If a person dies without a Will, they are said to have died intestate. Under these conditions, there are very strict restrictions on who can inherit their Estate. These restrictions are known as the ‘rules of intestacy.’
Only spouses, civil partners, and certain close family members are eligible to inherit from an estate under these rules. The rules of intestacy also decide how the estate is split based on its size, whether the deceased was married or in a civil partnership, whether or not they owned property, and how many children or grandchildren they may have.
If a couple lives together but is not married or in a civil partnership, the surviving partner cannot inherit under the rules of intestacy. On the other hand, if a married couple is separated but not divorced, the surviving spouse will inherit under these even though they are no longer together.
If a will is not legally sound or is found to be invalid during the process of applying for Probate (getting permission to act on the Will), then the rules of intestacy may still apply.
It is very important to get professional advice to make certain that a will is legitimate and that, when you do pass away, your wishes are clear, and the directions in the Will can be followed exactly.
It is never easy to talk about, but it is essential not to leave it too late to look at your options and make sure you have a will in place. Doing so Will mean that your loved ones receive their proper inheritance, and an already difficult time will be made simpler and less stressful.
Capital Life can provide a full range of Will-writing and related services to ensure your loved ones avoid dealing with the rules of intestacy. Contact them today for a free inheritance planning review and find out how they can help.
An Executor is appointed in a person’s Will to deal with their Estate and other affairs after they pass away.
The executor has a number of important jobs, including making sure that Probate is applied for and in place, that the Will is genuine and that the deceased’s Will is closely followed, with everyone named in the will receiving the correct inheritance.
Some people choose to appoint a solicitor as the Executor of a Will rather than a family member or friend. There are many different reasons why someone might decide to appoint a solicitor as the executor of their Will. They might have a very complicated, high-value estate, or there may not be anyone else suitable to take on the role.
It is possible to appoint more than one Executor, and it is also possible to name a close friend or relative as well as a solicitor who can then provide professional support. Having a solicitor responsible for dividing up the Estate is a good idea if you think there may be disputes to the Will or there is tension between family members.
A good solicitor will ensure no mistakes are made throughout the often complicated process of applying for probate and dividing up the Estate. This helps remove a source of stress to your loved ones at an already difficult time and allows them to focus on other concerns.
If you are considering appointing a solicitor as the Executor of your Will, it is a good idea to shop around and make sure you select an experienced solicitor or company with a strong track record of dealing with Probate and Wills.
Capital Life can help you both with writing your Will and Probate. Contact them today to find out about their inheritance review service and how this can help you.
An Executor has a critical role in dealing with the estate of a person who has died because the Executor is responsible for managing all of the deceased’s affairs.
The Executor will usually ensure that all notifications are properly filed, that the Probate process is handled as smoothly as possible, and that the deceased’s estate is divided up in line with the instructions laid out in their Will.
Some people will appoint more than one Executor in their Will. In either case, choosing the right Executor is one of the most important parts of inheritance planning and this should be done with great care.
An Executor can be a trusted family member or friend, including someone set to inherit from the Will. An Executor can also be a third party like an accountant or solicitor.
An executor has many responsibilities and can claim some expenses as part of this role. They will need to find out or calculate the value of the Estate and make sure that taxes, outstanding debts, or other fees are paid from the Estate. They Will usually have to apply for Probate and ensure this process is followed properly.
The executor can pay any funeral costs out of the estate, though having a pre-paid funeral plan in place can help make this more affordable and far simpler at a time of grief. Above all, the executor needs to divide up the estate according to the Will and ensure that the whole process is transparent and accountable.
Most of us feel uncomfortable talking about what will happen when we die, but having a properly written Will in place with reliable, trustworthy executors can help remove a lot of stress and pressure from them when we’re no longer here.
Capital Life’s team is here to help you through this process and provide the support you need. Contact them today to find out more.
A codicil is a document – like an appendix – that may be added to an existing Will to make minor adjustments, add new instructions, or revoke sections of the Will.
A codicil to a Will can be added to update the name of one or more Executors or to take into account a new funeral plan or other arrangements. You may have newly born or adopted children or grandchildren whom you wish to include in your Will, or your financial circumstances may have changed, requiring you to change the details of your Estate to incorporate new property or other items.
