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What Is A Will?

Find Out What Is A Will Is And What It Does

Everybody wants to think of themselves as healthy, seemingly immortal individuals but there will come a point in life that one has to confront the reality of death. As undesirable as the business of making a will is, this is something that you need to get done sooner rather than later. That is, if you want to have sole discretion of how your assets will be distributed in the event of your death. In the following sections, we will learn all about what is a will; the importance of having one; what happens if you do not have one; and other pertinent information regarding this legal document.

What is a Will? The Basics

First, what is a will? Also known as a Last Will and Testament, a will is a legal document where a person states what he or she would like to happen to the estate in the event of death. The term estate consists of a house or a residential property that is under your name.

The value of the house turned over to the beneficiary as indicated on your will is minus any outstanding mortgage or other loans secured on it. The term estate extends to your savings, cash, car, furniture pieces inside the house, personal effects, proceeds from life insurance policies, benefits from work, pensions, etc.

For those who live in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, a small estate is considered as having a total value of less than £5,000, or £25,000 before debts. A small estate can be distributed without a Grant of Probate or Confirmation of the Estate.

The Importance of Having a Will

Even if you think that your assets are not worth that much, it still pays to understand what a will is and how important it is to make one. As mentioned earlier, it is best for you to have sole discretion of how your assets will be distributed. Your assets are things that you worked so hard on to own, so you would definitely want to have a last say as to who these assets will be turned over to in the event of your death.

Furthermore, a will specifies the following:

Essentially, a will indicates how you would like your assets to be divided in the event of your death. Whether it is something as valuable as your house or a small item which has sentimental value like your wedding ring, your will specifies who these things will be given to.

What Happens if You Do Not Have A Will?

After understanding what a will is, let us discover what happens if you do not have one. Intestacy Laws are present in the United Kingdom, which are designed to set standards as to where your property will go if you die without leaving a will. These laws are quite complex so if you do not want these laws to interfere with your final wishes as to how your properties and assets will be divided to those who you will leave behind, then you really should craft your own will before it's too late.

Creating Your Own Will

The good news is that you do not have to go to a solicitor in order to make a will. When you go online, there are websites where you can buy inexpensive, ready-made templates for making your own will. Some are more reliable than others, so make sure that the site where you will get a template from is a reputable one.

Once you have a template for the will, make sure that you have the proper signatories which include the testator (you who is making the will) and a couple of witnesses who should sign and date the document while also providing their addresses. They cannot also be your beneficiaries, otherwise their signatures will be void.

There is absolutely nothing wrong in preparing for the unexpected, so it is better to make a will now and have a say on how your assets will be distributed once you have passed on.

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