We advise on all matters in relation to making a will and later, dealing with the deceased’s estate after death, by processing the application for a grant of Probate (where there is a will ) or a Grant of Administration (where there is no will).
By making a will, you will get certainty as to how your estate is divided after your day. Not only do you get to decide how your assets are divided, you also get to decide who will be your Executor, an important role as this person will essentially be your representative after your day and will handle your affairs on death.
To be valid, a will has to comply with certain legal requirements which we will advise you on. A homemade or poorly drafted will could be struck down as invalid and if this happens you will be deemed to die intestate (i.e without a will).
Some of the more important reasons for making a will are:
- If you make a will you can incorporate tax planning to reduce the amount of Inheritance Tax payable by your beneficiaries
- If you are married with children and die without making a will, your estate will be divided 2/3rds to your spouse and 1/3rd to your children. This may not be how you planned it!
- If you are unmarried or have no children, you may have a particular person in mind that is good to you and that you would like to benefit. If you don’t make a will your wishes will not be carried out, this person will not be protected and your estate will be divided in accordance with the rules on intestacy
- Administration of the estate is quicker and less expensive if you make a will than if you die intestate
- You choose who handles your affairs on death
- Don’t put it on the long finger! If you should suffer from any illness affecting your mental capacity, you could be deemed incapable of making a will and you will be deemed to have died intestate.
- It is not a morbid, stressful or onerous task. We advise clients to make their will in accordance with their wishes NOW, not what they think they might like to happen in years to come. We advise clients to review and update their wills regularly as their circumstances change. Your will does not take affect until you die and you can change your will at any time. You can still deal with your property in exactly the same way you did before before making your will. You can, if you want, sell or dispose of your assets after making a will and we advise all clients to review their will if this occurs.
Cost should never be a reason not to make a will. The cost and tax implications for your beneficiaries if you die intestate can often far outweigh the relatively small cost involved in making a will.
The actual cost will depend on the particular circumstances of each case and the time involved. Some clients know exactly what they want and make simple straightforward wills. Others require a more complex will, perhaps necessitating a trust to deal with young children or a mentally disabled beneficiary. We will discuss with you at the outset the likely cost of making your will.
In order to administer an estate after death, it is necessary for your Executor to apply to the High Court for a Grant of Probate, which gives the Executor authority to deal with your assets.
When the deceased dies their assets become frozen and their estate cannot be administered or their assets released without a Grant of Probate.
When a deceased dies intestate a different type pf Grant, namely a Grant of Administration Intestate will issue.
To obtain a grant of Probate or Administration, it is necessary to complete a long and detailed Revenue Affidavit with details of all the deceased’s financial affairs and details of the beneficiaries. Other probate papers also have to be completed and lodged with the court.
We will assist the Executor/Administrator in all work necessary to obtain a grant and administer the deceased’s estate and advise them on their role and duties as Executor/Administrator.