A will is an important document which allows you to express your wishes for the distribution of your property after death. It is a sensible idea to consult with a solicitor in order to make sure that your will is properly drafted, as this could help avoid problems and disputes over the inheritance. It can also alleviate the risk of taxation which might arise upon your death.
You should consider who you want to be the executors of your estate, as they will have responsibility for gathering together all the assets and sorting them out, paying any debts, funeral expenses, taxes and administration costs. It is usually best to appoint someone who you trust and know well. Your solicitor will be able to suggest people if necessary.
It is essential to talk to your family and friends about your Will and explain what you are doing. This helps prevent questions being raised after your death as to your motivation and can also be helpful if you are including or excluding anyone from your Will. If you are excluding anyone, it is advisable to write a letter to your executors setting out the reasons for this. This will be kept with your Will and will give an indication of your motivation.
When making a will, it is advisable to list out all your assets, both physical and financial, as well as any digital assets that you hold. This will help your solicitor ensure that all of your assets are included in your Will. In addition, if you have any specific instructions for the disposal of particular items then this should be stated clearly.
You should also list out all of the beneficiaries that you wish to receive your assets, along with their address details. It is common to include a “residuary clause” which is designed to cover any assets that have not been specifically described, or anything that you may have forgotten when writing the asset section of your Will.
A specialist will writing solicitor near me will be able to provide advice about how much to leave and to whom, as well as helping you with any other estate planning needs that you have. It is a good idea to review your Will every few years, as your circumstances and financial position will change over time. It is also a good idea to review your Will whenever you experience major life changes, such as moving home (especially abroad), buying a house or investment property, marriage, divorce, having children or grandchildren and even retirement.
If you do not make a Will or your Will is disputed, then your estate will pass through probate and your property will be distributed according to the state’s intestate laws. This may not be what you would have wanted and can cause unnecessary delays and expense for your loved ones.
A solicitor will usually charge a reasonable fee for writing a Will and dealing with your estate after your death. A fee of around $300 is typical, although this can rise to $1,000 or more in more complex situations.