Make a Will to guide your possessions into the right hands
Probate – Make a Will
If an individual has ever given serious thought to what they would like to happen to all the money, property, possessions, investments and other ‘stuff’ that they will have built up over their lives, it is advisable that they should make a Will.
If this individual should make a Will, it will act as a legal statement of what they would like to happen to their entire estate, the sum total of everything they own when the die. In technical terms a Will allows the person who writes it, the testator, formally appoints someone to carry out the wishes that are expressed in the Will, who is known as the executor if the Will.
While anyone is legally within their rights to make a Will, it is always advisable to employ the services of a legal professional if you are unsure about any part of the process. This is because there are a number of technical and legal requirements to making a Will which if not done properly can lead to disputes over the Wills contents or the intentions of the testator after they have died.
To make a Will the testator must do it in writing. They must first identify themselves as the person who has undertaken to make a Will and that through this act all other previous Wills that they may have written will be revoked. The testator will then need to demonstrate that are in possession of a sound mind and understand completely the reasons why they are writing the Will.
The content of the Will must make provisions for the care of any children that are under 18 years old, contain a full evaluation of the testator’s estate and how they would like it to be divided up and distributed as well as formally naming the person who will be the executor of the Will. Once all of this content is in place the testator must sign and date the document in the presence of two witnesses who must then also sign the document.
If any of these technical elements are not done or wrong, it will make the Will an invalid legal document in the eyes of UK law. This will mean that the distribution of the estate may become subject to law rather than the wishes of the testator.
There are a number of other factors that could make the Will invalid and therefore mean that the wishes of the testator are not carried out. If it can be shown that the testator was not of sound mind or was under an undue amount of influence from another person when they were composing the Will, then the document will most likely be successfully contested and thrown out. The UK law states that any individual who in the lifetime of the testator was considered to be dependent upon them (such as children, step children, spouses and ex-spouses) are not provided for adequately in the Will then this will make the Will an invalid legal document.
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