Need witnesses to will

Discussion in 'Wills, inheritances and gifts' started by lantern01, Jun 20, 2018.

  1. lantern01

    lantern01 Registered User

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    Hi, i've made a will myself which is legally fine but I cannot find witnesses who are not beneficiaries. Every solicitor I ring refuses to sign the will as they were not involved in drafting up the will itself, they are quoting around 100 quid to draft a will themselves as well as providing witnesses!
    The law says everyone who is over 18 and mentally sound can witness a will but i'm encountering solicitors as well as a commissioner of oaths who have refused to witness a will.
    I'm really stuck as family and friends cannot be witnesses, there must be others who have encountered this problem? Is there somewhere in Dublin that offers a service to witness a will?
     
  2. mf1

    mf1 Frequent Poster

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    Is there somewhere in Dublin that offers a service to witness a will?

    Yes, they're called solicitors. And they, quite rightly , charge.

    The alternative:

    Your neighbours
    Work colleagues

    mf
     
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  3. lantern01

    lantern01 Registered User

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    Solicitors charge 100 euro and that's alot of money to me. I don't know my neighbours and don't have work colleagues at the moment. Any other suggestions?
     
  4. Webster

    Webster Registered User

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    All you need to witness is the testator/testatrix signature and not the detail within the will itself, peace commissioner will probably do that for 10 euro.
     
  5. mf1

    mf1 Frequent Poster

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    Anyone who is not a beneficiary can witness. Surely, you're not benefitting everyone you know?

    Or get a friend of one of your family members to do it.

    mf
     
  6. Thirsty

    Thirsty Frequent Poster

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    "..family and friends cannot be witnesses.."

    Who told you that?

    The only person who can't be a witness is a beneficiary.
     
  7. Brendan Burgess

    Brendan Burgess Founder

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    Well, isn't this a good way to get to know them?

    Brendan
     
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  8. Vanilla

    Vanilla Frequent Poster

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    A solicitor will charge this kind of fee because they will check the will is valid. If they just witness it, and it is a heap of rubbish ( even though you say it is legally fine), no doubt they will be sued for negligence.

    You could hang around on a street somewhere and cajole two people into witnessing it for you.

    mind you, god help your executor if they ever need an affidavit of attesting witness later.
     
  9. lantern01

    lantern01 Registered User

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    Thanks for your replies. I can't show my neighbours(or strangers) who I do not know a deeply personal document, would you? I read that the law is from 1965, surely it can be updated so a person who cannot obtain witnesses can upload a personally signed will in a digital archive with a govt agency and then the problem is solved?
     
  10. cremeegg

    cremeegg Frequent Poster

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    You do not have to show them the will. As webster pointed out, you only need to show them your signature.
     
  11. PaddyBloggit

    PaddyBloggit Frequent Poster

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    In all fairness, for such an important document, save €100 up and go to a solicitor.

    Your will won't be of much use to potential beneficiaries if it turns out to be invalid.

    The phrase 'penny wise and pound foolish' comes to mind.
     
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  12. Bronte

    Bronte Frequent Poster

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    Literally the cheapest legal document you will ever get is a will. Mine offered it to me free recently and for family too. (Reminder to self, I really ought to do a new will).

    I'd love to see your secretive will. Should be fun when you've passed away. How many beneficiaries?

    As others have pointed out, you can ask anybody to witness your signature. They are not witnessing the will. So ask the milkman. A free cup of tea and a biscuit might do the trick.
     
  13. john luc

    john luc Frequent Poster

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    I always remember a play about a rich new York Jew who died and everyone in the extended family were at the reading. He stated that he left 1 million dollars to his useless son who never worked a day and all commented how generous he was. He left 1 million to his daughter who would not marry and he left 1 million dollars to his wife. He then added his brother in law with this comment. To my brother in law Louis who always said I would not remember him in my Will,well he was wrong, hello louis:)
     
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  14. T McGibney

    T McGibney Frequent Poster

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    There's no such thing as a free lunch. Did they explain how their charges work for processing estates post-death?

    I know of one family whose parents availed of a free will service and who found themselves having to stump up nearly €70,000 in fees to the same solicitors after both parents died within a short time of each other in the middle of an asset price bubble.
     
  15. Bronte

    Bronte Frequent Poster

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    Tommy there is no need for anybody to use the solicitor for probate who drew up the will. Those fees you've quoted sound extortionate. I'm well aware that the reason a will is cheap is the hope, often reality, is that the firm will be used for the probate.

    Also most estates are simple and do not need a solicitor at all.
     
  16. T McGibney

    T McGibney Frequent Poster

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    This one wasn't simple, but didn't warrant a fifth of the fee that was charged, and it involved a family that had suffered two bereavements in short succession dealing and ultimately bargaining with a very sharp and cunning solicitor who wasn't even much good at what he was doing for them.

    Had their poor parents done some basic research at the outset and paid a decent fee to a decent solicitor for drawing up their will, a lot of hassle and expense would have been avoided.

    Be very, very wary of "free" offers when they relate to lifetime events.
     
  17. john luc

    john luc Frequent Poster

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    how are solicitors fees calculated for such matters
     
  18. Bronte

    Bronte Frequent Poster

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    The fee used to be based on the value of the estate. That's no longer legal as far as I know. But you can be sure it will be still so based.
     
  19. T McGibney

    T McGibney Frequent Poster

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    It is of course still legal, once the terms are communicated in advance to the customer. Why wouldn't it be?
     
  20. Bronte

    Bronte Frequent Poster

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    I just had an idea it was no longer allowed to be estate value based. That it had to be based on the actual work.

    Selling a house worth 1 million is the same work as selling one for 100K.
     
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