Having a will is important to ensure your assets are distributed according to your wishes when you pass away. It might seem morbid to draft up your will early on in life, but ultimately, it makes sense to consider where you wish your assets to go.
Drafting up a will assures your power over the allocation of your assets. It ensures that your objects are not being assigned based on a legal formula, but how you want them to be.
Talking through your will with a family lawyer will help you make sure that it is valid and secure, providing a level of reassurance over your assets and finances. Like all legal documents, there are procedures and considerations that affect its validity and security.
Making your will
Firstly, in order for your will to be seriously considered by the court, it must be constructed following certain rules. The document must be in writing, whether it is handwritten, printed, or typed.
You must also sign your will to ensure its validity, so your signature should be at the end of the document. The signing or acknowledgement of your will should be witnessed by two individuals who must also sign in your presence.
If you do not follow these procedures when making your will it will not be enforceable.
Appointing an executor
An executor is responsible for ensuring that the wishes in your will are heard and carried out. You may appoint one or more people as the executor of your will, but they should be appointed in the document itself.
The executor of your will can be anyone – from your spouse, a friend, a relative, your solicitor. As long as it is someone you trust to carry out your wishes and that you check that they are prepared for the task. You should confirm with the executor that they are willing and able before appointing them in your will.
Due to legal requirements, if you write your will before a change in your marital status, it is likely that it will be revoked. This will be the case if you have written this legal document before getting married unless you have written your will with marriage in mind and expressed such sentiments.
If you go through a divorce or annul your marriage after writing your will, any gifts to your former spouse or appointments as an executor or guardian will be revoked.
Because of this, it is advisable that a new or altered will is constructed upon a change in your marital status. It is also important that considerations for your current spouse and children are made, otherwise your will may be challenged.
Keeping your will in a safe and secure location is essential for your final wishes to be heard. You should make copies of your will, with notes on where the original is located.
Telling your executor the location of your will is necessary to ensure your wishes are carried out.
Following certain procedures and making certain considerations is paramount to ensure the validity and security of your will.
If you are unsure about how to properly construct a sound will, contact our lawyers today!