Making A Will
A Will allows a person to plan how they wish their Estate to be divided up upon death. In completing your Will it allows you to have control as to how your assets will be distributed as in the absence of a Will your Estate will be distributed under the Laws of Intestacy which may not reflect your wishes.
Your Will will ensure that your wishes are carried out accurately following your death. Should you die without a Will (Intestate) then administering your Estate could be more lengthy and expensive and therefore it is always advisable to have a correctly drafted Will which accords with your wishes.
A Will sets out your wishes as to who will inherit your property after you die and what is to happen to your property can be clearly set out for your relatives and friends who survive you. It is also very important if you have minor children as you can set out in your Will who will look after your children and where they should live following your death. You can also set up a Trust in your Will for the benefit of your children should the need arise.
It is advisable to consult a Solicitor with regard to making a Will and you should consider the following:
- (a) Who you would like to appoint as Executors namely a person or people who will carry out the wishes of your Will and sign all necessary legal documents to give effect to your Will. Executors can also be Beneficiaries.
- (b) Who do you wish to inherit your Estate and you should have their full names and addresses and how much you want each Beneficiary to get i.e. it can be a specific amount or it can be a specific share of your Estate.
- (c) Who will inherit the residue of your Estate i.e. everything not specifically covered in your Will.
- (d) You should have a clear idea as to what assets you have so that you can determine where such assets are bequeathed.
A Will only speaks from the date of Death and all of your assets still belong to you and you are free to do with them what you want until you die. After you die your Will then takes effect and the Executors will carry out your wishes. If certain assets are no longer in existence then they will not be passed under your Will. It is therefore a good idea to review your will every number of years to take account of any assets that no longer exist and may have been included in a previous Will.
If you don’t have a Will then your Estate will pass under the Rules of Intestacy and the Succession Act of 1965 sets out who will inherit your Estate.