Essential Guide to Wills and Probate

A will is a legally binding document whose purpose is to declare the individual who will manage an estate after the individual passes away. It is essential to have a will because the laws of the land will dictate how money and possession will be distributed in the absence of one. If an individual is not sure whether or not a will is needed, it is always best to consult a solicitor. However, a solicitor is not mandatory in drawing up a will. A person can even write his own will himself in instances when the details of the will are straightforward and easy.

What are inclusions in the will?

Before having a will made, you need to prepare the necessary details or inclusions. Here are some of the more important things to consider:

  • Make an inventory of all the possessions you have as well as your money. This includes all your property, savings, investments, pensions, and insurance policies.
  • It is also helpful to make a list of every person you are considering to be beneficiaries in your will.
  • If you have any beneficiaries under the age of 18, you should also think about how they will be looked after.
  • Carefully think about your options when choosing an executor of the estate.

There are only a few of the considerations you need to make before having a will written. Some people even consider leaving money or possessions to a charitable organisation that they are passionate about supporting.

Requirements for a will to be valid

There are requirements for a will to be considered valid. First, the person requesting a will should be at least 18 years old. The will itself should be in writing and signed by the person seeking the will in the presence of two witnesses who will also sign the document. Another important requirement is that the person requesting a will should be of sound disposition and only act out of free will devoid of coercion.

What is a probate?

When the individual passes away, the person who was named administrator or executor of the will should apply for a probate to manage the affairs of the estate. You can get the assistance of a solicitor in filing a grant of probate. A grant of probate is always needed if the deceased left any of the following: insurance policies, investment shares or stocks, and £10,000 or more in liquid assets.

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