Sunday, 7 December 2008

MAKING A WILL


An old proverb says that there is nothing certain in this life except death and taxes. We may not know the hour or place but our days are certainly numbered. It is not something we like to think about, and we all hope it will come later rather than sooner, but it is important to be realistic and to prepare for death by making a Will. It doesn’t have to be time-consuming or expensive to have a Will drawn up, and it gives you the opportunity to direct where you would like your assets to go. Some people have land, property or shares to leave as specific legacies and we all have personal items that we might like to leave to a friend or relation for sentimental reasons. As well as bequests to spouses and children, you may wish to remember a particular charity.

Your Local Solicitor
It is advisable for every-one over the age of 18 to make a will that will enable your property and assets to be distributed according to your wishes. A properly drafted Will allows you to provide for your wishes and the needs of your spouse, children, partners and/or family members. Your local solicitor will be happy to explain the benefits of drawing up a will on your behalf and you’ll find it doesn’t take up too much time and it is not that expensive. Drawing up your Will provides that all-important peace of mind that your affairs are in order and that your loved ones are taken care of. Wills may need to be reviewed over the years

Appointment of Guardians
A Will also deals with the appointment of guardians for children under 18. In the event of an unexpected or premature death, children under 18 or those with special needs need to be looked after and taken care of. A guardian will take on the parental role and responsibilities. In order to ensure that your children have a guardian that you choose, it is important to have this specific information written into your Will, and of course talk it over with potential guardians to make sure that they are willing.

Personal Executor
A personal executor ensures that your last wishes and the instructions in your will are carried out. When you draw up your will, you can choose your personal executor. Again, check out with this person that they are prepared to do this for you.

What happens if I die without making a Will?
If you die without a Will this is called in testate. This means that your worldly assets and property will be divided according to the Succession Act of 1965. In effect, this means that your spouse inherits your entire estate if you have no children. If you have children, two-thirds goes to your spouse and a third to the children. If you have no spouse, all your possessions go to your children. If you have no spouse or children, your assets go to your parents and if both are deceased to your brothers and sisters. When you die in testate, delays and probate expenses can mean that your loved ones have to wait when they might need financial support. It also means that your finances become public record.


Make an Appointment
It is easy to delay making the appointment for drawing up your Will, but it is something that shouldn’t really be put off. It is one of the most important documents that you have to prepare, so why not phone up for an appointment today.

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