Wills - Hatfield, Hertfordshire
Writing a Will provides certainty and peace of mind, with the knowledge that your assets and wealth will be distributed exactly as you wish. In addition, drafting a Will can make life much easier for those you leave behind, avoiding unnecessary complications and distressing disputes. Area cover Hatfield, Hertfordshire.
If you are yet to write a legally permissible Will, doing so as promptly as possible comes highly recommended. But even if you have already made a Will, it should be revisited and revised on occasion to reflect your changing circumstances.
At K&K Solicitors, we can provide the advice and support you need to make writing your Will smooth, simple, and stress-free.
When should you write or change your Will?
It is important to revise your will following any significant changes in your personal life or your financial circumstances. Examples of such instances include the following:
• When you purchase a home or move house
• When someone named in your will passes away
• If your financial position or income level changes
• Upon the birth of children or grandchildren
• Marriage or divorce
You must also ensure that any alterations you make to your Will are as clear and precise as possible, to avoid possible confusion or ambiguousness. Expert advice should always be sought when preparing or altering a Will, in order to ensure the text is both clear and legally binding.
What happens if you fail to leave a Will?
When a person dies without leaving a Will, they are said to die ‘intestate’. The distribution of their estate is subsequently governed by the Administration of Estates Act 1925, which sets out who should deal with deceased's assets and who should inherit their estate.
Usually, a close relative like a spouse, child or parent will have the legal right to oversee the distribution of the deceased’s estate and allocation of assets. However, this could mean that your property and wealth will be passed on someone you would not have included in your Will.
Along with preparing your Will, we can also provide you with independent expert advice on inheritance tax planning, trusts and lifetime giving. All of which could play a role in determining the total value of your estate and assets for those you name in your Will.
The Different Types of Wills & Trust Wills
This is the most common type of Will that is suitable for most people looking to leave a clear disclosure of their final wishes. A single Will is typically drafted by a single person (i.e. divorced, widowed or) not in a relationship, but a single Will can also be penned by a person who has final wishes that differ from those of their spouse.
Single Wills can also be useful for those who are married but have children from previous relationships, enabling them to divide their assets between their children and their spouse.
With a single Will, your final wishes with regard to division of assets are clearly disclosed in the document, which is signed in the presence of witnesses.
Along with distribution of assets, your Will can also contain information on your funeral preferences and what to done with personal / sentimental items of no specific monetary value.
A mirror Will is the type of Will drafted by couples who have the same wishes. A separate Will is drafted by each of the partners, but the content of both in terms of final wishes is identical. Estate and asset distribution occurs in one of two ways with a mirror Will:
When one of the partners dies, the estate in its entirety is passed to the surviving partner
When both partners have passed on, the estate is distributed in accordance with the content of the Will
As with a single Will, a mirror Will can also contain information on funeral preferences and the allocation of personal or sentimental items. Entering into a mirror Will is a significant act of trust. In the event that one of the partners dies, the surviving partner who inherits the estate in its entirety has the legal right to alter their Will at any time. If they choose to do so, they could change their minds as to who will inherit their assets than those of a deceased partner, at the time of their death.
This can sometimes be problematic where children from previous marriages are concerned. Though comparatively rare, it is not unheard of for surviving spouses to cut step-children out of mirror Wills entirely, in order to leave their entire combined estate to their own children.
In addition, both partners entering into a mirror Will have the legal entitlement to alter their Will at any time, without informing their partner. This could mean that at the time of their death, their Will does not in fact mirror that have their partner, having been amended in the interim.
Several different types of trust Wills can be drafted, providing a degree of flexibility over how your assets and property are managed.
This is where the party penning the Will selects competent and trustworthy people to manage their assets (known as trustees) on their behalf, following the death. Some or all of the deceased’s estate can be transferred to a trust when they die, in accordance with their wishes. When the person dies, the trustees take total control over what, how and when the beneficiaries named in the trust Will are allocated the deceased’s assets and wealth.
Property Trust Wills
A property trust Will exclusively concerns the deceased’s property or properties. For example, you could specify that while you ultimately want to pass ownership of your home to your children, you also want to allow your surviving spouse to continue living there for the rest of their life. This can ensure your partner has accommodation to live in for the rest of their lives after which the property can for example go to your children.
A Flexible Life Interest Trust Will
This is similar in many ways to a property trust Will, but also extends to assets. In this instance, the surviving spouse could be granted access to finance is to support their lifestyle, but at the time of their death, all remaining assets would be passed to the beneficiaries named by the deceased.
Flexible life interest trust Wills are considered the most appropriate option in most instances due to their flexibility and adaptability. There are no specific limitations to when and how the funds can be released, enabling them to be used to cover essential costs like care home fees by the surviving spouse.
A living Will can be drafted to provide information on the wishes of an individual in the event that they are no longer able to make such decisions or communicate them in the future. For example, an individual with a debilitating or terminal disease may state in their living Will that they do not wish to receive certain types of treatment, or perhaps refuse life-sustaining treatment such as being put on a ventilator.
Also known as Advance Decisions, living Wills are legally binding documents and should only be drafted with the input and support of an experienced legal professional.
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