We have answered the top 5 most asked questions we encounter about Wills. If your question is not answered below, please feel free to contact us.
Can I Change My Will?
Yes, as long as you have the mental capacity to do so. Therefore, it is important that you review your Will between every 2-5 years, depending on your circumstances.
It is also important to review your Will before this time if say, for example, a major life event occurs, you have a baby or the unexpected death of a loved one.
This does not mean that your Will will need to be amended, but you should check that your wishes are still reflected in your documents.
Can a Will Be Handwritten?
A Will can indeed be handwritten, however, it is not often that we come across a handwritten document now. Most documents are typed for ease but there may be circumstances where this was not possible. Again, as an example, it may be that a Will needs to be written in an emergency.
Can Will Be Signed Electronically?
For a Will to be valid, it must be printed and signed. Additionally, it must be signed in the presence of two independent witnesses, who then must also sign in the presence of each other.
Therefore a Will cannot be signed electronically.
Can My Executor Be My Attorney?
Yes. It is quite often the case that an individual will name the same person to look after their affairs during their lifetime and also when they have passed away. However, you can also name different people for these roles if you wish.
It is important to note that your Will will only be able to be used to access your accounts once you have passed away. If you want to provide someone with authority whilst you are alive then you will need to prepare Lasting Powers of Attorney.
Can My Will Be Contested?
This is a very tricky topic and can be discussed in a post in itself; in short, yes. The law provides individuals with the right to contest a Will on specific grounds. Reasons for which a claim may be brought are:
Claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family & Dependents) Act 1975 - A person is only entitled to bring such a claim if they can prove that they were financially dependent on the deceased. If they believe that the deceased should have made "reasonable provision" for that person in their Will, then they do have the right to bring a claim; or by way of
A challenge based on the validity of the Will - for example, if a person believes that the deceased didn't have the capacity to make a Will, if a person feels that the deceased may have been coerced into making such Will, if the deceased did not know and approve the contents of the document.
The above list is an illustration of the types of claims that can be brought but it is not an exhaustive list.
For a successful claim, the person bringing that claim must be able to prove one of the above which must also be backed up by evidence.
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