When to get a will and why

Best to be up-to-date

Kapi-Mana News - - OPINION -

What is a will, why do I need one, what should be in one and when should I get one?

A will is an ex­pres­sion of your wishes about what you want to hap­pen af­ter you die.

Its main pur­pose is usu­ally to ex­plain how your prop­erty and pos­ses­sions should be di­vided up af­ter you are gone.

It can also be about guardian­ship of your chil­dren, gifts you would like to leave, and even what mu­sic you would like at your fu­neral.

Ev­ery will is unique and ev­ery adult should have one.

If you do not have a valid will, the law dic­tates who will in­herit your prop­erty and this may not be in ac­cor­dance with your wishes.

It is im­por­tant to keep your will up-to-date, es­pe­cially when there are ma­jor changes in your life, such as:

When you di­vorced.

Your will be­comes void if you get di­vorced as far as it re­lated to your ex-part­ner, but if you have sep­a­rated and not yet di­vorced, then your ex-part­ner would still be en­ti­tled to any gifts un­der your will.

Your will is also void if you re­marry.

get mar­ried


When you en­ter into, or end, a de facto re­la­tion­ship. When you have chil­dren. When you start a busi­ness. When you buy sig­nif­i­cant prop­erty. When you in­herit money. What should be in a will? You need to ap­point ex­ecu­tors/ trustees. They are the peo­ple who are re­spon­si­ble for ad­min­is­ter­ing your will.

You need to say who the ben­e­fi­cia­ries are.

That is, the peo­ple who will re­ceive your prop­erty un­der your will.

You need to pro­vide their full names and re­la­tion­ship to you, and set out how your es­tate should be di­vided be­tween them.

You also need to say what will hap­pen if they die be­fore you.

If your ben­e­fi­cia­ries are chil­dren, you can spec­ify how old they have to be be­fore they in­herit un­der your will.

If no age is stip­u­lated, they would re­ceive their dis­tri­bu­tion on turn­ing 20.

If you have chil­dren aged un­der 18, your will should say who you would like to be their le­gal guardians, if you and their other par­ent have passed away.

You can spec­ify any spe­cial gifts you want to make to any­body.

For ex­am­ple, you can say that you want a friend to have a par­tic­u­lar piece of art­work, or you can give a sum of money to a char­ity.

You can also set out any rel­e­vant mat­ters re­gard­ing your fu­neral and what you want to hap­pen to your re­mains. Spe­cial rules There are spe­cial rules for com­plet­ing a will, and the law gen­er­ally re­quires strict com­pli­ance with th­ese.

The per­son mak­ing the will must sign it in front of two in­de­pen­dent wit­nesses, who must also sign it in front of each other.

If th­ese rules are not fol­lowed, some gifts may fail, or the whole will may be void.

Fol­low­ing the ar­ti­cle on trees, G asks: Who is re­spon­si­ble for the cost of mak­ing safe a group of trees that has been of­fi­cially deemed as haz­ardous to a neigh­bour?

If trees are caus­ing a nui­sance be­cause of the dan­ger posed to a neigh­bour’s prop­erty, then the owner of the trees is re­spon­si­ble for the cost of re­mov­ing the dan­ger, per­haps by cut­ting back the tree branches or roots, or even re­mov­ing the trees com­pletely if nec­es­sary.

A court or dis­putes tri­bunal will de­ter­mine the li­a­bil­ity and work needed to be done if agree­ment can­not be reached.

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