Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. Why should I make a Will?
A1. If you die without leaving a Will, your wishes are not considered in regards to distribution of your estate and other important aspects such as who should be the Guardian of your children. A person who dies without leaving a will is called an intestate person and in this case the laws of intestacy will decide how their estate should be shared.
Q2. What is an Executor?
A2. An executor fulfils the wishes you have specified in your Will. These are the people who’ll look after the financial process when you die. Try to choose a responsible and trusted friend or relative, who can think clearly in a troubled time. The executor’s duties will include:
· Gathering all the assets of your estate and getting them valued
· Applying for a grant of probate from court which gives them authority to deal with your assets
· Ensuring that all your debts, bills, inheritance taxes and funeral expenses are paid out of money in the estate
· Distributing the remainder of your estate in accordance with your Will
· Fulfilling any other wishes you have specified
Q3. Who should I make as my executor/executrix?
A3. Anyone over the age of 18 can be an executor and this can include members of your family and anyone that you have made a beneficiary in your Will. You may also wish to choose friends or a professional such as a teacher, solicitor or accountant.
While it is permissible to appoint one executor, it is better to appoint at least two, so that if one of your executors dies before you do, the surviving executor(s) can take on the responsibility. Although you may appoint up to four executors, its worth noting that having many executors may slow down the administration significantly as they all need to be present to fulfil your wishes.
Q4. How do I distribute my estate?
A4. This is where you work out who you want your estate to go to. That means everything you own at the point you die, including property, businesses, car, savings, investments, pension fund, life insurance, jewellery and more.
Q5. Who shall I leave my estate to?
A5. This really has to be your choice. It is your estate and the decision must lie solely with you.
Q6. Can I make a gift in my Will?
A6. You can make a gift of some part of your estate and you can also make a gift to a charity of your choice which is exempt from any inheritance tax. You can choose to a gift money of a particular value or items of value (e.g. jewellery) to anybody of your choice.
Q7. I have a child under the age of 18, do I need to appoint a guardian?
A7. A guardian is someone you have named in your Will as the person you would like to be responsible for your children if they are orphaned before reaching the age of 18. If when you pass away, your spouse is still alive, they will normally continue to have full responsibility for the children. However, if neither parent survives, then the guardians you have appointed will take on the responsibility for your children.
Q8. What happens if I do not choose a guardian?
A8. By appointing guardians you can ensure that your children are looked after by the people that you have chosen as the best people for the job. If you do not appoint a guardian, then the decision will be taken by the court.
Q9. Who shall I get to witness my Will?
A9. You will need 2 witnesses and they will witness the signing of your will so that in case there is any question that you wrote it after your death or that you did not have mental capacity, you will have people to testify that you did indeed write this will and that you were in a sound state of mind when you did this.
Q10. Can my beneficiaries be my witnesses?
A10. Your witnesses should be two independent people aged at least 18 years old. A witness cannot be blind or a beneficiary or executor of your Will. There is no need for them to know the content of your Will.
Q11. So when does my Will become valid and legally binding?
A11. A Will which has been dated, signed and witnessed correctly in accordance with the Wills Act 1837 is legally valid in the UK. We will provide you with clear guidance in how to do this once we send you the Will to you in pdf format.
Q12. Can I ever change my Will?
A12. A will can be changed by writing a new valid Will or making a valid amendment (called a Codicil).
Q13. What should I do once I have signed and witnessed my Will?
A13. You must store your Will in a safe and secure place and inform your executors of this location so that they are able to access it on your death.
Q14. I’m still not sure if I want to make a Will. Are there any other benefits in making one?
A14. -A will is the only way to make sure your savings and possessions (your estate) go to the people and causes that you care about
– Disputes over inheritance are a common cause for arguments and resentment among family members. Leaving a Will should remove any doubt about your wishes and who you want to leave your estate to.
– With a carefully planned Will, you can make sure you don’t pay more Inheritance Tax than you need to.
– If you die without leaving a Will, you have no influence over how your possessions are distributed and who should be the guardian of your children. Like we mentioned above, if you don’t specify a guardian, a court will have to appoint a guardian.
Q15. I am engaged and considering getting married, will my Will be valid if I marry my fiancée?
A15. The general rule is that marriage and divorce has the effect of nullifying wills. However, if you are engaged and are looking to get married, we can include a clause in the Will so that your Will remains valid once you marry your fiancée.
Q16. I have some more questions, can I contact you?
A16. Yes, of course. Visit our contact us page and drop us an email and one of our friendly staff would be more than happy to assist you.
Q17. Once I pay for the Will and submit the questionnaire, how soon will I receive my Will?
A17. Once payment and the completed questionnaire is received, we aim to send you your Will in pdf format within 48-72 hours
Q18. Do you offer Shariah Compliant Wills for Muslims?
A.18. Yes, we do offer that option. Once you confirm you are Muslim in the questionnaire, you will be asked whether you would like a Shariah Compliant Will. Please answer yes for this option.