Making a Will FAQ’S
Making a Will brings you peace of mind that should you die your estate goes to your loved ones, making a Will not only ensures the right people benefit from your hard earned assets it also ensures that you do not die intestate.
If you have not made a Will and die intestate your loved ones could be subjected to long lengthy delays when trying to administer your estate, all at a time when they could no doubt do without the added emotional stress.
Without a Will, your partner may not automatically inherit ALL of your estate “Common Law” partners may not receive anything at all.
Minor children could be taken into care whilst Guardians are appointed. Making a Will gives you the opportunity to say who you would like to take care of your children in the event of your death.
So with the benefits of making a Will clear why is it then that one in three people in the UK has still not made one?
When I first talk with people who are considering making a Will, I ask them this question and one of the main reasons seems to be that over the years the subject of Writing a Will has been stereotyped as a complicated matter which it doesn’t have to be.
The main reason why we offer an initial free Will Writing Consultation is that before people can decide on their Will Wishes they need the opportunity to have the process explained to them in simple easy to understand terms.
This allows them to make an informed decision as opposed to taking no action due to the fear of unknown cost and complication.
Frequently asked questions regarding making a Will
Do I need a Solicitor to write my Will?
No, it is a common misconception that only solicitors can write a Will. Many people prefer the flexibility of having a specialist Will Writer visit them at a time and place that is convenient for them.
I’ve made a Will but plan to get married soon is my Will still valid?
Marriage invalidates a Will so once you are married your existing Will is no longer valid, a new Will is needed in your new married name to ensure your estate is not subject to intestacy rules.
What is an Executor or Executrix and what is their role?
An Executrix is a term for a female Executor, the Executor or Executrix are the people you choose to administer your estate and the wishes contained in your Will in the event of your death.
Some of the tasks and Executor has to carry out include but are not limited to; making lists of all assets and debts including utility bills, settling all deceased debts and paying out any inheritance tax necessary, locating heirs and distributing the contents of the Will and arranging for the care of any minor children or pets.
What Makes a Will Valid?
- A Will must be made by a person who is of sound mind.
- A Will must be made a person who is 18 years old or over.
- A Will must be made voluntarily and without pressure from any other person.
- A Will must be signed by the person making the Will in the presence of two witnesses; and signed by the two witnesses, in the presence of the person making the Will
Why do I need two witnesses?
For a Will to be valid the two witnesses must actually see the signing of the Will and the person making the Will must see the witnesses sign too.
Witnesses must be over 18 years of age and not be potential beneficiaries of the Will.
What makes up my Estate?
The terminology Estate refers to everything you own at the time of your death.
What are Personal Chattels?
Chattels are movable personal items you own, for example, jewellery, furniture, pieces of art and cars.
What is a Beneficiary?
A Beneficiary is a person or persons you name in your Will that you wish to benefit from your inheritance.
Who are Guardians?
Guardians are people you choose and name in your Will to look after your minor children on your death.
What are Legacies?
Legacies are gifts of specific monetary amounts or specific property or individual items that you wish to leave to someone in your Will.
What is the Residual Estate?
The Residual Estate includes everything you own when you pass away which has not already been gifted elsewhere in your will and after all debts, funeral expenses and all legacies and tax has been paid.
How should I store my Will?
A Will is a valuable document and it’s never advisable to store in your own home due to the risk of; loss, theft, damage from fire, flood or tampering by others.
You should store your Will in a Secure Document Storage provider ensuring your Executors know where this is.
What does an Administrator do?
An Administrator is a person who is appointed by law to deal with the affairs of the person who has died. An administrator could be appointed because the person who died did not have a Will or they had a Will but did not appoint an Executor or the person appointed does not wish to act
What is a Codicil?
A Codicil is a legal document used to make amendments to an existing Will.
What is a Deed of Variation?
A beneficiary on receipt of an inheritance is able by Law to vary the inheritance they have received. The beneficiary is able to do this within two years of the date of death of the deceased. This is called a ‘Deed of Variation.’
Legacies are paid out after the debts of the estate are settled and before the estate residue is distributed.
What are Trusts?
A trust is an obligation binding a person (which can be an individual or a company) called a ‘trustee’ to deal with ‘property’ in a particular way, for the benefit of one or more ‘beneficiaries’.
What is a Trustee?
Trustees are the people you have chosen to look after any part of your estate that is put into a trust.
They are the legal owners of the Trust, legally bound to look after the property of the trust in a particular way and for a particular purpose.
Executors can also be Trustees.
Don’t put off making your Will until its too late, the majority of professional Will Writers offer an initial free Will Writing Consultation.
If you have already made a Will make sure you review it regularly and if you have a major change in your circumstances.