The best thing you can do for your loved ones is to create a last will and testament. This is the only way to ensure that the people who matter most to you get what you want to give them. But what of the true understanding of the laws surrounding wills?
Fact is, if you do not write one, your estate and belongings will be divvied up according to the court. If you want to give one child your home, you need a will to explicitly say so.
It is ideal for those who have children to have a last will and testament drawn up immediately. In turn, this reduces the number of will disputes and to ensure your wishes are kept. Though you can do this on your own, to ensure its legality you will want to hire a solicitor to have this done for you. You can then pay for a service so they keep your will in a safe location until the time comes.
What is the Last Will and Testament?
The last will and testament is a legally binding document. In short, it explains how you wish your estate to be divided among family, friends and others. Usually, only after the settlement of all debts will assets be given out. Therefore, be sure to accounts for costs first.
What Happens if There is No Will?
If there is no will then it is the government who decides on who gets what. For example, if the late party’s assets total less than £250,000, then the entire amount goes to the surviving spouse or civil partner. If it is more than £250,000, then the spouse or civil partner will receive money, and the surviving children will receive a share of the estate. Siblings, however, can get a share of the estate.
What Happens if There Are Multiple Wills?
There are multiple wills only because the deceased created updated versions. Unless there is a reason to doubt the testamentary capacity at the time of the final will, the last version is the one that will be used.
What Does a Will Need to be Binding?
The laws surrounding wills and testaments dictate that there are a few necessary matters that make them legally binding. Creating a will on your own does not automatically make it legally binding, which is why all wills need:
- Testamentary Capacity of the testator.
- Proof that the will’s signing comes without duress or mistake.
- The signing of the will comes with valid witnesses who co-sign.
- Must take place through a proper ceremony.
Testamentary Capacity refers to the frame of mind that the deceased was in at the time of making the will. They must know that they are updating their will, know the full extent of their estate, understand what they want. Also, they cannot be coerced to update their will in any way.
How to Contest a Will
Contesting a will is possible if you are a spouse, child, or live with the deceased. Challenging a will is also possible if you have been named in the will. If the deceased was not in the right frame of mind or not well enough to contest a will, a previous edition might be used. There might have been issues with the execution as well, or you might have proof that the will was created fraudulently or under coercion.