Last will and testament: your questions answered

Looking to get your affairs in order? Here’s everything you need to know

Organising your estate can be a stressful as well as an emotional experience. But getting the answers to your questions can make the whole process much smoother. With that in mind, here are some of the most frequently asked questions and answers surrounding getting your affairs in order.

Do you need a will?

Having a will is important, as dying without a will in England and Wales means the law gets to decide who receives what out of your estate. If you have no living family members, your possessions and property will go to the Crown.

What is an executor?

An executor is a person you name in your will to carry out your wishes after you’ve passed away. They are responsible for all aspects of organising your estate, including notifying people that you’ve died, arranging your funeral, dealing with tax bills, paying debts, collecting information about your assets and distributing your estate according to your wishes.

What if you have young children?

The guardianship of children is often the first and most important aspect of organising a will. If you have parental responsibility over children under 18 years of age, you’ll need to appoint a Guardian in your will to look after them. This only takes effect is there is no one else with current parental responsibility over your children when you pass away.

You can also include your children as beneficiaries in your will even if they are very young, though it is advisable to stipulate an age from which they’ll be able to access their inheritance.

Where should you keep your will?

You should keep your will stored in a secure location, such as in a safe or locked cabinet. If you use the services of a solicitor to draft your will, they will securely store the original copy of your will.

Can a beneficiary also be an executor?

Yes, they can. As long as they are over 18 years old and willing to take on the role, this is not an issue. However, beneficiaries cannot be witnesses to your will signing, so you’ll need to find a third party to witness this in order to make it official. If beneficiaries do witness your will, they will be disinherited.

Is there support available for will writing?

Will writing support provides peace of mind that your estate will be well looked after in the event of your death. And it doesn’t have to cost you the Earth either. By working with an expert in this field, you can gain invaluable peace of mind that your last wishes will be carried out to the letter.

Head of Wills, Probate and Trusts at Winn Solicitors, Rebecca Harbron Gray, explains the importance of effective will writing, saying:

“Many people avoid writing a will and making plans for death for many years because they think it is a morbid or depressing process. But the truth is often that, once complete, people get a sense of comfort and relief from knowing that they have done all they can to protect and care for their nearest and dearest.

“At Winn Solicitors our team has decades of experience in this specialist field of law and we know how to make it simple and stress-free – no matter how complex your estate or family situation.”

With a dedicated team of legal specialists in settling affairs, Winn Solicitors can help you create a will that offers complete peace of mind and security for your family, no matter what the future holds.

If you’re looking for an expert will writing service, get in touch with Winn Solicitors today.

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