In some cases there may be a clause in the title deeds called a 'survivorship destination' clause. These clauses can override what it says about the property in a will.
A solicitor can give advice about the impact of these clauses. Executors are the people who will be responsible for carrying out your wishes and for sorting out your estate property and possessions. They will have to collect together all the assets of the estate and deal with all the paperwork. They may have to pay all the debts, taxes, funeral and administration costs out of money in the estate. They will need to pay out the financial assets and other possessions and transfer any property to beneficiaries.
They may have to sort out the problems that exist because there isn't enough money in the estate to pay all the debts due but anyone in this situation should seek further help. It is not necessary to appoint more than one executor although it is advisable to do so, for example, in case one of them dies. It is common to appoint at least two people as executors but up to four executors can take on responsibility for administering the will after a death.
This may be necessary if you have a lot of possessions and property and there is too much to do for one or even two executors. You can appoint a social media executor if you think the person you have asked to be the executor does not have sufficient new technology skills to know what to do with any digital assets.
You can appoint an odd number of executors if you think there could be disagreements. This could mean that deadlock in any decision making is avoided. People most commonly appointed as executors are: It is important to choose executors with considerable care as their job involves a great deal of work and responsibility. You should always approach someone first if you are thinking of appointing them as an executor in your will. If someone does not want to be named as an executor in your will they can refuse.
If you do not appoint any executors in your will the court will have to do this after your death. Once the court appoints an executor that person cannot resign or take on other executors without going back to the court for permission. If an executor dies, any other surviving executor s can deal with the estate.
If there are no surviving executors, the court can appoint one. Once a will has been made the original document should be kept in a safe place and other documents should not be attached to it as this can make it more difficult to find.
There are a number of places where you can keep a will: When a will has been made, it is important to keep it up to date to take account of changes in circumstances. It is advisable for you to reconsider the contents of a will regularly to make sure that it still reflects your wishes and what you own. The most common changes of circumstances which affect who you want to leave your property to are: If you do not change your will after a marriage or registration of a civil partnership the existing will is still valid.
From 1 November , getting divorced or ending a civil partnership does affect a will. You may want to change your will because there has been a change of circumstances. You must not do this by amending the original will yourself after it has been signed and witnessed.
Any obvious alterations to the will are assumed to have been made at a later date, do not form part of the original legally valid will and can give rise to expensive legal proceedings to establish which is the valid will. A codicil is a supplement to a will which makes some alterations but leaves the rest of it intact. This might be done, for example, to increase a cash legacy, change an executor or guardian named in a will, or to add beneficiaries.
A codicil must be signed by the person who made the will and be witnessed in the same way as the original will was witnessed. However, the witnesses do not have to be the same as for the original will. There is no limit to how many codicils can be added to a will but they are only suitable for very straightforward changes. If a complicated change is involved, for example, because a main beneficiary has died, it is usually advisable to make a new will. If you wish to make major changes to a will, it is advisable to make a new one.
The new will should begin with a clause stating that it revokes all previous wills and codicils. The old will should be destroyed. Revoking a will means that the will is no longer legally valid. If you want to destroy a will, you must burn it, tear it up or otherwise destroy it with the clear intention that it is revoked. There is a risk that if a copy subsequently reappears or bits of the will are reassembled , it might be thought that the destruction was accidental.
You must destroy the will yourself or it must be destroyed in your presence. If a will is destroyed accidentally, it is not revoked and can still be declared valid if there is a copy available.
Its validity would have to be proven in court. Although a will can be revoked by destruction, it is always advisable that a new will should contain a clause revoking all previous wills and codicils. If you want to challenge a will, you should seek legal advice as soon as possible after being told of the content of the will. Your local Citizens Advice Bureau can give you a list of solicitors - where to get advice.
You may wish to consider granting power of attorney at the same time as writing a will. Many people make the mistake of assuming that executors will automatically be granted a power of attorney should an accident or illness lead to a serious and permanent mental or physical impairment. A power of attorney must be drawn up separately and it is usually advisable for a solicitor to do this for you. Skip to navigation Skip to content Skip to footer. Benefits Benefits - introduction Help if on a low income Sick or disabled people and carers Universal Credit Child Benefit Children and young people Coming from abroad and claiming benefits Older people View all in Benefits.
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Top links Getting married Birth certificates Ending a relationship when you're living together Kinship care Wills. Top links Finding accommodation Common problems with renting Neighbour disputes Antisocial behaviour Tenancy agreements. Others, such as family members, can also act as executors. If there is no will, it may be necessary to apply to the sheriff court to appoint an executor. A solicitor will have to prepare the forms for the court to appoint the executor.
Changes can easily be made to wills - a solicitor will ensure they are legally binding. It is important to keep your will safe. If your solicitor has drawn up the will, he or she will usually keep the original and send you a copy. A simple will can cost very little. Others may qualify for legal aid funding. Give you solicitor a call today to discuss your options and the likely costs. You could try contacting the Registers of Scotland on Finally, you can check with a Sheriff Court in the appropriate district as on certain occasions they may be able to help.
Solicitors must not write a will for a client where they or anyone close to them such as a spouse or business partner will benefit from that will. Where these situations arise, the solicitor must advise the client to use another firm of solicitors. It could also be the case that the solicitor in question does not specialise in private client work. Made by Gecko Agency Limited.
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Close Where can I study the Diploma? What can firms or employers do? Home For the public What solicitors can do for you Making a will. The contents of a will. How a solicitor can help. Acting as an executor. Keeping a will safe.
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