Last Will & Testament
Probably the best known and understood of the legal documents that we can help you create is the Last will and testament and yet, a high proportion of the population has failed to create one.
Without a will in place your loved ones will have a great number of difficulties after your death. These difficulties include but are not limited to:
- Your unmarried partner receiving little or nothing from your estate.
- Delays in processing your estate.
- The unfair distribution of your estate.
- Doubt over your funeral wishes.
- Your estate passing to people you wouldn’t want to be in receipt of your property.
- Possible tax bills.
- Loss of property.
- Large and unnecessary legal bills.
No living relatives?
It’s not that unusual to have no next of kin, but when that is the case, then you may have friends or one or more charities that you want to leave part of your estate to. Without a will your estate will pass to the crown instead.
When should you make a will (or change it)?
- If you don’t already have one and you are reading this!
- After the birth of a child.
- After the death of a loved one.
- After receiving an inheritance.
- Before a change in circumstance like:
- After the purchase of a new home.
Definition – Last Will and Testament
A will or testament is a legal document by which a person, the testator, expresses his or her wishes as to how his or her property is to be distributed at death, and names one or more persons, the executor, to manage the estate until its final distribution.
When a person dies the cost of their funeral and any outstanding debts gets paid first and then the remaining assets are distributed.
These assets must then be distributed, and intestacy laws see to this distribution. Intestacy laws differ across the United Kingdom. In England and Wales the governing law is the Administration of Estate Act 1925. In Northern Ireland, the Rules of Intestacy are quite similar. In Scotland, the Succession (Scotland) Act 1964 is the guiding legislation. In general these laws require that the estate be divided between blood and legal (spouse/civil partner) relatives only. However, the ways in which an estate would be divided between spouses/civil partners, children (and grandchildren/great-grandchildren), parents and siblings differ.