Do You Really Need a Will? - Wills and Probate Hemel Hempstead Posted by Probate Bureau , 18/01/2019

Do You Really Need a Will? - Wills and Probate Hemel Hempstead

We all know that having to make a will isn't fun to think about, we all don't want to think about a time when it'll be needed. We all live life as though we are completely invincible, but none of us are promised tomorrow. It may shock you, but The Independent recently reported that nearly two-thirds of UK adults don't actually have a will. It's scary, especially as the truth is, those who depend on you day to day, are dependent on you making a will.

What is a Will?

A will is a legal record in which an individual conveys their choices of how their homes and possessions, referred to as their estate, is going to be dispersed after they die. A minimum of one executor has to be designated in the will, and they're accountable for handling the estate to its conclusion. If you have young children, a will is even more important because you can choose who your children will live with and who will look after them after you pass.

Why Making a Will is Important

Your will will tell everyone what should happen to your money, possessions and property after you die. If you don't leave a will, the law will decide how your estate is passed on, and this might not be in line with your wishes. Heres some main reasons to make a will:

  • A will makes it so much easier for your family or friends to sort everything out when you pass - without a will, the process can be very time consuming and stressful.
  • If you don't write a will, everything you own will be shared out in a standard way defined by the law - which isn't always the way you might want.
  • A will can help reduce the amount of Inheritance Tax that might be payable on the value of the property and money you leave behind
  • Writing a will is especially important if you have children or other children who depend on you financially, or if you want to leave something to people outside your immediate family.

It's important to remember that a will is the last gift you'll leave your family and loved ones. It'll make the management of your assets clear and simple for everyone involved in the process.

Requirements For a Valid Will

In order for a will to be valid, it must be:

  • Made by a person who is 18 years old and over
  • Made voluntarily and without pressure from any other person
  • Made by a person who is of sound mind. This means the person must be fully aware of the nature of the document being written or signed and aware of the property and the identity of the people who may inherit it.
  • Signed by the person making the will in the presence of two witnesses.
  • Signed by the two witnesses, in the presence of the person making the will, after it has been signed.

Even though the will will still be legally valid if it isn't dated, it is advisable to ensure that the will also includes the date on which it is signed.

Where to Keep a Will

Once you have made your will, it should be kept in a safe place and other documents should not be attached to it. There are a number of places you can keep a will:

  • At home,
  • With a solicitor or accountant,
  • At a bank,
  • In England and Wales at the Principal Registry of the Family Division of the High Court, a District Registry of Probate Sub-Registry for safe keeping. If you wish to deposit a will in this way you should visit the District Registry or Probate Sub-Registry or write to:
The Probate Department,
The Principal Registry of the Family Division,
First Avenue House,
42-49 High Holborn,
London WC1V 6NP
Tel:020 7947 6000 What is a Grant of Probate?

A grant of probate is what you need for the estate of a deceased who has left a valid will. Only the named executor has the authority to apply for a grant of probate on the estate. The executor will be responsible for handling the deceased's assets, collecting information about the estate in order to provide correct information to HMRC, obtain the grant of probate and distribute the estate to beneficiaries named by the deceased in their will.

The Probate Bureau Ethos

Here at The Probate Bureau, our main aim is to be able to save families time, money and stress in tough times. We are able to shoulder the whole burden of winding up an estate from paying the funeral director to getting the final inland revenue clearance. We provide the best service at a very fair and reasonable fixed fee and we are able to administer most of our estates within 6 months thanks to our highly efficient and qualified team led by our in-house lawyer.

Over the years, people have told us that they really do appreciate a free, non-obligatory meeting in their own home where all their concerns and questions can be answered fully. We don't have any paid consultants, nor do we pay out or receive any commissions from anyone. We are proud to be the longest running specialist estate administration firm in the UK, recommended by over 1000 independent funeral directors, so we have earned a high degree of trust by allowing us to secure professional discounts - one which allows the families of those who have passed to retain more money.

Please feel free to give us a call on 0808 256 2366 to check out what you should do, and most importantly shouldn't do before you do anything else. The Probate Bureau - professional, reliable probate service in Colchester.

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