Making a Will
It is important for everyone to make arrangements for after their death, especially those who care for another person and those who are cared for.
A Will is simply a legal document by which you decide how your money, property, and possessions are to be distributed after you die. If you die without having making a Will it may be that your money and possessions will not be distributed the way you would have liked them to be. There are rules that dictate how the money and possessions of a person who has not made a Will should be allocated.
• If you and your partner are unmarried or have not registered a civil partnership you cannot inherit from each other unless there is a Will. The death of one partner may create serious financial problems for the remaining partner.
• If you have children, you will need to make arrangements for the children to be cared for if one or both parents die.
• If your circumstances have changed you may need to amend your current Will to reflect those changes. It may be that you and your partner have separated and your ex-partner now lives with someone else. If you are married or enter into a registered civil partnership, this will make any previous Will invalid.
If you die without having made a Will, your property will pass by law to your next of kin, or if there are no next of kin, to the Crown.
There are also complicated rules which may mean that if you die leaving a surviving husband or wife; the survivor might not receive your whole estate if you have children. The only way to ensure that your estate passes as you would wish is to make a Will.
Although it is possible to write your Will yourself, an unclear Will can cause a lot of difficulties and delay after your death. There are also special rules about the formality of signing and witnessing a Will which would invalidate a Will if they are not followed. Therefore it is best to get help from a solicitor.
For further information contact:
• Your Solicitor.
• Bournemouth & District Law Society, telephone: 01202 587551 Email: email@example.com www.bournemouthlaw.com – who can recommend a Solicitor in your area if you do not have one.
• Local CAB.
Keeping your Will in a safe place
Your Will should be kept in a safe place with no other documents attached to it. There are a number places to safely keep your Will:
• In your own home.
• Lodged with a Solicitor.
• At a bank (safe deposit box)
• At the Principal Registry of the Family Division of the High Court, a District Registry or Probate Sub-Registry. If you wish to keep your Will in this way you should visit or write to:
The Probate Department
The Principal Registry of the Family Division
First Avenue House
42 – 49 High Holborn
London, WC1V 6NP
Helpline: 0845 3020900
Or visit the following websites for advice: www.GOV.UK www.justice.gov.uk
Challenging a Will
There are strict time limits within which you are able to challenge a Will. You should seek legal advice from a solicitor as soon as possible. Your local CAB can give you a list of local solicitors. The reasons that people may wish to challenge a Will include:
• They believe the Will is invalid.
• They believe they have not been adequately provided for in the Will.
Copies of a Will are available from:
Winchester District Probate Registry
4th Floor Cromwell House
Tel: 01962 897029
Probate is the process of legally establishing the validity of a Will. Form PR48 available free from the CAB, solicitor, or other legal advisor explains how the Executor named in a Will can apply for the special legal certificate he or she needs to deal with the money, property and possessions left by the person who has died. It also explains who else can
apply if there is no Will or if the named Executor is unable to apply. For further information contact:
• Your solicitor
• Bournemouth & District Law Society – tel: 01202 587551
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.bournemouthlaw.com
• Local CAB.