Making a Will


01 June, 2006

Making a Will is the surest way anyone has of providing for others after their death. However, many people do not have a Will, leading to complicated problems for their family to deal with when they die. Unfortunately many people do not make a Will believing that everything will automatically pass to their surviving husband or wife. This is not necessarily the case and depends on a number of factors. If you do not make a Will and you die "intestate" there are fixed rules which determine how your estate will be divided up amongst your family after your death. This could result in your estate passing to people who you would not like to benefit. If you are not married, but are cohabiting then your partner may well get nothing.

If you are married and have no children and do not make Wills it is likely that all of the estate may pass to the family to the second to die with nothing going to the family of the one who dies first.

It is very important for you to have a will if you are in a second marriage or a second relationship with a new partner, where one or both of you have children from a first marriage or relationship.

Things to think about when making a Will:

  • Who do you wish to appoint as your Executors, the persons legally responsible for carrying out your wishes expressed in your Will? Most people choose family or friends or perhaps a solicitor or accountant. An Executor can also be a beneficiary under a Will. Most married couples appoint each other as Executor and beneficiary.
  • If you have young children, who do you wish to appoint as guardians to look after the children?
  • Do you wish to make any specific gifts of money or personal possessions such as jewellery, either to friends, family or charities perhaps?
  • Who is to benefit from your estate, and in what shares? If you want to leave your estate to your children, at what age would you want them to inherit? Do any children have special needs to be provided for?
  • What is to happen to your estate if your children died before you or at the same time as you? Who would you want to benefit?
  • Do you have any wishes in relation to your funeral

Looking for expert legal advice whilst writing your will? Contact Forbes Solicitors to talk to a specialist Wills Solicitor from our Wills, Probate, Tax and Trusts department.


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