While most people don’t want to think too much about preparing a Will, it is vital to have one in place, not for yourself, but for those you care about most. To help make the process of constructing your Will a little bit easier we’ve put together a few things you need to consider.
Choosing Your Beneficiaries:
Your beneficiaries are those people who you choose to leave your Estate to, usually your partner or children. When constructing your Will it is important that you provide levels of beneficiaries, just in case some of them pass away from before you.
As an example:
- Level 1 – your partner;
- Level 2 – your children in equal shares;
- Level 3 – the children of your children
It is important to carefully consider how your Estate will be distributed to each of your beneficiaries, as your Will can be contested following your death. The law does provide that a person has the freedom to leave their Estate to whoever they choose, it can be contested under a Family Provision Application. This is where a person who might reasonably expect to benefit from your Estate, but is left out of your Will can contest it due to your failure to make provision for their proper maintenance and support.
It is important that you consider your personal circumstances when constructing your Will, especially in relation to a relationship you may be in. The Will of a single person can be made void where a marriage takes place unless the Will is expressly made in contemplation of this marriage occurring.
Choosing an Executor:
An executor is the person who will be responsible for administering your Estate after your death. It is extremely important that you trust this person and that you make them aware that you would like them to act as your Executor.
This person will be able to take advice from an accountant and lawyer in distributing your Estate, but they need to be aware of your circumstances and your wishes and be able to distribute your Estate in accordance with these.
In most cases your executor would be your partner in the first instances and your children (if they are adults) as your back-up executor.