WILLS AND ESTATES

Your will is one of the most important documents that you will prepare. There are however, many rules and laws that govern the making of wills so you should ensure that you consult a solicitor to ensure that your loved ones will not be caught in costly litigation after you have passed away. 
DO I NEED A WILL?
Do you own property? Do you own a car? Do you have money in the bank? Then you should have a will. Having a properly drafted will in place will save your loved ones a lot of time and potential stress if you were to pass away. Your will does not need to be lengthy but precisely outline your wishes once you have passed away. 
CAN I WRITE MY OWN WILL?
There are many DIY will kits available for purchase which may seem like a more attractive option. However, there are many laws that govern the making and signing of wills. It is imperative that your will is drafted and signed properly, so that it can be a valid document used after you have passed away. For piece of mind, you should see a lawyer to have your will drafted. 
WHAT IS AN ENDURING POWER OF ATTORNEY?
Whilst most people know that they need a will, many people do not know that they can create an enduring power of attorney which will allow someone to make decisions on their behalf if not able to themselves. Sometimes a serious accident may leave you unable to make your decisions, or conditions like dementia slowly deplete your mental capacity. It is then that an enduring power of attorney can be invoked to take care of your personal matters and your financial matters. 
HOW DO I MAKE A CLAIM ON THE ESTATE?
If you consider that you have been left out of a will or have not be left an adequate gift, you may be eligible to make a claim for further entitlement. Only specific persons are eligible to make such a claim and a number of factors needs to be considered. There are also strict time limits for making a claim so if you think you might be entitled, you should seek legal advice without delay. 
WHAT IS PROBATE?
For many estates, before assets can be released a Grant of Probate will be required. The Supreme Court is responsible for issuing a Grant of Probate after they have considered whether the will is valid. Many things can cause a will to be considered invalid which can cause problems in administering the estate. To obtain a Grant of Probate, applications and affidavits needs to be filed and it is best to appoint a solicitor to assist you in this process.  

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