Wills, Probate and Trusts
It is vital that you leave instructions on what should happen to your estate after you die in a written, verified and witnessed document (a “Will”). A Will makes sure that you can provide for your partner, children and descendants. A Will specifies how you wish to divide your assets between them, and whether you want to make some specific gifts of money to individuals or charities, for example.
Wills: Your lawyer will give you expert advice on how to write your Will and ensure that your wishes are accurately recorded and leave no room for doubt. You can also write into your Will who you wish to appoint to be responsible for handling the arrangements after you die, getting your Will approved, and administering, distributing and “winding up” your estate. The people you appoint are called “executors” and the formal procedure for making sure the property and assets are transferred to those you have said should have them is called “probate”.
Trusts: Some people set up a “Trust” in their Will that sets out arrangements for looking after your underage children until they reach adulthood. In an typical arrangement, the Will might provide for any income to be paid to your spouse or partner while they are living, and then for all the rest of your estate to be handed on to your children after your spouse or partner dies. It is very important to make sure that the Trust is correctly drafted and takes into account tax arrangements.
Contentious Probate: Unfortunately, a person’s passing can be made even more difficult by the existence of disputes over their estate. The terms of the Will may be contested. If the issue cannot be resolved amicably a Court will have to decide between the executors of the Will and those in dispute.
Search for a Wills, Probate and Trusts lawyer here and you will be in direct contact with a lawyer within minutes.