Linda Wara (Student)
Up to 60% of people do not have wills, by some estimates.
To protect your assets, a will is needed as this safeguards your property, money, sentimental items, including jewellery and valuables.
This is a legal document that ensures your assets are distributed according to your wishes.
You will require an executor who will be responsible for administering your affairs This could either be a close friend or your relative or could even be a firm of solicitors. Your executor will dispose of your assets and provide your beneficiaries with their share in accordance with the terms of your Will.
Your will should set out the following:
- Your beneficiaries
- Who will be your children’s legal guardian if they are under the age of 18
- Your executor
- What happens if your beneficiary dies before you
For a will to be legally valid, the following criteria needs to be met:
- You must be over 18 years of age
- You need to be aware of the extent of your assets
- Your Will should be written
- Should be signed by two witnesses, both of whom need to be over the age of 18 years (and not beneficiaries under the will)
Your will should be reviewed every 5 years or after any changes in your life, for example
- Getting married
- Separation or divorced
- Having a child
- If the executor named in the Will dies
If you die without a will, your assets will be distributed amongst family members according to a predetermined formula which may be against what you would have wished for.
At Staffordshire Legal Advice Clinic (SULAC) we offer free legal advice on probate matters (although we do not draft wills). Students are supervised by a qualified solicitor.
A free appointment can help you find out your rights and legal position.
Call us on 01782294800 or alternatively email us at SULAC@staffs.ac.uk