What is a Will?

A will is a legal document which lets you decide what happens to your money, property and possessions after your death.

Why should you make a Will?
  • To protect your loved ones
  • To make sure your wishes are respected
  • To protect your unmarried partners or partners who are not registered in a civil partnership
  • To make arrangements for your children
  • To reduce inheritance tax
  • If your circumstances have changed eg divorce, then it would be wise to make a will
Is there certain terminology associated with a Will?

Yes there is and these will be explained:

Testator – This is the person making the will
Executors – These are people appointed by the testator to carry out their wishes and instructions
Asset – This is anything owned by the testator
Beneficiary – This is a person who benefits from the will
Bequeath – This is to give something to a person or an organization in your will
Estate – This is everything a person owns at the date of their death
Guardian – This is a person appointed to look after the interests of a child under 18 or who is not capable of looking after their own affairs.
Residue of an estate – This is everything that remains of the estate after bequests have been made, payment of all debts, taxes and expenses.

What constitutes a valid Will?
  • Must be made by a person 18 years old and over
  • Must be made voluntarily and without pressure from any person
  • The person writing the will must be of sound mind
  • The will must be in writing
  • The testator to sign the will in the presence of two witnesses and for the two witnesses to sign the will in the presence of the testator after it has been signed by the testator
What happens if I don’t leave a Will?
If you do not leave a will when you die, then your money, property and possessions will be shared out according to the law and not instead of your wishes. Ultimately, this means that someone can benefit from your estate who you had not intended and your loved ones could end up with nothing.
Why should you use a solicitor to draw up your Will?
It is advisable to use a solicitor to make a will or to check your will because it is easy to make mistakes. If there are errors in the will, this can cause problems after death. This could potentially mean that any disputes or misunderstandings after your death may result in considerable legal costs, which could potentially reduce the amount of your estate
Where to keep a Will?

Once a will has been made, it should be kept in a safe place. There are few places that a will can be kept including:

  •  At home
  •  With a solicitor
  •  With an accountant
  •  A District Registry
  •  Probate Sub-Registry

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