Although the significance of making a Will is well recognised most people put off the important task of completing their Will until their later years. It is important to remember that you are never too young to make a will. Although the prospect of making a Will may seem daunting it is an important step to take and one which an experienced solicitor will be able to help you with so that the process is straight forward and easily understood. There are a number of matters to be considered when making your Will:
It is important to make a list of assets you own, bank accounts in your name and life insurance policies that can pay out a lump sum in the event of your death. When preparing a Will, it is helpful to have a comprehensive list of all the assets you own and want to leave to your loved ones.
When making a Will, it is wise to appoint at least two executors to carry out your wishes in the Will. The executor does not need to have any special qualifications or specialist knowledge. Most often, the executor is a family member or close friend. It is required to appoint at least one executor, but it is always best to appoint two.
If you have children under 18, it is important to appoint guardians to look after your children in the event that, at the time of your death, your spouse has predeceased you and your children are under 18. It is prudent to appoint two guardians if possible. It is best to talk to the people you intend to appoint as guardians to make sure they are aware of what their responsibilities will be and agree to care for the children in the event of your and your spouse's death. A carer will usually look after children until they are 18 or beyond if they are in full-time education. In addition to appointing guardians in your Will if you have children under the age of 18, it is also important to appoint Trustees of the Will. It is the job of trustees to look after assets that are given to children under 18 until they become adults. If the children are under 18, it is natural to entrust trustees with managing the children's financial affairs. This can be included in the provisions of the Will.
Once you have prepared your Will, you should keep it in a safe place. The executors of the Will, the people appointed to implement your will, must know where it is located. Typically, the Will is kept in a law firm or bank. You can get copies of it. Before your death, no one else is entitled to view the Will or read its provisions. Please remember that you can change your last will at any time.
If you require advice or assistance in preparing a Will, please contact Risteard Crimmins of Crimmins Howard Solicitors who will be happy to advise you.