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Wills FAQ

Below are some of the questions we are asked most frequently about Wills. Please click on a question to see the answer.

Why do I need a Will?

There are many benefits to making a Will. Listed below are some of the most common ones.

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Who gets my assets if I donít leave a Will?

The Laws of Intestacy will determine who receives your assets if you donít make a Will. The laws specify how your estate is distributed to family members in a set order. If you have no family members then your assets will go to the Crown.

The risk of dying Intestate is that you will have no say in who gets what from your estate. You may have family members who you do not get on with, and they may receive your assets when you would prefer they didnít. Also, if you are living with a partner but are not married, they may receive nothing.

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What if I make a home made Will?

A professionally written Will, based on advice from a Solicitor, can be surprisingly inexpensive and will give you the peace of mind that your wishes will be carried out. However, some people do choose to make a home made will, or use an off the shelf ĎWill kití.

There are a number of dangers with these methods.

  1. You will not receive any legal advice from a Solicitor. When you pay for a Will with a Solicitor you are paying for the advice that they give you about how your estate should be planned, not just for the actual Will writing itself.
  2. Any mistakes made during the Will writing, due to lack of understanding of the law, could make the Will invalid. This will mean that the Will could be useless when you die, and your estate is then treated as if you had died intestate, with no Will.
  3. Wills have to be drawn up and witnessed in a very particular way. If there are any technical errors in this then the Will may be invalid.

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I have a Will, do I need to update it?

You should update your Will whenever your circumstances change substantially. The following changes would be instances when it is important to update your Will.

Also, it is recommended that you review your Will periodically to ensure that it still reflects your requirements.

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We are married, do we need Mirror Wills?

Mirror Wills are made when a couple make almost identical Wills. Each person effectively has the same Will but in reverse, for example, they leave everything to each other and possibly thereafter to the children.

The surviving partner is usually the executor (the person who deals with the estate when someone dies), although it is important to add an additional executor in the event that both partners died at the same time.

The cost of making mirror Wills is usually less than the cost of making two Wills independently.

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I have remarried and want to leave my property to my children from an earlier marriage. Can I do this in my Will?

Yes, this can be achieved by making a Life Interest Will. See our page on Life Interest Wills and Trusts for more information. †

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Can I appoint Guardians for my children in a Will?

Yes you can. Please see our page on Guardianship for more information.

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What Is an Executor?

When you make a Will you have to appoint someone to carry out your wishes and deal with your estate when you die. These are called Executors.

Executors can be anyone such as a family member, friend, a firm of solicitors.

Your solicitor will advise you on how many executors you need and who they could be, depending on the complexity of your estate.

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