What legal things do I need to think about when a loved one has passed away?

When a loved one has passed away, it can be difficult to focus on the legal aspects of the situation. The right solicitors will be able to guide you carefully through all of the different things that need doing after they have gone, and they can make the process much easier to deal with. This allows you to focus on the things that matter most to you, and be able to celebrate their life.

The function of their will

It is always important to leave a will, and hopefully your loved one will have employed the use of a will writing service. Drafting a will on your own can be a complicated process, depending on your circumstances. If you have a particularly large family, then it may take a lot of calculations to work out who will be left what. Some of the main considerations that will of had to be included in your loved one’s will include:

       The value of their estate

This includes how much money they have in bank accounts and pension funds, any property and/or land they own and any investments they have made.

       Who they would like to benefit from their Will

This could mean that they have left people a certain percentage of their money, as well as certain possessions such as jewellery, or property.

       Who will look after any children they may have

Any of their children who are under the age of 18 will have to be assigned a legal guardian in their place.

       Who they want to execute the details of their will

This will be the appointed person who will sort out the estate and carry out their wishes

In order for their will to be legal, it needs to adhere to the criteria that is laid down in law under the Wills Act 1937. This is why it is always the best course of action to get a professional will writer to deal with the document. A will is also only ever legal if you:

       Are 18 years old or over,

       Write it voluntarily

       Are of sound mind

       Sign it in the presence of two witnesses who are over 18, and

       Have two witnesses sign it in your presence

What is probate?

Probate UK is another topic that will come up in the process of sorting out the wishes of a loved one who has gone. Probate is the name for the legal process that it is sometimes necessary to go through in order to deal with your loved one’s estate once they have passed away.

If somebody passes with a valid Will, then you apply for a Grant of Probate and if somebody passes away without a Will then you apply for Letters of Administration. There are other types of Probate we may apply for, however this depends on the circumstances surrounding the will, or lack of one.

Once Probate has been granted, the assets can then be released to the beneficiaries. Whether or not Probate is necessary will depend on the total value of the estate. Whether the assets were held solely in one name or jointly with a partner before passing away will also play a part in determining whether Probate is necessary.

When dealing with wills and probate, the helping hand of a professional is always recommended. 


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