It may be a depressing prospect, but once someone passes away, an executor will need to step forward to deal with the wishes left behind by the deceased. The executor’s job is to deal with the estate – They must settle any debts and then distribute assets to beneficiaries.
We cannot stress enough how important is it to ensure your Will is error free so the executor can carry out the wishes within the Will without any hiccups. You must abide by legal rules when executing a Will, so that your will is valid.
In England and Wales, the execution of your Will includes three people: you and two witnesses. JMR Solicitors explain below, the conditions of executing a Will.
What should be included in a Will
To ensure you are fully prepared for writing a Will, when you visit JMR Solicitors, it is a good idea to have given some pre-thought to what points you want to include in your Will. These points might include:
- Think about the amount of money and which properties or possessions you want to distribute.
- Look at your savings, pensions, insurance policies, bank accounts and shares.
- Think about who you want to benefit from your Will. You should make a list of all the people to whom you wish to leave money or possessions. These people are referred to as beneficiaries.
- Think about any charities you wish to leave money to
- Assign a person to look after any children you have
- Decide on Executors to distribute your Will and deal with your estate
The role of executor, as appointed by the deceased, can be granted to professionals — usually solicitors — or those without any legal experience whatsoever.
The requirements for valid execution of a Will
The requirements for valid execution of a Will are taken from the Wills Act 1837.
- Throughout the years, case law has expanded on how those requirements may be abided by. Cases in history have provided evidence that an inky thumb print, initials and a mark made by a rubber stamp with the Testator’s initials have all been held to serve as a Testator’s signature.
- Another important requirement of a valid Will is to choose witnesses with care. A witness can not be a recipient of anything from a Will. Also, the witness’s spouse, civil partner cannot be a beneficiary. There are, however, some rare occasions when a witness can benefit from a Will.
- The document must also preserve the original and physical condition of the Will. There have been such instances such as a paperclip mark suggesting a second paper was present, or, part of the document torn, will always lead to further enquiries.
How the execution of a Will takes place:
Once a person passes away, the Executor must act straight away.
The Executor of the Will needs to have the most recent copy of the Will. Check with the deceased’s solicitor to ensure that you have this to take command of their wishes.
First and foremost, the death must be registered by the Executor at the local registry office and the medical certificate detailing the cause of death and proof of the deceased identity.
The Executor should first pay the taxman
Once a death has been registered and funeral arranged, the next creditor will have to be the tax authority. If the inheritance tax outstanding is not settled, the Executor cannot receive a Grant of Probate: the document approving them to deal with the estate.
Unlocking the estate
After HMRC are proven content with all matters, the Executor can apply to the Probate Registry and must present themselves and swear an oath before probate is granted. The application fee for this is set at £215.
JMR Solicitors can ensure the Will has been validly executed
Appoint a specialist legal team to review and execute a Will. If it has not been executed correctly then it will not be valid, and the Testator’s estate will be dispersed according to any previous Wills or on the basis of intestacy (which happens when there is no Will present).
Contact JMR Solicitors on 0161 491 3933 or email email@example.com