Finalizing a Will with Parent in Hospital

Hi, my dad is 88 and his health has really deteriorated over the past few weeks. He’s been in hospital 11 days now and tbh i don’t think he’ll be well enough to come home.
He’s been dealing with setting up a Will with solicitors for the past 5 months, not sure how long they’re meant to take but it seems to be dragging on. The final Will hasn’t been executed and the Solicitor has said they would have to visit him in hospital for him to read and sign it. Now, there is no way he can do that. He has to be awake and alert to do that. He’s on high doses of medication and just wants to sleep. It angers me that Solicitors have taken so long to complete the Will. My dad had already signed lots of papers and had a Solicitor visit him at home and it gets to this stage and he can’t finalize it.
Has anyone else been in this situation? If so what happens?

Wills can take some time to put together, but I’ve never heard of one taking so long except where the client has not been able to complete the process. A will is not completed until the final version is checked and signed - and witnessed. Without that, the will is just a piece of paper and has no status in law.

Under those circumstances, if there’s an earlier will, that one will remain in force. If there’s no will, then your father dies intestate and different rules come in.

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One thing to remember - a Will does not have to be prepared by a Solicitor or even on a special form. It can simply be a written or typed document which sets out his wishes. It’s important to start of by stating it is his Last Will and Testament and that he revokes all previous Wills, to avoid issues of challenges.

If he is able to do that at ANY time and understands what he is signing that is all that is required. Just need two people to witness hi signing the document. THAT is binding. I hate sollicitors who make such a song and dance over things.

My brother got a solicitor to draw up a new Will for my Dad and it took six months and cos nearly a grand. When I saw it after Dad died I was disgusted. Mis-spellings of names and organisations, incorrect addresses, the whole thing was a total mess. Previously Dad had simply typed out his own and had it witnessed - total cost …some printer ink and a piece of paper… Same solicitor sent a POA to my sister in USA and put the wrong address but never followed up when he didnt hear back - it was only nearly six months later that she mentioned it that my brother asked what had happened… If that had been me I would have refused to pay his £1100 bill - THAT was a rip off too.

Get the idea I dont like Solicitors?

There are plenty of websites which will prepare a Will document for you to print out and many are FREE.


Do you know if the will was just going to leave everything to you, as only child?
If so, there’s nothing to worry about. if he hasn’t left a will.
If it’s a family liable to fall out, then it’s vital.
Has the solicitor done all the work required for the will, but it just hasn’t been signed?

Yes, they’ve done all the work required and they just have to visit him to go through it again and have him sign it. He thought he had completed it a few months back, but apparently not. So to bring it up with him again when he’s incapacitated is really not ideal, but it’s something I will have to try and do today ot tomorrow.It’s difficult because he has told me he doesn’t want any more visitors, he just wants to rest now.

He’s leaving something to me and my two brothers.

I had an idea you could make a Will without using a solicitor but it was my brother who contacted them to arrange it for my dad. My brother has paid the hefty fees on his behalf.He thinks that’s the only right way to do it. Now it’s got to this stage, he’s kind of panicking. My brother doesn’t live local so it’s me that has to deal with meeting the solicitor at the hospital. I’m really nervous because I know it’s going to be awkward, and I just hope my dad is up to seeing her.

In that case, if it’s one thing to be jointly owned, I think it’s time to have a very firm discussion with the solicitors and tell them to get on and sort this out, pronto. They knew what dad wanted, and how old he is, use the phrase “time is of the essence” now. If they don’t sort it within 3 days, consider another letter using the words “Law Society” and also “negligent”. It might be worth asking the Law Society what it is reasonable to expect, and their view on the speed of dad’s solicitor?

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Good luck. No advice.

I really appreciate all your comments, you’ve been really helpful. It still hasn’t been signed and i don’t think it will now, but never mind.
The day the solicitors come to see my dad, the nurses and a doctor was dealing with him. They managed to speak to him for 5 minutes in the beginning but he said he was unsure what he put in the Will, he couldn’t say off hand, but he knew what they were there for because i told him.They were waiting around an hour, hoping to speak again but they were turned away. They told me they were unsatisfied he was able to sign it. They tried again yesterday but was turned away. It’s completely not appropiate. I’d even left a message to say not to go there. They ignored it. Sadly my dad hasn’t got long left.:sweat:


I’m sorry to hear your Dad is now at end life.

You are right to ignore the will issues at the moment.

In the future, I think the solicitor needs reporting. I really don’t think he has earned his money.


Thanks, I think the same thing. I’m really not happy how they’ve handled it. x


Perhaps complain in a letter to the higher ups.

:people_hugging: :pray:

With you in Spirit

When dad was in last few weeks. He did a Will. Just to me and my half sister. But we have a great family solicitors. They did his instructions over video call from hospice. With nurse present. And then 5 days later went up to hospice and he read it. Doctor read it too and witnessed dad signature. He passed a week later. It was £300

My dad is still hanging in there. Been very chatty today. The solicitors have attempted visiting several times yet still haven’t got my dad to sign it. A video call would have been perfect and I might suggest that. He done a video call tonight with a relative. The nurses keep being hesitant in letting them in.

I think you need to get more insistent with solicitors, tell them it’s life or death matter now. And they need get finger out so dad got peace of mind for his Last days
Same to doctors. Bless you all been there it’s heartbreaking

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Cheryl, I am very concerned that “the nurses keep being hesitant in letting them (i.e. solicitors) in”.
I’m even more concerned that the solicitors are allowing the nurses to deny them access to their clients!
It would be better if the nurses let them in, to a private room, to let them talk to dad. I know in those circumstances I’d be suggesting that they allow dad in, but say that if he gets too distressed they must leave.

Thanks to everyone who commented and offered advice. As my dad is in a separate room now, the solicitor’s were able to go in and see my dad today. The nurses were still reluctant to let them in, but I told them I allow them to go in and if my dad agrees, it is ok. So all went to plan today and he signed it. On me visiting him later on he said, “At least that’s done and dusted now and out the way.” I’m so relieved it’s sorted too.
My dad was very tired today but hanging on. I’m glad he’s still here, considering a week ago I was told he had hours, to a few days left. He’s a strong man and a fighter. x

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Cheryl, I’m glad dad managed to finalise the will.