- Do I need a solicitor?
No, you do not usually need a solicitor to write your Will. As long as your Will is worded correctly, it is just as valid as a solicitor writing it for you and is normally a lot cheaper too.
- What makes a Will legally binding?
A Will has to be dated and signed at the end of the Will document in the presence of two independent witnesses (who must not be beneficiaries of the Will), who must also sign the Will in the presence of the person making the Will and in the presence of each other.
Traditionally the witnesses also add their name, address and occupation after their signature which assists in contacting them in case of any doubts being raised about proper execution of the Will.
- What happens if I die without a Will?
How a deceased person’s estate is divided is set out by law. The distribution is determined by how closely individuals are related to you.
- I already have a Will, what will happen to my previous Will?
Any Wills written previously become invalid automatically.
- I have property in another country; can I include this in my Will?
We would advise you to make a Will in the country where the property is.
- How many Wills can I make?
As many as you want, but only the latest one will be effective and all the other Wills will be ignored.
- When do I need to update my Will?
It is sensible to check the terms of your Will each year in case you decide to change your beneficiaries. You may then decide to amend the terms of your Will.
Certain events will make it essential to update your Will such as; marriage, divorce, birth of a child, change in Inheritance Tax rules or change of guardians.
- Who can witness my Will?
Anyone who is aged over 18 years, not a beneficiary of the Will and of sound mind can witness your Will.
- What is a Funeral Plan?
A Funeral Plan is a way of arranging your funeral in advance and paying for it at today’s prices. They will also ensure your funeral accurately reflects your wishes. It protects your estate and your loved ones financially as they will not have to find the money to pay for your funeral. In addition, a plan takes away the stress of arranging a funeral at what will already be a difficult and emotional time.
- Why should I take out a Funeral Plan?
Taking out Life Insurance or using savings to pay for a funeral can seem like a good idea; however life insurances can take a while to pay out after the time of death, meaning your family may not be able to afford the funeral at the time. And, remember, if you take out a Funeral Plan you avoid future price rises by freezing the cost and paying for it in advance at today’s prices.
- What if I change my mind?
If you wish to cancel your Funeral Plan within 28 days of the policy start date, you will receive a full refund. If you have paid by a one-off payment or monthly instalments, cancelling after this period will allow you to receive a refund but you will be liable to pay a cancellation charge of £395.
- What happens if I die before paying all of my monthly instalments?
If you pass away before all of your instalments are paid, then the remaining balance will be requested from your family or your estate. If your family would like your plan to be cancelled, then any money that has been paid minus a cancellation charge of £395 will be refunded. If you chose to pay by fixed monthly payments and make payments for more than two years before you pass away, your funeral will be paid for in full.
- What if I move to a different area?
You can take your plan with you. Remember to let us know your change of address (this must be done in writing) and if necessary, we will assign a new Funeral Director to conduct the funeral. If you let us know before the time of need there will be nothing additional to pay, but if this is done at the time of need then a Preferred Funeral Director fee may apply.
- What is an executor?
For many people, the main concern is that the wishes in their Will are carried out correctly. We make sure that everything you have stated goes to the right person, and that they are treated with care and sensitivity.
- What is probate?
Probate is the authority to deal with somebody’s estate once they have passed away, and it is needed before the wishes in a Will can be carried out. A Grant of Probate, or Grant of Letters of Administration, is the document that must be applied for to get this right. To learn more about probate, and how we can help, please visit our Probate page.
- How long does it take to administer an estate?
Every person‘s estate is different, therefore it is difficult to say just how long it will take, especially when you take into account whether the person has property that must be sold.
Although the process can be a long one, using a professional service like Damsons Estate Administration can help speed things up as the relevant knowledge and experience is already at hand.
- What fee does Damsons Estate Administration charge?
There is only one fixed fee, there are no hidden charges or prices. Our fee is either 3% of the estate or a minimum of £1500 – this is charged after death. For a full list of prices, please visit our prices page.
- I have been appointed an executor, can I use your service?
Yes, whether you would just like some help with the process or would like the work taking off your hands completely. Visit our Being An Executor article to learn more about your role, and how we can help.