What is a Guardian and what is their role?

The role of a guardian is a very important one if you have children under the age of 18. Should you die without making a will or if you do not appoint guardians in you will, your children could be placed in care until the court appoints an official guardian.

This would obviously result in distress for your children and other family members. Appointing guardians safeguards against this happening.

What is an Executor and what is their role?

Executors are the people who will be responsible for carrying out your wishes and for sorting your estate when you die.

They will need to collect all assets of the estate, deal with all the paperwork and pay any debts, taxes, funeral expenses and administration costs out of the money in the estate. They will then be responsible for transferring any legacies to the beneficiaries named in your will.

It is important to choose the people that you appoint as executors with care since the job requires a great deal of responsibility. You should always ensure that the person you are looking to appoint is willing to take on the responsibility.

What are Mirror Wills?

Mirror Wills are two separate Wills, that are the same, or have the same executors/beneficiaries. Mirror Wills are usually made by Couples. For example, a Husband and Wife leave all assets to each other and when they both die, they leave everything to their children.

Can my family witness my Will?

No, family members should not witness your Will, nor should anyone that is benefitting from your Will. If they do sign as a witness, they will lose their entitlement under the Will. Witnesses should also be over 18 years old.

What if I die without having a Will in place?

Not having a Will in place at the time of your death means you will die Intestate. Dying intestate means the law decides what happens to your estate and assets. This could mean that people you would not want to inherit your assets, do. Also, if you are not married your partner would not receive anything without a Will in place.

What is a Will?

A Will is probably the most important legal document you will sign in your life. It allows you to declare what happens to your estate and assets when you die. It also lets you appoint an executor who will ensure your Will is carried out correctly in accordance with your wishes.