The codicil should be properly prepared, signed, witnessed, and treated with the same care as the original Will to which it is attached. The codicil must also be shown to relate to the original Will and must specifically detail what and how it is altering the Will.
You can draft and sign off a codicil yourself, just like the Will, but it is always a good idea to consult a professional to check that any codicils you add to your Will are legally sound and Will stand up in court if the will is ever contested.
You can include as many codicils as you need to in a Will, but it is vital that the will be clear and easy to read so that the Probate process is as simple as possible after you die. If the Will becomes extremely detailed with several alterations, it may be wiser to prepare a new Will that incorporates all of the changes into one document.
Capital Life’s team of specialists can assist you with writing, amending, or consolidating one or more codicils, ensuring that the inheritance planning process is straightforward, stress-free, and simple. Contact them right away to learn more about their affordable services.
When a Will is drafted, most people will appoint an Executor. This person or company will be responsible for dividing up the deceased’s estate and managing their affairs after they pass away.
Some Wills will also include trustees, whose job is to manage any ‘trusts’ set out in the will. A trust is set up where it is necessary for someone to hold property or money on behalf of someone else.
For example, a person might leave money to their grandchildren in a Will, but if the grandchildren are under 18, it may be decided to hold the funds in a trust until they are old enough to receive it. The trustee is the person who will essentially look after this money until it can be passed on. To some degree, it is up to the trustee how this money is saved or invested, but the deceased person can provide instructions in their Will.
Trustees have many responsibilities, so it is vital that appointing trustees is done with the utmost care. Trustees have certain roles and responsibilities set out in the law, but it is still important to make sure you choose the right people for this task.
The Executor and trustee will be the same person in many cases, but this doesn’t have to be the case. Trustees are sometimes appointed by the courts – especially if someone dies without a will, and their next of kin is under 18 – but usually, these are appointed by the deceased themselves.
Appointing Executors and trustees, and setting up trusts, is a complicated but essential part of inheritance planning. Capital Life can help you navigate this process and help make sure that your estate is handled professionally and carefully after you pass away. Contact their team of experts now to find out more.
Many people wonder what the Executor of a Will is entitled to, though they often don’t feel comfortable asking the person named in the Will (known as the beneficiaries).
The Executor of a Will has to ensure they follow the correct legal processes to apply for Probate, divide up the deceased person’s belongings, money, property and other assets (their Estate) according to their Will, ensure any outstanding debts are paid. In addition, they may need to make sure that the funeral goes ahead as planned. All of these tasks involve time and effort.
The Executor of a Will can claim ‘reasonable expenses’ from the Estate to be divided up. There isn’t a strict legal definition of what counts as a reasonable expense, but these usually include things like Probate registry fees, or the costs of solicitors, Estate agents, or other professionals. They can also include funeral costs if the deceased did not have a pre-paid funeral plan in place.
It is up to the Executor to keep track of all these expenses and keep detailed accounts of any money they intend to claim. The beneficiaries of the Will are entitled to query or challenge these expenses, so it is always a good idea to keep track of this and be as transparent as possible.
Being the Executor of a Will is a huge responsibility, and you are potentially personally liable if things go wrong. Hiring an experienced Probate solicitor to take care of this process is almost always a good idea, especially when dealing with large or complicated Estates with more than one beneficiary.
Capital Life’s team of reliable and experienced Probate solicitors is on hand to help take the stress and pressure out of the Probate process. Contact them today to find out how they can help.
A codicil is a document that you can add to an already written Will to make small changes, revoke parts of the Will, or add new sections.
A codicil can be added to a Will to change the name of one or more Executors or take into account new funeral arrangements or a new funeral plan. You may have new children or grandchildren who you want to ensure are included in your Will, or your financial circumstances might have changed, and your estate needs to be updated to include new property or investments.
The codicil should be carefully written, signed, witnessed, and given as much care as the original Will that it is connected to. It is vital to ensure that it refers to the original Will and is very clear on what it is amending and how. Like a Will itself, you can write a codicil yourself, but it is always a good idea to speak to a professional about this to make sure that any codicils you add to your Will are legally sound.
