Do you KNOW who will inherit your property, effects and money if you die without a Will? Sadly, the end result may be very different from what you and your family might have expected. If you CARE, the only way to ensure your wishes are carried out is to make a Will.
Your Will should deal with everything you own when you die. While you are alive you may do as you please with your estate; making a Will does not restrict you during your lifetime.
Appoint Executors. Your Executors are the persons whose responsibility it is to see that the provisions of your Will are carried out. The administrative work will normally be done by a solicitor, but the Executors named in the Will sign all formal, legal documents as they are the people entrusted by the Will-maker to attend to the administration. Any adult can act as an Executor and it is no disqualification that the Executor is also named in the will as a beneficiary. You should inform the persons concerned that you wish to appoint them.
Do you have any specific items you wish to bequeath? This might be a house, farm, jewellery, grandfather clock etc.
Do you wish to make legacies of definite amount? For example £100 to each grandchild or £500 to your church or to one or more charities.
The Residue of your estate. This is what remains after the other bequests and purposes (debts and funeral, specific bequests, money legacies) have been fulfilled. The residue can be left to one or more persons or organisations and either equally or in certain fractions or percentages – 1/3 to A, 1/6 to B and 1/2 to C.
Give your Solicitor full names and addresses where possible.
Remember you can always change your Will.
A legatee or beneficiary might die before you; decide what you wish to happen to his/her bequest if this should happen.
Spouses and children have certain entitlements from the estate of their spouses/parents. Ask your Solicitor about these.
Have your Will made by a Solicitor. Homemade Wills are sometimes invalid and often a source of dispute and unnecessary expense.
To have your Will properly prepared by a Solicitor is relatively inexpensive and will give you and your family considerable peace of mind. Do not hesitate to ask about the fee for making your Will.
Once you have considered matters, you may find the attached questionnaire form useful to set out your wishes. Once completed, you can send this to us, or bring it with you when you meet one of our solicitors. For further information about making a Will, just ask. We are here to help.