01 Jun What is a Will and why should I have one?
A will is the expression of a person’s intentions, normally concerning the distribution of his or her property, which he or she intends to take affect only after his or her death.
If you pass away and you do not have a will there is a possibility that your intentions as to what will happen to your estate after you die might not be met. If you pass away having made no will, your estate will be distributed in accordance with the Rules of Intestacy, which say:
- If you die with a spouse and no children, all your estate goes to your spouse.
- If you die with a spouse and children, then 2/3’s of your estate goes to your spouse and 1/3 goes to your children.
- If you die without a spouse or children, your estate will go to your next of kin being your parents, or if your parents have pre-deceased then to your brothers and sisters, and if your parents and brothers and sisters have pre-deceased, then to the children of your brothers and sisters and further on down the line in accordance with the Rules of Intestacy (as set out under the Succession Act 1965) until your closest living relatives are identified.
A person making a will must be over 18 years of age and of sound disposing mind.
The will must be signed at the end by the person making the will before 2 witnesses.
The will itself speaks from death, so it is relevant to the assets of the testator as at the date of his or her death.
One other thing to remember is that if you make a will and then you get married after having made the will, the will is revoked by the marriage so you would need to make a new will.