The Importance Of Having A Will: Answering Top Questions
Creating a Will can be unsettling for many people, but it is essential in planning for the inevitable. A Will is a legal document that outlines how you want your assets to be distributed after you pass away, and it can also include instructions for other matters, such as the care of minor children. This article answers some of the top questions about Wills, including why they are crucial, what makes them valid, and what happens if you don’t have one.
No one likes to think about their mortality, but the fact is that death is a part of life. It’s crucial to plan for the inevitable and make sure your affairs are in order when you pass away. One way to do this is by creating a Will. Here are some top questions people ask about Wills and their answers.
What is a Will?
A Will is a legal document that outlines your wishes for the distribution of your assets after you pass away. It can also include instructions for other matters, such as the care of minor children or the disposal of your remains.
Should I have a Will?
The answer is a resounding “yes.” A Will clarifies how you want your assets to be distributed, minimising the possibility of family disputes and costly legal battles. Without a Will, your assets may be distributed in a way that doesn’t reflect your wishes or get stuck in administration for an extended period.
What makes a Will valid?
For a Will to be valid, it must meet specific criteria. Firstly, it must be in writing, either handwritten or printed. Secondly, you must sign each page, and lastly, it must be witnessed by two independent witnesses who aren’t beneficiaries of your estate.
What happens if I don’t have a Will?
If you pass away without a Will, it is known as dying intestate. In this situation, your assets will be distributed according to the law of intestacy, which might not align with your wishes. It could also take longer to finalise and incur more costs.
Who can I leave my assets to?
It is your choice to whom you want to leave your assets to, but you must provide for your spouse and children, including stepchildren if you have any. However, if you wish to exclude them, you can provide reasons in your Will, but they can still challenge the decision through a Family Provision claim under the Succession Act 1981.
Who is responsible for my debts?
Any outstanding debts you have at your death become liabilities of your estate. This means they must be paid out of the estate’s assets before any distribution to beneficiaries can occur. You cannot leave your debts to a specific person to assume liability.
Creating a Will is one of the most important things you can do for your loved ones. It clarifies how you want your assets to be distributed, minimising the possibility of family disputes and costly legal battles. A Will is valid when it meets specific criteria, and it is highly recommended to create one to avoid the issues that come with dying intestate. Remember, you must provide for your spouse and children, including stepchildren, but you have the right to choose to whom you want to leave your assets. Any debts you have at the time of your death become liabilities of your estate, and it is essential to understand the implications of this.
Please don’t wait until it’s too late to create a Will. Speak to a legal professional today and take the first step towards securing your assets and fulfilling your final wishes.
RAMSDEN LAWYERS – HOW WE CAN HELP WITH ESTATE PLANNING MATTERS
At Ramsden Lawyers, we understand the importance of having a legally binding Will and ensuring that your final wishes are fulfilled after your passing. Our Wills & Estates lawyers specialise in this area of law and have extensive experience in creating Wills, managing estates, and handling any disputes that may arise.
Our lawyers will work closely with you to create a Will that reflects your unique circumstances and covers all necessary aspects, including asset distribution and care for minor children. Creating a Will can be a sensitive and emotional process, and we are committed to providing a compassionate and professional service that puts your needs first.
In the event of a dispute, our Wills & Estates lawyers can help you navigate the legal process and find a resolution that aligns with your wishes. Our extensive knowledge of the Succession Act and other relevant laws allows us to provide effective representation to protect your interests.
Our services also extend to managing an estate. We can assist in locating and valuing assets, paying debts, and distributing assets to beneficiaries. We guide you on tax implications and other legal requirements to ensure the estate is handled appropriately.
At Ramsden Lawyers, we pride ourselves on providing comprehensive legal assistance in creating Wills, managing estates, and handling disputes. We are committed to providing a professional, personalised service that caters to each client’s unique needs. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and take the first step in securing your assets and ensuring your final wishes are fulfilled.