Wills, Living Wills and Probate For Beginners

Wills and Probate

Probate can be quite a complex area of our legal system. Many people seem to have a ‘D.I.Y.’ mentality to the formation of wills and while sometimes this may be a far cheaper option, it may not necessarily be a legally binding document.

If you really do know what you’re doing and have sufficient knowledge of probate law, there is absolutely nothing preventing you from formulating your own will. However, there are a number of official legal formalities that need to be implemented, to ensure that the will is legally binding in the event of your death.

With this in mind, it is always more prudent for you to approach a solicitor where your last will and testament is concerned. At least this way, you can rest assured that your loved ones would be provided for, when you have gone; and even more importantly, the Government will not have access to your money. The solicitor will also be able to advise you on any inheritance tax that may be relevant.

There are some extremely helpful sights on the internet that will offer guidance and accurate support for you when you are looking to compile your own will. To ensure the most up-to-date accuracy, it is imperative that you only consult the sites that have been put together through an official Government body. Try to steer clear of the ‘ten-a-penny’ sites that usually only offer very basic, and in some cases inaccurate, advice.

It is very important to remember that if you do not have a legally binding will at the time of your death, the Government would have the final say on how your money and assets should be dealt with. Having paid taxes and bowed down to the greedy Government all of your life, the very last thing you want is for them to interfere after your death as well. Make sure you cut out their entitlement to have a say over your estate and get a legally binding will firmly in place.

Another type of will that I would like to draw your attention to here is a living will. This is more to do with your wishes as an individual, if you are ever faced with having to undergo certain types of medical treatment in later life. When the ‘Big Brother’ Government controls nearly all aspects of our life nowadays, this is one vital way of maintaining your autonomy and right to decide what and what should not happen to you in the future.

Within a living will, you are free to stipulate the types of treatment you would not like to face in the future. For a living will to be valid, you would have to prove that you were in sound mind, at the time of writing it. You should also ensure that your relatives are aware of the existence of the living will, so that they can act upon it, in the unfortunate event of medical treatment being brought into question.

Probate is and always will be viewed with dubious suspicion and fear by many people. But when you consider the fact that death is the only certainty that exists in life, it is time to get a grip on reality and take the bull by the horns. We are all going to die and it is entirely up to us to set out what should happen with our possessions and our actual bodies, as and when that dreaded time comes.

A grieving relative cannot always be expected to remember every last detail you would have told them when you were alive. Grief can do many strange things to people and it is at such a time that wills and living wills can come to the fore and sort out the final arrangements once and for all.


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