Making the decision to write a will can raise a lot of questions and worries. To put your mind at ease, the team at Jarmans Solicitors have answered some of our most frequently asked questions about Wills.
What happens if I die without a Will and I’m co-habiting?
Unfortunately, if you die without a will and are unmarried but living with your partner, your partner wouldn’t receive any of your estate. Under intestacy rules, your estate would go to your legal next of kin, which could be your parents or siblings.
This is why it’s important to have a Will in place if you share a home with a long-term partner or buy a home with someone.
I’m married and don’t have a Will, but my spouse does. Do I still need to write one?
We always recommend that married couples each have a Will. This is for a variety of reasons. Firstly, by both having Wills you can ensure that each of you are looked after should one of you die. Secondly, should you both die together, it’s vital that your estates are bequeathed to the right people.
My spouse and I own everything jointly. Does that mean that we don’t need Wills?
While you may own everything jointly, it’s vital that you both have Wills to ensure that there is a fair division of assets should one of you die. This is particularly relevant if you both die together, as intestacy rules will consider the younger as having survived the elder. It’s also important to remember that you may not wish to leave all of your belongings to your spouse and may want to pass items to other family members. Having a Will ensures your final wishes are followed.
How can I ensure my children receive something from my estate if I’m getting remarried?
There are a number of options, but it is worth considering giving your new spouse a lifetime right to benefit from your estate. This ensures that they can remain in your home and receive an income, whilst making sure that your assets are eventually passed to your children.
What is an executor?
An executor is a person who is responsible for looking after your assets after your death and ensuring that your final wishes are carried out. You can have up to four executors and they can be trusted friends, family members, or professionals like a solicitor.
Is it possible to state an age when my children can receive their inheritance?
If you don’t have a will and you die intestate, your children would legally receive any inheritance when they reach 18. However, in a Will, you stipulate the age you would like them to benefit from their inheritance.
Can I cover future plans to have a family in my Will?
Yes, you can make provisions for future born family members. However, Jarmans also advise covering all possibilities and also choosing beneficiaries should you die without having children.
I would like to leave some of my belongings to friends and family. Can I stipulate this in my Will?
Yes, you can include this in your will. Alternatively, to save having to regularly rewrite your Will, you can write a letter of wishes which you can leave with your executors.
I have children who are under the age of 18. Can I name people to look after them should I die before they reach adulthood?
You can appoint relatives or close friends to act as guardians to your children. These people could also be your executors. We advise that you always discuss this with them before writing your Will.
Will my English Will cover property that I own abroad?
Property owned abroad will be covered by the laws of that country. We recommend that you make a Will in that country to cover that property. It is important to remember that your English and foreign Wills mustn’t conflict.
Where should I keep my Will?
In a safe and fireproof place. Jarmans Solicitors have a safe will storage facility should you need it.
What happens to my Will if I get married or divorced?
Marriage will cancel any pre-existing Will that you hold. However, divorce won’t. With any change in marital circumstances, we recommend drawing up a new Will.
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