Writing your last Will And Testament - Legal Guidence
Wickham Wills has been taken over by Hillman Legal Partnerships Ltd, effective 18 June 2015.
If you have any queries, you can contact Hillman Legal Partnerships Ltd on 020 8340 3102.
They will be responsible for carrying out your financial wishes when you die, and if you have children they will look after and invest the money until the children are at least 18 years old. So make sure they have a good understanding of financial matters and will handle the money wisely. Couples normally appoint each other when the first of them die, but you do need to consider reserves in case you both die together or when the second of you die.
Would you leave your children with no one to care for them for a day, a week, a month, for ever? No, so choose people that will be their guardians if both parents die before they are 18. For unmarried couples, if the father's name is not on the birth certificate he might not get guardianship without a Will. As adolescence can be a difficult time for children and guardians, choose people that are young enough to cope with the children growing up. Guardians should live in the UK, as guardians who live abroad can cause problems. Failing to appoint guardians mean Social Services and not family members will make the choice for you.
Who gets the family heirlooms? What charities are important to you? Do you want to leave any money to friends or more distant family members? Writing a Will is the only way to ensure these wishes are achieved.
Having decided who gets specific gifts who gets the rest? For couples this is normally the surviving partner, with the children inheriting equally when both parents have died. However your wishes might be different.
Parents with young children should consider who will inherit if the whole family were together in an accident. The most popular choices are all brothers and sisters or all nieces and nephews, but it could be the wider family, friends or charities.
What happens to a business depends on the company structure. This is a specialist area that needs good advice. Do consider who you want to inherit the business? If you employ people will their livelihood be protected? A well drafted Will can also ensure that valuable tax breaks are not lost.
Your partner is not automatically entitled to anything from your estate. Without a Will they have to go to court and fight for a share, that might involve suing your children!
Depending on your family structure and your wealth, husbands and wives do not automatically inherit everything. This can cause serious problems for couples with children by a previous relationship, so a well drafted Will becomes even more important.
Failing to consider inheritance tax in a Will can cause serious financial difficulty for the survivor after the first person dies.
Sadly, we hear all too often of cases where the value of a house has been used to pay for residential care fees, leaving nothing for the family. Surviving spouses or partners could change their Will to disinherit your children. Remarriage is one of the most common ways that children lose their inheritance. Correctly drafting your Will can prevent this problem.
Until your Decree Absolute you are still married so without a Will your spouse benefits if you die. Divorce does not revoke an existing Will, but a Decree Absolute means that your former spouse will be treated as having predeceased you. However all the other gifts in your Will still operate, including gifts to his or her family that you may no longer wish to make?
Unless your Will was written in contemplation of your marriage or civil partnership, any existing Will is automatically revoked. As we saw earlier, marriage / remarriage is a very common way for children to lose their inheritance
Treasured family pets can be provided for in your Will. You can appoint carers for them and make a legacy to provide for their needs.
The wrong type of ownership could result in it passing to your friends or relatives rather than to your spouse or children. Having a Will written acts as a check, and if necessary the situation can be corrected to ensure that your share of the property passes to those that you have chosen.
Choose someone you trust to write your Will. Lawyers earn more from a badly drafted will than from a good one. For your confidence, each Will we draft has £2,5000,000 of insurance
17. Get your money's worth from having a Will drafted.
Having had your Will drafted, to make sure it is legally valid it has to be correctly signed and witnessed. Remember that anyone who signs a Will automatically disinherits themselves and their partner, so take care in who you use as a witness.
Why is this only a half? Because it deals with what to do after you have a Will. Make sure your Will is securely stored and that your executors know where it is, as you will not be here to tell them where to find your Will. Remember it is the signed original that is important, copies have no legal validity.
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