You choose who your Executors are in your Will. Your Executors will deal with your estate after your death and carry out your wishes in accordance with the Will. Executors can be relatives, friends or even professionals such as solicitors. It is best for them whether they are prepared to take on this role. It can involve considerable responsibility and effort. You may want to consider appointing more than one executor. This is in case they die before you or are unable to act for some other reason. Your Executor should be somebody that you trust absolutely. They should also be told where the original Will is being kept.
Your estate is everything you own. This may include
When you die all of your property is looked after by your Executor if you have a Will while the Grant of Probate is taken out. Some property may be jointly owned, please see below for more details.
You may own property jointly. There are two ways to own property jointly; either as tenants in common or as joint tenants. If you own property as joint tenants, then on your death the whole of your interest in that property will automatically pass to the other joint owner(s) if they have outlived you. You cannot by Will give your share in a property that is owned as joint tenants to someone else. This is because on your death your share in the property will have already passed to the other owner(s). It is a very important point which arises repeatedly in the context of marriage breakdown. On the other hand, if you own the property as tenants in common, then you will be able to pass on your share of the property under your Will. If you have a joint bank account, then any money in it will automatically pass to the other person.
You should think about who you would like to benefit from your Will. Consider any specific items that you would like to pass on to somebody, for example, wedding rings, family heirlooms and cash gifts. You should also consider what should happen if a beneficiary dies before you, and to whom it should go to in these circumstances. If several people are to benefit, for example, your children, then how should it be split between them. If one child should die before you, should that share go to their children (if any) or should it be split between the others who have survived?
Our specialist solicitors will go through these questions with you while taking your instructions for a Will. It is important that you do not put off making a Will as unfortunately you never know what might happen and it can give you peace of mind that your affairs are in order.
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