What happens if I die without a Will?
If you die intestate (without a will), your assets become subject to the rules of intestacy. These rules are somewhat outdated and many people are shocked to find out that those they would wish to inherit from their estate may not. If you die without leaving a Will then you give up control over how your assets are distributed. Your loved ones may end up paying more in Inheritance Tax, or worse, be forced to sell the family home. This can be very distressing at what is already a difficult time. In addition, if you leave no Will, your family may face delays, legal complications and additional costs. If you have a young family, making a Will is especially important as it enables you to not only make provision for your family financially, but also to appoint Guardians for your children and set up a Trust.
Who can I appoint as my Executors?
You can appoint anyone over the age of 18 years to act as your Executor. They may act alone or with others, up to a maximum of 4. Where minors are involved you should appoint a minimum of 2 Executors.
What is the difference between an Executor and a Trustee?
An Executor deals with your Estate immediately after your death. They are responsible for calling in all assets, paying all debts and distributing the Estate. Once all of this has been completed their obligations are dismissed. A Trustee is an ongoing position that lasts for as long as the Trust - where minors are involved this can be a number of years.
Do I have to have the same people as my Executors and Trustees?
No. You can choose to appoint different people to act for each role.
Do I have to update my Will regularly?
It is up to you how often you choose to update your Will. There are no set rules but it is a good idea to review it every now and then to check it still reflects your wishes. Some major life events can also affect your Will, e.g. getting married or divorced or if you have a child. It is always worth reviewing it after these types of event as some of these will void any existing Will you may have.
Where should I store my Will?
One place you should never keep an Original Will is at home. If you have a fire, flood or burglary, you risk losing your Will. If your Will is damaged in any way, then the courts could declare the Will invalid.
You must keep your will in a secure place; however that place must be easily accessible when the document is needed!
National Will Safe is a complete document storage solution that solves all of the problems of protecting important legal documents, for a small annual fee. By storing your Will in the National Will Safe, your Will will also be registered on the National Will Register so that it is easy to find in the event of your death. More information can be provided should you require it.