We’ve all watched a film where there’s a dramatic reading of a Will. Family members gather in an imposing room where a dusty solicitor sombrely reads from a scrolled document. All very theatrical and, thankfully, a long way from the experience of the majority of estate administration. Read on to understand why making a Will doesn’t have to be a full-blown drama. Done correctly, making a Will is a life-affirming process that will help those who survive you and ensure your wishes are implemented.
What is A Will?
A Will is a legally binding document that gives clear instructions on how you want your estate (property, assets, money etc.) to be managed after you die.
It includes elements like who will administer your estate, how your family will be cared for and helps you to acknowledge the people in your life when you’re no longer around.
What Are The Benefits Of Having A Will?
It means you’ve stated who you want to benefit when you’re gone. It avoids complicated, expensive and potentially divisive situation for your family and loved ones who don’t know your wishes. If you have promised people in your life something to remember you by they will receive it.
A correctly drawn up will means that your Executors and family won’t have to wrestle with the Intestacy rules. At what will be a difficult time, this is the last thing you’ll want to leave those who survive you.
Can I Make My Own Will?
There are many so-called DIY Will kits around these days; most of which claim you can make your own legally binding Will without legal assistance. Please remember, a Will is a legal document and must be compiled according to set procedures. Failure to comply with any of the procedures means that your Will could be invalid and your estate becomes subject to the Rules of Intestacy. To be legally binding, a Will must be:
- Properly signed and witnessed
- Made by someone aged over 18
- Made by someone with the mental capacity to do so
- Not made as a result of pressure from someone else
Who Can Be An Executor Of A Will?
Anyone aged 18 or over can be an Executor. It makes sense to choose someone you trust who can manage the processes involved. It’s also best that they know you have appointed them and they have agreed to be your Executor. It’s also important to tell this person where your Will is!
There is no conflict between being an Executor and a beneficiary of a Will. It’s perfectly normal for a spouse or children to be both an Executor and beneficiary for example. As long as the Will is properly executed, there are no issues with these arrangements.
Finally, you can appoint a solicitor to execute your Will. This may be useful if you have extensive interests or substantial assets. A legal professional will cost-effectively ensure all the necessary arrangements and legalities are dealt with efficiently and expediently.
How Do I Know If A Will Has Gone To Probate?
If you need to know if a Will has been proved i.e. a Grant of Probate has been extracted then this is a simple process. You can search online and for a small fee, you can have documents sent to you. Visit https://www.gov.uk/search-will-probate for more information.
Who Can Help Me Make A Will?
Our message here is to ensure you make a Will. In most cases, it’s a simple and cost-effective process. Better still, it comes with the bonus of peace of mind at no extra cost. While you may not feel comfortable with planning your last days once it’s done, you can get on with living your life to the full.
Please feel free to contact us on 0203 389 8469 or 0161 342 1409 should you have any further questions.