How to make a will
The process of making a will can often appear complex and daunting. However the first step once you decide to make a Will, is to appoint people you trust to be responsible for carrying out your wishes. These people are known as executors, and they carry out your wishes after your death, you can have up to four executors stated in your Will and they can also be beneficiaries of your Will.
Executors can carry out a range of duties from making funeral arrangements based upon your instructions, to administrative duties such as taking an inventory of the your possessions and debts, to applying for a Grant of Probate to prove that they have the authority to deal with your assets. They also deal with all tax obligations from inheritance tax, to income and capital gains tax that may be due.
• The first step for an executor is to apply for a Grant of Probate from the Family Division of the High Court.
• Once this this is obtained an executor is able to collect in your assets, pay off any liabilities and distribute the legacies in accordance with your Will.
In addition to deciding who to appoint as an executor to your Will, you may also need to consider whether or not you need to appoint any testamentary guardians in your Will. These will be people who will look after your children if any of them are under the age of 18 at the time of your death, and they effectively assume parental responsibility.
You will also need to consider when making a Will whether you want to leave any cash legacies to any individuals or charities and if so how much you wish to leave to them.
You may also have in mind specific bequests such as specific items or personal belongings, for these purposes it is important to be specific with your wording when making a Will to avoid any confusion.
The Remainder of Your Estate
The final point to consider is who will receive everything else in your estate, this is called the residue and takes into account all your belonging and assets after all legacies, bills and taxes have been paid. The individuals who receive the residue of your estate are called residual beneficiaries.
Signing and Witnessing Your Will
Once you have decided upon the specifics of your Will and it is drawn up, you then need to sign the Will in the presence of two witnesses. There are several rules regarding this process of signing and witnessing your Will, which, if not followed correctly, will make your Will invalid. In order to make sure that your Will is signed and witnessed correctly you should ensure that:
• You and two adult witnesses are all present in the same room before the signing begins.
• Both witnesses must be eighteen years or older.
• You must sign first followed by each witness.
• The witnesses are needed to be traceable if required when you die.
• The witnesses must not be blind.
• The witnesses must be capable of understanding what they are doing.
• The witlessness cannot be beneficiaries of the Will.
• Each witness signs with his/her normal signature, followed by his/her printed name, address and occupation.
• No one should leave the room before the signing is complete.
Once you have signed and witnessed your Will, you can rest assured that your wishes will be carried out following your death, you should also ensure that your Will is stored in a safe place. Manchester will writing service Prime Lawyer offers a professional will writing service and offers free advice and a detailed guide available on making a will.