Characteristics Of A Will & Why You Should Have One

There are some important features every will should have.

  • Legal Declaration: The documents purporting to be a Will must be in legal form i.e. in conformity with the law and must be executed by a person legally competent to make it.
  • Disposition of Property: The declaration should relate to disposition of property of the person making the Will.
  • Death of the Testator: The declaration as regards the disposal of the property must be intended to take effect after the Testator’s death.
  • Revocability: The essence of every Will is that it is revocable during the life time of the Testator.
  • Execution: An unsigned Will is a worthless paper and its contents are not enforceable. Consequently, it is important for a Will to be duly signed by the Testator in the presence of at least 2 witnesses; and by the witnesses in the presence of the Testator.
  • Advantages Of Having A Will
    Below are some of the obvious advantages of having a Will over dying intestate (i.e. dying without a Will).

  • Distribution of your assets will not be left to the State or greedy relatives
  • A Will is traditionally cheaper to prepare than other Estate Planning Instruments
  • You can choose your funeral arrangements
  • You can appoint ‘Guardians’ to look after your children
  • A surviving unmarried partner will have no automatic claim to any part of your estate
  • Business partners may be left exposed, putting the business at risk
  • Disputes may arise among members of your family as to how your estate is to be distributed and part of that estate may be used up in legal costs in resolving that dispute
  • It enables you appoint executors who will act in accordance with your wishes
  • After the death of an executor, there would be no need for fresh grant of Letters of Administration
  • You can give particular gifts or sums of money to specific individuals
  • You can benefit charities
  • You can create trusts in your Will for your children, give instructions as to who will look after them and provide a framework for looking after their financial needs until they are sufficiently mature to do so themselves;
  • You can make provision for the continuation and hand over of your business and you can give due consideration to claims on your estate from first and second families
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