Writing

Why a Sound Mind is Essential for Your Last Will and Testament

There is a good reason why you must be of sound mind when you pass over the information necessary for a professional to write your last will and testament, which you will sign in front of witnesses so that the document is 100% valid when it is used, after your death. You have to understand what you’re doing when you make these major decisions in your life about who you are going to leave your estate to, when you are writing your will. Anyone may contest your will after you have died, but if you do not understand the documents that you are signing, individuals may convince a court that your will is invalid. Real court case There was a recent case highlighted on the NottinghamPost.com website, where a person changed their will nine days before they committed suicide, leaving a major part of their estate to someone they didn’t know; their doctor’s daughter. At this time, the situation may look suspicious, but if the person was of a sound mind when they made their will, a court may decide that the decision will stand. It is only if the court can be persuaded that the lady in question changed her will without understanding the implications of what she was doing, will the judge change the direction of the estate so that the closest relatives receive the bungalow and other assets. There is a difficult period where individuals may not understand the decisions being asked for when their last will and testament is being written, but on other occasions they may completely understand because their mental capacity differs by the day or by the hour. Only a doctor qualified in this specialised area, preferably complemented by a qualified witness can lay down in writing that they consider a person of sound mind when the will is read to them, explained and understood. It is better, if not essential, that people named to receive part or all of the estate are kept at an arm’s length from the professionals when you are writing your will. This will prevent anyone influencing you, unduly, when you write your will. Being of unsound mind should not be confused with undue influence where people suggest what you should do with your estate when you are writing your will. However, it is easy to see that where your mind is wavering and you are not...

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10 Horrendous Will Writing Mistakes

Writing a will is not just for the rich and famous. As soon as you own assets it’s best to write your last will and testament so that your finances and the future for your children are taken care of effectively and efficiently. Unfortunately, people make terrible errors writing their own will, which is why you always employ a professional who is an experienced expert. So what are these dreadful errors that people make? The wording of the will becomes ambiguous and it’s not clear what you are leaving for your family, friends and other beneficiaries. This may cause arguments and conflict amongst those who were close to you, before your death. Failure to appoint suitable executors may leave people administering your estate without any due care and attention. Some people try to leave their property to other members of the family, when their spouse or partner still needs to live in it. A will allows you to appoint guardians for your children if they are under 18 years of age if you die before they reach the age to vote. Failing to appoint guardians may mean that the state decides where your children will live and with whom. Not taking account of tax in advance, may lead you to pay 40% inheritance tax on the assets you leave behind when you didn’t need to. A well worded document will make use of tax-free allowances. Without any beneficiaries, your complete estate may pass to the government and you will have missed the opportunity to direct tax-free money to your favourite charities. Where you are unmarried, your partner may not have the right to receive property from you unless you have taken specific actions to ensure that matters are left correctly. By not offering personal effects to certain people, items may need to be sold as family members disagree. There are parts of your estate that you can give away a number of years before you die and receive certain tax advantages. This involves you being well-organised by taking tax advice and writing your will as soon as you can. There might be people that you may not wish to receive anything from your estate, but a poorly worded will may direct your funds straight to their bank account. All of these errors can be corrected by having your last will and testament written by a professional will writer who...

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