Advantages to have a Last Will and Testament
ADVANTAGES HAVING A LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT?
A will and testament are legal documents which contained specific commands by the testator or a will maker on what to do with the assets upon that person’s death. In short, a last will and testament enables the testator to distribute the assets according to his or her wishes.
Who are the parties to the will?
There are several parties that will be involved in the making of a will.
What are the requirements to make a valid will?
It is crucial for a will created to be in compliance with requirements and formalities that have been set out in the Wills Act 1999 to ensure that the will is valid and be able to be executed. These are the things that a will maker has to keep in mind when creating a will:
- The testator must be of sound mind and has attained the age of majority.
- The testator must possess testamentary capacity which are the mental capacity, has the intention and exercises genuine free choice in the making of the will.
- The will must be made in writing.
- The will must be signed by the testator. It must be noted that if the will is to be signed by some other person, the signing must be in the presence of the testator and by his instruction. The absence of any one of these will render the will to be invalid.
- The act of signing the will by the testator must be witnessed by at least two persons and be attested.
- The will must be signed by the witnesses in the presence of each other and also in the presence of the testator.
Why does having a last will and testament bring a lot of advantages?
First of all, a will and testament communicate the testator’s wishes on how and to whom the assets shall be bequeathed. By way of will, the testator is at liberty to name persons he wishes his assets to be distributed to. This includes to give it to the loved ones, to be donated for charity purposes, to be given to an organisation, and etc as the testator desires.
Secondly, in the presence of the last will and testament, the assets of the testator upon his or her death will be distributed accordingly. Unlike when the testator died intestate, the assets or property of the deceased testator will be distributed among surviving family members according to the Distribution Act 1958. Distribution of estate according to the Act will not necessarily bequeath the testator’s estate according to the testator’s wishes.
Thirdly, by way of creating a will and testament, the testator is at liberty to appoint the executor of his or her choice. Appointing an executor who is reliable, can be trusted and would honour your requests is important to avoid any unwanted event. On the contrary, if a person died without leaving a will, a person who has interest in the estate of the deceased may apply to become the administrator. The application must be consented by all of the beneficiaries which at some point, can cause disagreements and delays in executing the estate.
Fourth, a will and testament may help to avoid any disputes among the family members as to who should obtain what and how much. A will and testament help the testator to allocate his or her property according to his wishes and which he deems fit and just.
Last but not least, the process of distribution involving a valid will is much faster compared to distribution made according to the Distribution Act 1958. Distribution according to the Act could take up to 2 to 5 years to be settled. When it comes to the process of executing a will, an executor of a will needs to obtain permission from the court to execute the will. Once the permission is granted, the executor will be able to proceed with the distribution as has been commanded by the testator.
If you have any questions or require any additional information, please contact our lawyer that you usually deal with.