How do I
make a will?
When you engage a solicitor to make a will, there are many ways that this can be achieved depending on your circumstances, your assets and what you want to achieve.
In order to care for your loved ones after you pass, you need to make a will to make your intentions clear, avoid any confusion and minimise the chances of conflict amongst beneficiaries.
We know the common pitfalls when drafting wills. It is our job to ask the right questions, to consider every reasonable possibility and then provide you with solutions according to your particular purposes.
With DG, we will provide you with the advice you want when you need it most and assist you to design your will to protect your loved ones from unwanted conflict and litigation.
Let us help you today.
I just wished if I could have started my journey with Joshua, things
would have been a [lot] less painful.
... stop wasting your valuable time and money with other Law firms.
~ direct quote from another satisfied client.
Consider your next steps.
DG Family Law will assist you to plan your estate and protect your assets (whether that be through family law or simply drafting a will) without delay, hidden costs or complicated language. You can rest assured that our team has advised on many matters, including straightforward wills, powers of attorney and appointment of medical decision makers.
Who will be your beneficiaries?
Who will be your executor?
What are the rights of the beneficiaries?
You can choose anyone (including a charity) as a beneficiary and distribute your assets in any way that you like.
It is worth noting that estate planning seeks to anticipate various tax liabilities and other typically unforeseen costs.
If you do decide to exclude your family and dependents from the distributions and do not provide for them, you may be leaving yourself open to a contested will where your assets will then be wasted on legal fees.
Besides taation implications, it is worth considering the effect that the proposed distribution may have on your family and friends and their existing relationships.
An executor is the person appointed to oversee your estate once you pass away. Your "estate" includes money, houses, land, cars, shares, clothes, jewellery and other goods owned by you at the time of your death.
The role of the executor includes: organising the funeral, notifying any financial institutions, taking an account of the assets and taking control of them, identifying the beneficiaries and the scope of their inheritance, obtaining the grant of probate or the letters of administration, resolve all outstanding liabilities, invest, maintain and distribute the estate and generally act impartialy on behalf of the estate.
You may seek to appoint a solicitor, a close friend/ family member or a beneficiary to be the executor.
You are not entitled to obtain general information about the estate simply because you are a beneficiary or recieving an inheritance under the will.
Beneficiaries are, however, owed a duty by the executor to act with reasonable diligence. For example, if a gift has not been paid out after 12 months, an explanation should be provided as to why there has been a delay.
If you are a beneficiary entitled to the residual estate (after specific inheritances have been distributed), you may seek to obtain a copy of the asset and liability statement, the annual accounts, inspect the assets of the estate to ascertain value and to obtain a copy of the will (at their own expense).
When do I need to update my will?
What if I get a divorce?
How do I know if a will is valid?
We generally recommend that you update your will whenever you experience a significant life event so that it reflects your current circumstances. Significant events may include a marriage, a separation, a divorce, aquiring a significnat asset, setting up a business/ company or trust or even having a child.
There are three ways that you can seek to update a will. You can complete and add a codicil (a legal document completed to make minor changes to a will), formally revoke the will and write a new one or completely destroy the previous will (and all copies).
Typically, making a new will automatically cancel your old will. It is worth investing in quality legal advice to ensure that issues do not arise after you pass away.
Marriage and divorce will both effect the validity of your will (unless it is made in contemplation of marriage). In order to avoid expensive legal fees to understand and interpret the will after you have passed away, we recommend that you get your will reviewed and updated regularly.
If you have not got a will, in the event that you were to pass away, the law will presume to pay your assets to your spouse. This can be a problem if you are separated and do not want to give your assets to your ex-partner.
We recommend that anybody who is separating or considering a relationship status change seek immediate legal advice and update their without delay.
A person who makes a will must be mentally competent, the will must be correctly signed and witnessed, and the will must show no evidence of tampering in order for it to be considered valid. If you die without a will, you are said to die "intestate", where the law will then prescibe what happens to your assets.
The persons who witness the will cannot be the beneficiaries of the will, cannot be related to the beneficiaries and must be older than 18 years of age at the time of signing the will.
If there is any basis that your mental competence may be doubted or otherwise questioned, you should obtain a document from your doctor confirming your capacity to enter into a will (which should be included with and stored with your will).