What is a Last Will and Testament?
A Last Will and Testament is a legal document that sets out how you wish your estate (property, belongings, savings, investments and other assets) to be distributed on your death. It is more commonly known as a Will.
In order for a Will to be valid, the person making the Will must be aged 18 or over and have the mental capacity to understand they are making a Will and its effects. They also need to understand the extent of their property and be aware of potential claims against their estate.
A Will must be in writing and signed by the person making it (or on their behalf and at their direction) in front of two independent witnesses. If a beneficiary of the Will (or their spouse) witnesses the Will, the Will stays valid but any gift to them will fail.
If you die without a Will, you cannot control who your estate is distributed to, as the distribution is governed by a set of rules called ‘intestacy’. These rules give priority to certain members of your family but will not take into account friends or charities.
How can SAS Daniels help with your Will?
More important than the Will is the planning behind it. The Will is just the end product which, when drafted correctly can make sure your affairs are in order, appoint trusted guardians for your children and also detail your final wishes. This can give you real peace of mind and avoid any misunderstandings in the future.
Our specialist team will take the time to meet with you and talk about your individual circumstances. By doing this they can make sure that your Will reflects the choices you want to make.
When created, the person making a Will must not be influenced by others. With this in mind our team will insist on seeing the person making the Will by themselves. If you are housebound and cannot come to one of our offices, our team will come to you.
By drafting your Will, we can also help you distribute your estate in the most tax efficient way and help you ring-fence assets for your family and future generations in the event circumstances change. E.g. a death, divorce, bankruptcy or entering long term care. Leaving you with the knowledge and confidence that your assets are fully protected and you don’t have to worry about any family disputes after your death.
If you are perparing to make or change a Will, you can download our making a Will preparation questionnaire to help you make sure everything is covered and that nothing is left out of your Will.
For more information on our Wills service, please contact our Wills & Wealth Planning team via our contact form or call us on 0161 475 7676.