A lot of uncertainties can happen without our knowledge around us. It is also essential to note that people die unexpectedly. All wealthy are advised on preparing a will in their lifetime. Making a will is not limited to only the wealthy and old people, anyone in the legal age can prepare a will. This not only protects their dying wish, but will prevent the monetary assets going to unfavorable beneficiaries. Making a will is necessary to avoid unnecessary disputes among the kin related to distribution of property. When there are minor children, it gives a guideline of the passing wish of the deceased to select a guardian and manage the assets till the child attains legal adult age.
There are different ways a person can make a will. As the meaning imparts, it is desire/ wish of the person imparted to others. This desire/wish is considered as the last will of the person before they die. The wills can be categorized as Oral, Deathbed, Holographic, Do-It-Yourself and Self-probating based on the way it was imparted. Oral will being a non-written form of will is the most vulnerable of all. Self- probating will is the least vulnerable and less challenged of all. Deathbed will is most challenged will among all the types. Different elements involved in preparing a will are Testator, Executor, Beneficiary, Probate and Bequest. The optional elements which a Testator can choose in the will are Codicil and Trust. When the will is not available or valid then that person becomes Intestate.
Passing on beneficiary of the owned assets to favorable people is not enough. Their right must be protected by mentioning the desire to disinherit the unfavorable kin members. This is also possible when mentioned in the will. It is possible to disinherit the children completely of the monetary assets, which is not allowed for a spouse. The spouse cannot be disinherited completely; rather one-third or half of the asset share has to go to the wife. It is also possible to make a Living Will for medical uncertainties faced like living on a life support, terminal illness or any other life threatening conditions. Here the person can in advance put their wish in writing about right to die, in keeping them alive or let them die when they encounter such situations. Legal wills are even helpful in determining the way the funeral arrangements have to be made, what to do with their lifeless body.
To protect estate and death tax on any inheritance passed, it is a better option to form a trust while passing the inheritance. When there are clauses present in accepting inheritance from a deceased person’s assets, it will only be passed on when the clause is accepted. If it is not accepted then it might get divided among other beneficiaries or go to Government instead. Many assets of deceased who do not have any kin are acquired by the Government.
If possible anyone can make a will to be prepared for the worst case scenario. But it is essential to make a Legal Will after put in writing. Only when the will is legalized the contents can take effect. The will can also be changed/amended in future depending on the person’s wish. The latest dated will before death is considered by the court. In case this is invalid, then the original will be considered or the person is treated as Intestate in the eyes of law. It is always for the best to prepare will with assistance from solicitors to avoid or minimize challenging opportunities from non-beneficiary kin of the deceased. Even when the original will is lost a copy will be available with the solicitor, executor and probate. Legal wills are helpful in removing uncertainties of distribution of assets and communicate the last wishes of the deceased after their death to their kin.