Wills: What I need to know
What I need to know.
Inheritance and Probate
A well prepared will is a final gift to the next generation.
What is a Will?
A will is a legal document setting out how your possessions will be distributed after your death. A person making the will is called the testator, and the possessions are called the estate.
In order to make a will, the person making the will (testator) must be at least 18 years of age and of sound mind, i.e. fully able to understand the nature of what they are doing. The testator must appoint a person to carry out the terms of the will. This person is called the executor. In many cases, he or she be a beneficiary of the will. The will must be signed in the presence of two witnesses. The witnesses cannot be made beneficiaries or married to beneficiaries under the will.
A will may be altered or revoked by the testator at any time up to his death.
The will takes effect from the date of death.
Why is it important to make a Will?
By making a will you decide what happens your assets after death and who looks after your children.
If you do not make a will, your estate is divided up between your relations according to succession law. This may or may not be in accordance with your wishes or the needs of your family. More on this can be found here.
By making a will you appoint a person to carry out your instructions under your will, called the executor. You might also appoint a guardian to look after your children, called a testamentary guardian.
Finally, making a will can substantially reduce the tax paid by your relatives and also makes dealing with your estate a lot easier for your beneficiaries.
It is always a good idea to make a will, but especially after starting a family, buying a house, getting married or divorced. Any will made prior to marriage is revoked by law upon marriage but same does not apply after divorce.
- It is possible to make a will yourself, but there are many advantages in having one drawn up by a Solicitor –
- Benefit of legal advice and help
Ensure will complies with all legal formalities
- Tax advice and savings
- Cost effective value for money service
To find out more about a recent case involving the difficulties with a homemade will click here.
John and Katarina can help you draw up a will that suits your individual requirements. Now is a good time to do it.
John has been dealing with Probate and Wills for many years and there is not much that he has not seen in that time. If you have any queries in this area why not get in touch with John.