A will is a document by which a testator appoints executors to administer his estate after his death with instructions as to how it is to be distributed to his chosen beneficiaries.
What will happen to my estate if I die without leaving a will?
If you do not leave a will your estate will be distributed under the “intestacy rules” – the law decides who should inherit your money and property.
What is an Executor?
The Executor( or Personal Representative), is responsible for dealing with the paperwork and for the distribution of the Estate. Usually, if you are married or have a life partner whom you would want to be the main beneficiary of the estate, then they would be your Executor. It is advisable to have a substitute or reserve Executor. You can also choose to have a professional person, or a company, to act as an Executor.
What is a Trustee?
Generally, the Executors double as Trustees, who may also have the responsibility of looking after any assets for minor children.
What do I need to consider about my children?
If you have minor children (under age 18), you need to ensure your children are looked after by people you want and trust. You would need to name the Guardians in the Will, subject to their consent.
Who can be a witness?
Two witnesses are required, who must be over 18, who are not Executors or Beneficiaries of the Will, who are not spouses or civil partners of a beneficiary, and who are not related to you or to anyone mentioned in the Will, by blood, marriage, or civil partnership.
Can I cancel my Will?
Yes you can. There are three ways of cancelling or revoking a will. This can be done by making a later will; marriage/civil partnership or by destroying the will intentionally.
Can I amend my Will?
You can make small changes to the Will by using a document called a Codicil, which we can help you with. For anything more than small changes, it is advisable to have a new Will prepared.