You can add as many codicils to a Will as you need to, but above all, it is important that the Will is clear and easy to understand so that the probate process is as straightforward as possible when you do pass away. If the will becomes overly complicated with many amendments, it may be worth writing a new Will that incorporates all the changes.
Capital Life’s team of experts can support you to write, amend or consolidate one or more codicils so that the inheritance planning process is smooth, stress-free and easy to understand. Contact them today to find out more about how they can help.
If someone passes away without a Will in place, there are very strict rules around who can inherit their Estate. These rules are called the ‘rules of intestacy.’
Under the rules of intestacy, only married or civil partners or close family members can inherit the deceased’s Estate. The rules of intestacy also set out how the Estate is divided up based on its value, whether the deceased was married or in a civil partnership, whether or not they own property and how many children or grandchildren they might have.
If a married couple is separated but not divorced, then the surviving partner would still inherit under the rules of intestacy. If a couple is living together but not married or in a civil partnership, the surviving partner would not be able to inherit under the rules of intestacy.
If a Will is not considered to be valid or legally sound, then the rules of intestacy may apply regardless. It is important to seek professional help and advice to make sure that a Will is legally valid and that if the worst does happen, the instructions in the Will are followed, and the right people inherit the right parts of the deceased’s Estate.
Although it is sometimes a difficult topic to discuss, it is always a good idea to take the time to do proper inheritance planning and to have a Will in place so that your loved ones receive their proper inheritance, and an already difficult time is made easier.
Capital Life can provide a full range of Wills and related services. Contact them today for a free inheritance planning review and find out how they can help make sure your loved ones are protected when you’re no longer here.
Living Wills are known by different names, including advance decisions, advance directives, or ADRTs (Advance Decision to Refuse Treatment).
Living Wills are legal documents that inform medical professionals what treatments or procedures a person does or doesn’t want if they are unable to communicate their wishes themselves or don’t have the mental capacity to make the decision at the time. A living Will may be referred to if a person suffers a stroke or develops severe dementia, for example.
Suppose there are specific treatments you don’t want to receive. In that case, you should be very clear about these, especially if you don’t want to receive those treatments under certain circumstances or the treatments could potentially be life-sustaining.
A living Will is legally binding. It is up to you who sees a copy of your living Will, but it is a good idea to tell your next of kin, healthcare professionals, or carers about your wishes in advance. You should make sure these are clearly recorded in writing, signed, and witnessed. You can also request that a copy of your living Will is kept with your medical records.
As well as a living Will, you can also put in place an ‘advance statement’ which outlines who you would like to be consulted about your care in the event you can’t communicate or make your own decisions. This isn’t legally binding in the same way that giving someone Lasting Powers of Attorney would be, but it should be taken into consideration.
Even though their names are similar, living Wills and Wills are different.
Capital Life can offer advice around Wills, inheritance planning, and other later life products designed to protect your loved ones if the worst does happen. Contact their team of experts today to find out how they can help or fill in this form and one of our experienced advisors will call you back at a time to suit you.
A mirror Will is a Will that is almost entirely the same as another person’s Will, except for a few small differences. Mirror Wills are a popular choice as part of inheritance planning. The only difference between the Wills is the name of the person writing the Will, the name of the person or people being left their Estate and, any personal funeral plans or other individual arrangements the writer may have.
Whether the person is married or not, many people prefer to have almost identical Wills to make sure that all of their money, property, and belongings are passed on to their partner or spouse if they pass away.
The Wills can leave everything to the surviving partner, or have everything left to children in the event that both partners die at the same time. Like individual Wills, mirror Wills can be as simple or detailed as they need to be to accommodate your circumstances.
If you are married, entering into a civil partnership, moving in with a partner, or starting a family, then it is a good idea to think about mirror Wills as soon as possible. This is especially important for unmarried couples, because a person’s unmarried partner would not automatically inherit their Estate if the other passes away.
Even though they are virtually identical, mirror Wills are still considered to be individual Wills and not combined legal documents. If there are any changes that need to be made to a mirror Will, then these will need to be made to both Wills to make sure they are up to date and reflect each person’s wishes.
Capital Life offers affordable and easy to understand Will writing packages, with big savings for pairs of mirror Wills. Book a free Will review right away and speak to an expert legal advisor about your options.