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Failing to create a will means your assets will be allocated based on the Rules of Intestacy. Opting for this legal route instead of drafting a will has certain drawbacks. The law determines the beneficiaries of your estate.
Any individual aged 18 or older can create a will. In specific situations, individuals under 18 may also be allowed to do so.
Certainly, it's essential for anyone who possesses assets such as property, bank accounts, a car, a house, furniture, or sentimental belongings to create a will. Without a will, the Rules of Intestacy will govern the distribution of your estate.
If you marry or enter into a civil partnership after creating a will, the will is automatically canceled, unless it explicitly states that it's made in anticipation of the marriage or civil partnership. In the event of a divorce after making a will, the will remains valid, but any gifts to or appointments of your former spouse will be invalidated.
While there's no strict legal requirement for where to store your will, it's advisable to keep it in a secure place. Avoid placing your will in a safety deposit box, as your executors won't have access to it. The Will Writing Company offers two levels of membership scheme with safe storage options for your will, providing you with various benefits.
Intestacy refers to the situation when someone passes away without having made a will. In such cases, they are considered to have died intestate. When this happens, the Rules of Intestacy come into play to dictate how the estate is administered and who the beneficiaries will be.
Executors are individuals chosen by the person creating the will (the testator) to carry out specific responsibilities related to the testator's estate after their passing. These responsibilities include gathering the assets of the estate, settling debts (including Inheritance Tax), handling any specific bequests, and ultimately distributing the remaining estate assets as per the instructions outlined in the testator's will.
You have the flexibility to appoint any number of executors in your will. However, it's important to note that the law permits a maximum of four executors to act simultaneously at any given time.
Yes, it is possible for an executor to also be a beneficiary of the will, but the will must include the necessary wording to specify this arrangement. It's important to note that witnesses to the signing of the will, as well as their spouses or civil partners, should not be beneficiaries, as gifts to them may not be valid.
An Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) is a legal document that existed prior to 2007. It grants one or more individuals, known as attorneys, the legal authority to manage your financial affairs and property on your behalf. It's important to note that EPAs must be registered if the donor is experiencing or has lost mental capacity in order to be effective.
If you want to relocate after transferring your house to a family trust, it can be done. The trustees will be responsible for signing the necessary paperwork, and any excess funds will remain protected within the trust. These funds will be combined with any other savings and managed by your trustees. Please note that standard conveyancing fees will apply during this process.
It's important to understand that an LPA and a will serve different purposes. A will is not effective during your lifetime and has no legal effect after your death. On the other hand, an LPA is a document that grants legal authority to someone to make decisions on your behalf while you are alive, but it becomes invalid upon your death. Therefore, having both documents in place is advisable to cover different aspects of your life and posthumous wishes.
It is advisable for everyone who owns assets to consider having a Lasting Power of Attorney. Homeowners, in particular, may face vulnerabilities if a co-owner becomes incapacitated. For various important decisions such as selling a house or re-mortgaging, each owner must have the capacity to sign relevant documentation. Think of it like an insurance policy; it's better to have a Lasting Power of Attorney and not need it than the other way around.