Frequently asked questions here at Vanmark Estate Planning.
Why make a Will?
Making a Will is the only way to ensure that your wishes are carried out after your death. Without a valid Will, your property will pass by the Law of Intestacy. In the event, it is likely to cost more and take longer than if a Will is made. Making a will lets your loved ones know that you cared enough to sort things out in advance.
What are executors?
A Will allows you to name executors who will deal with your estate after your death, pay any taxes, debts and distribute the estate as the Will directs. You may feel that a professional should be appointed if your estate is complex or to relieve the burden from grieving loved ones.
Can family members witness your Will?
No family members should not witness your Will. In general, a person who might benefit from your will in any way cannot act as a witness.
Will my spouse be my automatic beneficiary ?
If you are married, do not assume that your spouse will get everything. Under the Laws of intestacy, your children will have a right to part of you estate. Your Will may even be invalid if it was written before your marriage.
Can I make changes to my Will in the future?
The simple answer is yes and there are many ways of making those changes, depending on the nature of the change you wish to make. Major changes may require a complete rewrite of your existing Will, while more minor changes can be dealt with by preparing a Codicil or Memorandum of Wishes.
Property protection trust affect my mortgage?
No, your mortgage continues as normal.
What is an LPA and why do I need one?
An LPA (Lasting Power of Attorney) is a legal document giving the person or persons you trust (your attorneys) the authority to make decisions on your behalf if you become incapable of making them yourself. The LPA is prepared at a time when you can make your own decisions.
What is a memorandum of wishes?
Memorandum of Wishes is not a legal document, but your Executors are honour bound to comply with your wishes; it is also easier to make additional changes to this document if you change your mind or circumstances change again. For instance, you may have certain instructions you wish your Executors to carry out on your death (for example, you may decide on a particular piece of music to be played at your funeral), or you may wish to distribute certain items of your estate in a particular way. Preparing a Memorandum of Wishes is the simplest way of dealing with this type of change. Codicils and Memorandums of Wishes should be stored alongside your Will.