Wills and Succession

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  • Wills and Succession
  • Testate Succession
    • To make a will: you must be over 18 and be of sound mind.
      • Exceptions are under 18's in active military service or at sea Wills (Soldiers and sailors) Act 1918 - Re Jones.
  • Requirements of a valid will (Wills Act 1837 amended in 1982)
    • No special form is needed but it must be written or typed.
    • Must be signed by testator or by someone he directs to do it.
    • Must be witnessed by 2 people. - witnesses can be beneficiaries but there must be two other witnesses aswell - Re Bravda
  • Revocation of a will - can be changed any time before death
    • Making another will stating ' i hereby revoke all former wills'.
    • Codicil (alteration)
    • Physical deliberate destruction.
    • Divorce / Remarry
  • Why make a will?
    • You can change your mind and alter it at any time.
    • You can state your funeral wishes.
    • You can appoint someone you trust to deal with your will.
    • Complete freedom of choice of what happens to your money and stuff.
    • Choice on what happens to children.
  • Personal representatives/ executers
    • Someone appointed by testator to carry out the will.
      • Collect debts owed by testator.
      • Pay debts and funeral expenses.
      • Convert shares into money.
      • Distribute the remainder of the estate.
  • Family Provisions
    • Inheritance (provision for family and dependants) Act 1975
      • People can claim if they feel they have cut out of a will or should inherit something
        • The spouse
        • An ex-spouse who hasn't remarried
        • A child
        • A step child/adopted child
        • Anyone being looked after before the death e.g. old relative/mistress.
  • Intestate Succession
    • Governed by the Administration of Estates Act 1925
      • An administrator is appointed.
        • Pay any debts and funeral expenses. They must give the rest away under the intestacy rules.
          • Surviving spouse gets £250,000 plus life interest of half of remaining.Any children share the rest( if under 18 then the money is held in a trust fund),
          • If there is no surviving relatives the money goes to the crown.


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