The top 30 most frequently asked questions about Wills

What is an executor and what do they do?

The role of an Executor is to do the following after your death:

•          apply for a 'Grant of Representation' from the Probate Registry

•          notify the bank(s), pension agencies, solicitor, utility companies, and other relevant parties

•          arrange your funeral and pay for it

•          arrange for the payment of any debts outstanding on your death

•          identify the 'beneficiaries' (people who inherit under your will) and establish where they can be contacted

•          close up the house (if necessary) and arrange for house clearance prior to a sale

•          arrange for the valuation of your estate, including any objects ('chattels') of significant value

•          liaise with the tax authorities on inheritance tax

•          pay the inheritance tax due (an account should be delivered within twelve months of the death)

•          arrange the distribution of bequests

•          keep account of all transactions, and get the accounts signed off by the beneficiaries

Many Executors find this task very difficult, time consuming and stressful. Quite often this means that they abdicate their responsibilities to a Solicitor who could charge up to 6% of the estate value in fees.

Thy Will Be Done (Spain) Ltd offer all clients a certificate of guarantee stating we will never charge more than 1.75% of the estate value (subject to a minimum fee of £1500 + v.a.t) in fees.

It is essential that all clients ensure their families know that this certificate exists so they don’t end up spending more than is necessary.

See more here: http://thywill.co.uk/is_probate_required.html

Can I leave instructions regarding my pets in my will?

Yes, but you cannot leave money directly to an animal.

All arrangements you wish to make for your pts should be included in the Will or memorandum of wishes to ensure your Executors know your wishes.

You could also set up a trust now and invest a lump sum within it  appointing the income for their benefit during their lifetime (to be distributed by the Trustees) and then when the last pet dies, the capital being appointed to an individual or perhaps a charity.

Alternatively appoint a lump sum to an individual on the proviso they look after your pets. Or you could leave a donation directly to an appropriate animal charity, such as the Cinnamon Trust or the RSPCA, which runs a re-homing programme.

See more on the Cinnamon Trust on our web site

 

I'm married with children - what would happen to my estate if I did not make a Will?

If your estate is valued at less than £250,000 then your spouse (or civil partner) will get everything. The children will not get a penny.

If your estate is valued at more than £250,000, your spouse (or civil partner) is entitled to:

•          All of your personal effects

•          The first £250,000 of the remainder of your estate

•          and half of what is left after that

Your children would then share the other half equally

Is my will still valid after my divorce?

Yes – however your spouse will be treated as if they are dead so any gift to them will fail Best to draw up a new Will anyway.

Don’t forget though up until the decree absolute your spouse remains a beneficiary so you are advised to draw up a new Will as soon as you know the split is going to be permanent.

A former spouse could still be entitled to make a claim against your estate if they were financially dependent on you, even if you have excluded them from your will.

Click here to download a PDF of our Wills packages

I’m not married to my partner but we have been together for a few years – what will happen to them when I die?

The length of your relationship is irrelevant.

If you and your partner are not married or legally united in a civil partnership, they will not be automatically entitled to any of your assets when you die.

If you have Children they will inherit everything equally.

If you have no Children it will go to your Parents if they are alive.

Otherwise it will go to Siblings and then Nephews and Nieces

If you have no traceable relatives your estate will go to the Crown.

Your partner may have a claim if they were financially dependent on you, however to ensure your partner does not suffer when you die

MAKE A WILL NOW!

Click here to download a PDF of our Wills packages

 

 

Who can be a Witness to a Will when it is signed

They must be over 18

Of sound mind,

Not be visually impaired in any way;

Not be a beneficiary or potential beneficiary of the Will

They must provide their address

They must provide their telephone number

They must supply their occupation

Thy Will be done provide a witnessing service for £25+ v.a.t (£12.50 + v.a.t if you pay for your documents by bacs)

We will go through each of your documents (and your partner’s if appropriate) ensuring you fully understand them and making sure that they are signed and witnessed in the correct places to ensure validity in the future.

The one fee covers all documents that need to be witnessed such as LPAs and Trusts as well as the Wills.

See here for more details 

 

What can I do if I have a civil partner?

If you undertake a legally binding ceremony, your civil partner will have exactly the same rights as a spouse would.

Registration of the civil partnership invalidates an existing will, unless the will was drawn up in expectation of this registration.

If you have not registered the civil partnership and/or have not made a will, your partner will not be automatically entitled to anything.

So

If you have a registered civil partnership then your partner will be treated as if they were a spouse under law. This does not necessarily mean that they inherit all of your estate so it is advisable to get a couple’s Will drawn up.

If you have already made a Will and then register a civil partnership that will is revoked if it does not reference the expected date of the ceremony.

Give us a call for more information and make sure you are properly protected

Click here to download a PDF on our most popular Will packages

 

What needs to be in a Will and how should I go about it.

 

The following list makes your Will legal and easily enforceable.

1. It must be in writing.

2. You must sign it.

3. Your signature must be witnessed by 2 individuals, unrelated to you, over the age of 18 and of sound mind who are able to provide an address.

4. It must be dated.

5. You must revoke any previous Wills.

6. It must name who your Executors will be.

7. You must state if there are to be any specific financial gifts (pecuniary legacies) to be given out first before the remainder (residuary estate) is appointed.

8. You must name the beneficiaries of the residual estate and in what shares it is to be appointed and provide current addresses if the Executors may not know who they are or where to get hold of them.

9. You should write a separate list (memorandum of wishes) for all non-financial gifts and bequests such as paintings, jewellery, collections etc (chattels). This list can and should be updated many times and does not need to be signed and witnessed.

10. You must state what is to happen to a bequest if the individual has died before or with you.

Is it to go to a reserve beneficiary?

Is the value to be shared between specific beneficiaries?

11. If you state a general group (class) of people such as grandchildren advise if that is also to include unborn children (en ventre sa mare – in the womb).

12. A statement of all of your assets and where they can be found is also a good idea remember to include such things as life insurances, pensions, bank accounts and shares and investments.

Click here to download a PDF on our most popular Will packages