Frequently Asked Questions
Wills: Frequently Asked Questions:
Can I make my own Will?
Yes you can. However, there are significant risks in doing so - it could mean substantial legal fees to correct things - quite apart from the upset and confusion it could cause to those you leave behind.
Warning: A Will that is not clear under the law is open to challenge and your wishes may be overruled. Also, a will not made under the correct procedures can be rendered invalid.
Can I change my Will?
You should review your Will on a regular basis to ensure that it is still relevant to your circumstances.
Do married couples need separate Wills?
Both parties need to make a Will, these are known as "Mirror Wills". Both parties making Mirror Wills need to be present when giving instructions.
Who should I appoint to carry out my wishes?
The people that you choose to carry out your wishes are called Executors or Trustees. They are people that you trust to distribute your estate and look after funds or property (family or friends). Often the main beneficiaries (those that you have left money or items to e.g. your children) are named as executors. Executors do not have to be beneficiaries but they must be 18 or over and of sound mind.
Do I need a solicitor to act as an Executor?
No, but it is wise to appoint one alongside a friend or relative. This enables the burden of the work to be shared with a professional who can advise.
Can children under the age of 18 inherit?
Children cannot inherit until they reach the age 18; below this age the funds are held in trust. If you think that 18 is too young an age for your children to inherit a large sum of money, you can specify that they do not receive the capital sum until a later age. They will, however, be entitled to receive any income from the trust fund as soon as they reach 18. Apart from this, the trustees decide what income and/or capital can be used for the benefit of the children, e.g. school fees.
I have children. Do I need to nominate guardians in the Will?
You do not have to, but a Will can be convenient place to name a guardian. Without guardians, the courts will decide who will look after your children.