Q&A: Wills and Estate Planning
Most would agree that a Will is one of the most important documents that we will create in our lifetime. When we do create a Will or sort out our Estates, we want to get it right and have all our questions answered. Due to the current pandemic, our Solicitors have seen a surge in anxious client’s wanting to amend or create a Will. In this article, Private Client Senior Associate and our Head of Private Client at our London Moorgate Office, Precious Igbokwe answers some frequently asked questions discussing the big questions about Wills and Estate Planning:
- What is the difference between a Will and Estate Planning?
A Will is a legal document that expresses a person’s wishes as to what should happen to their assets after their death. A Will can also include funerals wishes and can also appoint guardians for minor children.
Estate planning is the process of planning and arranging for the management and disposal of your estate during your life, in the event of your passing or if you become incapacitated.
- Who is entitled to see a Will after death?
The executors of the Will are the only ones entitled to see the Will before probate is granted. If a beneficiary or anyone else wants to see the Will it would have to be with the executors’ approval.
However, once probate has been granted the Will becomes a public document. If you wish to find out whether a Will has been proved (probated) then you can search for public Wills along with the grant of probate at the probate search service, click here to view this service.
- What does it mean when a Will has been probated?
When a Will has been probated it has been reviewed by the Court and determined to be valid and authentic. The Court will then issue a court sealed legal document called the grant of probate, which confirms that the executor has the authority to deal with the deceased person's assets (property, money and belongings). This is called 'administering the estate'.
- What is a power of attorney?
A Power of Attorney is a document in which one person (the Donor) appoints another person (the Attorney) to act for him or her. There are many reasons why you might decide to use a power of attorney.
For example, if you are going to be out of the country for a lengthy period of time, you might want someone to do your banking while you are gone. If you are approaching old age, you may want to give a Power of Attorney to a person you trust so that he or she can manage your financial affairs or health and welfare for you.
- What is a will trust?
A Will trust is a trust created in a Will that takes effect on the testator’s death. Trusts are legal entities that allow someone to benefit from an asset without being the legal owner. You can specify what the trust provides each beneficiary, or let the trustees have discretion over how and when they distribute funds.
If you are looking for more information regarding Wills and Estate Planning, contact Precious Igbokwe.
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