believe that the public trustee must be listed as executor (therefore requiring fees when the will is executed) if they write up your will for you.
Posted 05 August 2014 - 05:39 PM
No never ever. I work in this field and I could spend all night telling you about stories about DIY estate planning.
Pay the money and get it done properly.
Posted 28 July 2015 - 05:44 PM
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