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JGM, Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 12195
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor. Partner in own firm.
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I live in Scotland. My wife and I already have respective

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I live in Scotland.
My wife and I already have respective Wills that have each of us as the executor and POA of the other. We want to make slight changes though to the Wills and POA and feel the £800+vat is excessive for the minor changes required. Can we copy the wording from the existing Wills into the computer substituting in the changes, e.g., who are the inheritors and who are executors and print them off and have them signed by us and witnessed by someone?
If yes who can be the legal witness, can it be a relative or friend or has it to be a professional (lawyer/doctor)?
Or is the wording of the Will viewed as almost copyright and thus the text belongs to the Lawyer who drafted the Wills?
Are the DIY Wills available online legal where the Will is drafted via a questionnaire and on satisfaction is checked (they say) by a lawyer before the official copies are sent out?
Does the Will have to be full of legalise if all you want to do is simply divide your estate at death and state who your executor is? If a Will is simple can a person perhaps draft their own Will and just state "Jimmy gets one-sixth, Angela one-sixth etc etc", which surely is unambiguous as you could get if you have clearly defined who Jimmy and Angela are?
The POA I understand and can make appropriate amendments and submit to the appropriate Public Office.
John Cousins
Thank you for your question.
As far as the will is concerned you can copy these and make the changes. The witness should be over 16 and not be anyone named in the will including the executors. It doesn't have to be a lawyer. Remember the maker of the will signs at the bottom of all pages, the witness signs the final page only.
Copyright doesn't apply to wills.
DIY wills are possible but not recommended. They are the ones that create ambiguity and argument in my experience.
You can draft your own will but again there is a purpose to having a will drawn up properly. Legalese has its place I'm afraid.
Going to your final question and concerning the power of attorney, this does have to be signed off by a solicitor, doctor or other professional and there are also special forms which the attorneys have to sign. Powers of attorney that are continuing and also contain and welfare powers have to be done in a particular way and registered with the Office of the Public Guardian in Scotland. Again if you have copies of the existing ones and the ancillary paperwork you can copy this, make the changes and register it yourself. There is a fair bit of work in this which is why the saving will be around £800 as you say. But you will have to do the work and follow the procedure to get them registered.
I hope this helps.
I hope this helps. Please leave a positive response so that I am credited for my time.
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