Frequently Asked Questions:
Like many legal matters and documents, a Will can be a confusing and daunting affair unless you understand some of the basics.
It is not unusual to have at least a few questions. Here are some of the questions most frequently asked with regards to the subject:
What is a Will?
A Will is the legal document by which Executors are appointed to administer an individual’s estate after their death and which lays out the individuals wishes for the handling of their affairs and estate.
What is an Executor?
An Executor is the individual who is assigned authority to handle your estate after your death. This can include making lists of all assets and debts, settling all deceased debts and paying out any inheritance tax necessary, locating heirs and distributing the contents of the Will, and even arranging for care of any minor children or pets
Do I really need a Will?
Your will is your only guarantee that your estate will be handled the way you wanted it to be. If you die without a will, the State will determine how it is distributed and in most cases this will not be how you would have wanted it.
Is a will invalid if not prepared by a solicitor?
It is perfectly valid to have a will prepared without the involvement of a solicitor. It is even very possible to prepare a “DIY will” on-line this is not to be recommended however as the handling of your estate and affairs is not something you want to get wrong. It is possible to have a consultation with a trained Will Writer who can see to it that the will accurately reflects your wishes.
Why do I need two witnesses?
This practice is in accordance with an 1837 law that when a person signs a Will he act must be witnessed by two independent adults (non-beneficiaries of the Will). To be valid the two witnesses must actually see the physical act of signing of the Will and the person making the Will equally must see the witnesses sign.
If I marry does that mean that any will I currently have is still valid?
A marriage will effectively annul any will you currently have and unless you prepared a new one, your estate will be distributed in accordance with the Law of Intestacy, just as though you had never prepared a will before.
If my partner and I should both die, what would happen to our children?
Unless you have appointed Guardians for your children in a valid will, if you and your partner should both die they would become “Wards of the Court” and Social Services would decide with whom they would live.
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