Executry & Probate

When is the right time to make a will?

Guest post regarding the best time to make a will.

Although it might seem morbid to think about details surrounding your own death, it is an important part of life to plan for dependents and loved ones who you would leave behind.

It can give you great peace of mind to know that family members will be looked after if the worst happens and this is why many people take out life insurance plans and other financial arrangements.

However, the most important thing that needs to be in place is something that many people neglect or feel is unnecessary.

Making a will is actually straightforward and something that everybody should have in place. If you die without a will it can complicate matters or delay proceedings at a time when loved ones are going through a period of extreme stress.

When is the right time to make a will?

The answer to that is quite simple – if you don’t already have one, now is the time to make a will.

Providing clear instructions as to what happens to your estate is essential in order to provide a smooth handover to those you leave behind, and in some cases to ensure that people who you do not wish to benefit are not able to take advantage of the situation.

Probate law

The area of law concerning what happens to someone’s belongings and assets after their demise is called probate. If the deceased person does not leave a will or there are assets that are not covered by the will, this means they are legally intestate.

Executor or Administrator

When a will exists it appoints an executor who can then validly dispose of the property and the estate then goes to probate. If no will is left or any existing one is deemed invalid, administrators are appointed instead.

Both perform similar roles but if there are no instructions to follow in a valid will the administrators are obliged to distribute the estate according to the rules laid down by statute.

Absence of Heirs and Next of Kin

In rare cases of intestacy where there is no heir or next of kin in the UK, the Crown has the right to property and land.

Under the rules for distribution of estates without a will where a child under 18 would be the sole beneficiary, the Court or District Probate Registry normally appoints a minimum of two administrators.

The above is a very simple explanation of the basics surrounding wills when it comes to UK law. Anyone thinking of making a will should take advice from Co-Op Wills Services who will be able to explain how the law affects their own individual set of circumstances.