Do I need to make a Will?
Although the significance of making a Will is well recognised most people put off the important task of completing their Will until their later years. It is important to remember that you are never too young to make a will. Although the prospect of making a Will may seem daunting it is an important step to take and one which an experienced solicitor will be able to help you with so that the process is straight forward and easily understood. There are a number of matters to be considered when making your Will:
It is important to make a list of the assets which you own, bank accounts held in your name and life assurance policies which may pay a lump sum in the event of your death. It is helpful when making your Will that you have a comprehensive list of all of the assets which you own and wish to leave to your loved ones.
When making your will it is prudent to appoint at least two executors to carry out your wishes under the Will. An executor doesn’t have to have any particular qualification or expertise. More often than not an executor is a family member or close personal friend. A minimum number of one executor is required although it is always best to appoint two.
If you have children under 18 years of age it is important that you appoint guardians to look after the children in the unlikely event that at the date of your death your spouse has died before you and your children are still under 18 years of age. It is prudent to have two guardians appointed where possible. It is certainly advisable to speak to your guardians in advance of their appointment to ensure that they are aware of what is involved and that they agreeable to taking on the task of minding your children in the event of the death of you and your spouse. A guardian would normally take care of the children until they reach 18 years of age or leave full-time education, if later. As well as appointing guardians in your will where you have children under the age of 18 years of age it is also important to appoint Trustees. The Trustees function is to mind the assets which are being gifted to the children under 18 years of age until they reach the age of majority. Whilst the children are under 18 years of age it would be normal for the Will to provide for the trustees to manage the children’s financial affairs. This can be dealt with in the provisions of the Will.
Once you have made your Will it is important that it is stored in a safe location and that the executors of the Will, the individuals that have been appointed to carry out your wishes under the Will, are aware of its location. It would be normal that the Will would be safely deposited at your solicitors office or bank. Copies can be provided to you. Nobody else is entitled to see your Will or be made aware of the provisions in the Will until such time as your death has occurred. It is important to bear in mind that you can change the terms of your Will at any time.
Should you require any advice or assistance in the preparation of your Will please feel free to contact Risteard Crimmins of Crimmins Howard Solicitors who will be happy to provide you with guidance.