February 5, 2020

Are all Wills the same?

Confused about Wills?

Different Wills can achieve different things for their owner. The person whose Will it is, is called the Testator (male) or the Testatrix (female) and the content of the Will is determined by the Testators wishes. However, certain legal restraints and conditions state that the Will should, for example, in normal circumstances, be in writing and be signed by not only the Testator but by two independent witnesses. The formalities surrounding Will writing are contained within the Wills Act 1837. All Fortis Law advisors understand what can be written in a Will and any limitations and are happy to go through this with you.

If your Will is short – maybe one or two pages long – it can still be legally effective and may effectively deal with a number of important matters; not least the effective distribution of property (‘the estate’) upon death. The appointment of people to manage the estate distribution and of people to have parental responsibility for children under the age of eighteen will also, normally be managed. Funeral wishes will also be catered for.

For individuals in a relationship, where there is a degree of shared economic interest, mirrored Wills are usually made for each partner. These Wills, as the language would suggest, will reflect the other, all be it, each Will can still have a degree of difference. Importantly, in all cases, each individual has their own Will no matter how close the union between parties.

However, not all Wills are the same, and a short straight forward Will, whilst certainly better than no Will at all, will not protect, preserve and pass on wealth effectively. Most people want to ensure that assets pass down to the next generation intact and therefore, a more sophisticated Will, including a Trust is necessary.

If your Will is short in length or if you have any doubt about it, reviewing matters is an important next step. Failing to do so, could lead to your estate not passing to your intended beneficiaries. Don’t wait until it’s too late!

Fortis offers a free Will review service. All you'll need to do is speak to a member of our team who will invite you to email or post in a copy of the document. They'll then have a chat with you about what you expect your Will to achieve and if it does what you're expecting, brilliant! If it doesn't, then we may suggest rewriting it and offer a Fortis Consultant to help. We'll advise on all costs for the rewrite and leave you in a position to make an informed decision.

It starts with a conversation.

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