Writing your Will

How to begin the process of Writing your Will

Unsure where to start when you have an enquiry about making a will? This blog post helps you begin the legal process of making your will!

What happens if I die without making a will? 

The law provides your spouse with entitlement over your entire estate, if there are no children. If you leave a spouse and children, your spouse gets two-thirds and one-third goes to your children. If you do not have a husband or a wide, your entire estate goes to your children. In either event, if there are children under the age of 18 years, then the trustees must be appointment. If a child of yours dies before you, leaving children, then those children take their parents share.

If you do not have a spouse nor any children, your parents are entitled to your entire estate. If both parents are deceased, then your estate is divided between your brothers and sisters.

How do I begin the process?

Start by recording the basic information:

  • Your assets, their value and where they are located: It is important that your executors will have all of the details on your assets and know where to find bank books, shares/savings certs, deeds, life insurance policies and all relevant financial information. 
  • Nearest Relatives: Set out particulars of your immediate family (I.e. the names of your spouse, children or other dependents) 
  • Executors: Choose the persons best suited to carrying into effect the terms of your will. An advantage of making a will is that you can choose the best person suited. A minimum of two Executors are recommended, and at least one of these should be younger than you. 
  • Proposed Division of your estate: The usual format of dividing your estate is: 
    • Cash legacies (e.g. friends, charities, religious) 
    • Bequests of specific property (e.g. jewellery, furniture etc.) 
    • Any other special provisions 
    • Residuary bequest (which may comprise most of your estate). Consider the possibility that some relatives or friends may be disappointed and think about any explanation you would like your Executors to give.  

Restrictions (where a will is made): The law imposes certain restrictions on how you may deal with your estate. Your spouse has a legal right to half of your estate where there are no children. If there are children, your spouse is entitled to one-third of your estate but they many apply to court if you fail in your moral duty to make proper provision for them in accordance with your means, taking into account their position in life. Your spouse also has the right to require that the family home and household contents be included in his/her share.

Special circumstances/Assets: Special conditions may arise if any of the beneficiaries are under 18 years of age or suffer from a disability.

Funeral Wishes: You should inform your family in your lifetime as to what your funeral wishes are, as your will may not be read until after the funeral.

If you need assistance creating your will, the team at Flanagan and Co are available to assist you. Get in touch with us here!


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