Q. I can write my own will at low cost

Yes you can but it is a dangerous to do so as the form of wording is vitally important.. It is a known fact that legal advisors dealing with contentious issues on wills make far more money from home- made wills than those professionally prepared. The costs and stress are likely to be very high With many people marrying more than once these days a will also needs to protect first families by the use of trusts and a professional advisor is needed to advise on this.

Q. I do not need to make a will as my wife/husband will inherit my estate

This is not necessarily the case. The Intestacy Laws set out specifically how an estate is distributed in the absence of a will and depending on the nature of the assets and the size of the estate a surviving spouse may not inherit everything, particularly when taking property values into account. You also need to consider what would happen if you both perish in a single accident. The costs and complications arising out of intestacy are also significantly higher.

Q. What is the benefit of making a will?

It enables you to decide who inherits you estate rather than being dictated to by law. It also gives you the opportunity to do some financial planning such as reducing the liability of residential or nursing home fees on your estate by including a trust and reducing an inheritance tax liability with perhaps charitable bequests

Q. Does a will protect children?

Yes it will. A properly drawn will can include appropriate restrictions for children to inherit. The legal age of majority is eighteen but this can be a very young age to inherit a large sum of money. In the will you can stipulate a later age of inheritance. In those circumstances the will contains appropriate powers for the trustees to release funds for the benefit of children whilst funds are held in trust. This could be for education or career based projects.

Q. Can I appoint my own executors?

A will enables you to appoint the person or persons you trust to carry out your wishes. If there is no will the law decides who can administer your estate

Q. How will my executors know who is holding my will?

The service we provide includes providing copies of the will in a folder containing a business card. The original will is held in safe custody for the client.

Q. Can I change my will?

Of course. A will is described as ambulatory and does not come into effect until death. It can be changed as often as needs be either by a new will which will cancel the old will or by a codicil ( a short separate document amending a part of the will) if the change is minor. As a general rule we recommend that a will is reviewed every five years or when there is a significant change in personal circumstances. A well-drawn will should anticipate some changes , for example a family who frequently travel together and who may perish in a single accident then a will should anticipate this and make provision for what will happen to the estate.

Q. Can I leave my assets to anyone?

In this country you have full testamentary capacity to leave your assets to whoever you choose. However you must make proper provision for a spouse, minor children (under 18) and anyone else financially dependent on you, otherwise there could be a claim on your estate under the Family Provision Act which would be costly.

Q. Want happens if I marry or divorce?

Marriage automatically cancels a will unless it is made in anticipation of that marriage to the named person. On divorce a gift or the appointment of a spouse as an executor, trustee or guardian is automatically revoked. The best advice here is to make a new will

Q. What happens if I do not make a will?

The Laws of Intestacy will apply which may mean that distant relatives may inherit you estate, people ,such as second or third cousins you have not seen for years and who you do not wish to benefit from your assets. The costs are higher as more time is needed to trace the beneficiaries. It is not true that the Government takes the estate. This only happens exceptionally, if there are no living relatives covered by the intestacy rules.

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