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Wills FAQs

Why do I need to update my Will?

Throughout your life, your circumstances change and this can affect your Will. For example, if your relationship status has changed or if you have become a grandparent then you may wish to update your Will to reflect your current circumstances. We suggest you review your Will every year.

What is an executor?

An executor is the person appointed to carry out the instruction of a Will.

Who can be my executor?

The people most commonly appointed as executors on a Will are: relatives or friends, solicitors or accountants or even banks. It is important to choose your executor carefully as this person will have to take on a great deal of responsibility and work.

Why do I need probate if I have a Will?

The purpose of your Will is to document what you wish to happen to your estate after death. Probate is the process that allows the distribution of the estate to the beneficiaries of your Will. 

What happens if I die without a Will?

If you die without a Will in place, the Rules of Intestacy apply. This means that the law will decide who should be responsible for your affairs and ultimately who will inherit your estate. This could mean that those that you would prefer not to inherit will in fact benefit.

What details go into a Will?

Standard or simple Wills contain the following: your own personal details, appointed executors, appointed guardians, funeral details, gifting and residue of your estate.

How many executors can I have?

You can have up to four executors. It's a good idea to choose at least two executors or one plus a replacement in case one of the executors is unable to act.

What is intestacy?

Intestacy is the process of distributing the estate of someone who dies without a Will.

What is a specific gift or a monetary legacy?

A specific gift is a particular item that you wish to give someone in your Will. A monetary legacy is a gift of a sum of money.

What is a letter of wishes (England and Wales) or an informal testamentary writing (Scotland)?

This is a document that can be written to provide more detailed information about your wishes. It is not legally binding but can guide your executors as to what your wishes would be when distributing your estate. It can also be used to provide information about the reasons for the content of the Will, e.g. a non- equal split of residuary estate among siblings. 

What is the residue of my estate?

The residue of your estate is what is left after payment of debts, funeral expenses, taxes, legal and other expenses incurred in the administration of the estate and after any specific gifts and monetary legacies have been paid.