Is It Really Necessary to Write a Will?


Everybody has the right to create their own last Will and testament to be read after they’ve past away. There are now a couple of ways in which you can create your own will and if your situation is simple, you can do it yourself using an online template without even needing a lawyer. But is it really necessary to write a Will?

Every adult has the right to make a Will. In addition, there are only a few technical requirements that must be met: In some cases, the Will must be signed by at least two witnesses. Witnesses should watch you sign the will, although they do not need to read it. Your witnesses in most countries must be people who will not inherit anything from the Will. If your Will does not require witnesses then you will still need to register and sign the Will.

Your Will does not need to be notarised. In many countries, however, if you and your witnesses sign an affidavit before a notary, you can help simplify the court procedures needed to prove the validity of the Will after death. You do not need to register or submit your Will to a government agency, although it may be registered or submitted in several countries. Just keep your Will in a safe, accessible place and make sure that the person in charge of managing your assets (the contractor) knows where it is.

It isn’t a legal requirement to hire a lawyer to write your Will and most people do not need the help of a lawyer to make a basic Will - one that leaves a home, monetary assets and personal belongings to your loved ones and, if you have young children, to appoint a guardian to take care of them. Creating a basic Will rarely involve complex legal rules, and most people can create their own Will with the help of a good software program or online template like Kwaetus. If you have questions that have yet to be answered, or your situation is more unusual, you can contact us and we will refer you to a trusted lawyer. 

I Don't Have a Lot of Property. Can I Just Make a Handwritten Will?

Handwritten, unnamed wills, called "holographic" wills, are legal in about 25 countries. In order to be valid, a holographic will must be written and signed in the handwriting of the person creating the Willl; in some countries it must also be dated. Some countries allow you to use a form to fill out forms if the rest of the Will is handwritten and is properly dated and signed.

The holographic Will is certainly better than nothing if it is valid in your country. But a signature signed in front of witnesses is better. If the holographic Will is presented before a testamentary court, the court may be unusually strict when examining it to make sure it is legal. It’s a good idea to seek professional guidance from a trusted source or reliable lawyer to ensure your Will has been produced correctly, otherwise it may not be deemed valid!

Can I Use My Will To Appoint A Guardian To Take Care Of My Young Children And Manage Their Property?

Yes. If both parents of a child die or otherwise become unable to care for a minor child, another adult - called a "personal guardian" - must be appointed. The personal guardian will be responsible for raising your children until they become adults. You and the other parent of the child can use your wills to appoint an individual to fill this position. To avoid conflict, both parents must appoint the same person to become the legal guardian. You can appoint them directly on Kwaetus

You can choose the same guardian to manage the property you leave to your children (if they’re under the age of 18 years), or you can nominate another person for this role. You can specify a "guardian of the property" or a "trustee" to manage the property. You can simply appoint a property guardian to manage any property that the child inherits, if there is no other way (such as trust) to handle it. The guardian will manage the property until the child turns 18.

You can use your Will to build a trust for each property that the child inherits and you may appoint a trustee to manage the trust property until the child reaches the age you’ve specified. If you have more than one child, you may want to create just one trust for all of your children. This agreement is usually called a trust. You can appoint a guardian to decide what each child needs and how the money is spent.

Do I Have to Leave Something to My Husband and Children?

Depending on where you live, your spouse or partner may automatically have the legal right to 50% of the property in which you share after you die. While married couples will have more rights over the assets of their other half, if an unmarried couple has been co-inhabiting in the property for more than two years, they will automatically have legal rights to the property. In cases where your spouse or partner does not have automatic rights to your residential property or assets, they may contest your Will if they go through the legal channels. If you do not plan to leave at least half of your property to your spouse, you should consult a lawyer - unless your spouse readily agrees in writing to your plan.

There is nothing to say that you have to leave your children any inheritance by law. Of course, most parents write their children into their Wills, it is not a legal requirement. Sometimes a child is accidentally left out of a Will. This is a common issue if the child in question was born after you’d made the Will and it was left unchanged. The child then has the right to claim part of your property. This comes under the topic: “Inheritance Rights.” Always make sure you create your Will on Kwaetus and you can update as your life events change. That way, you can share to your children in advance your last wishes. 

Can a Person Contest My Will After I Die?

It’s very rare for anybody to contest your will in court. When a will is contested, it is usually from a close relative who feels that they were owed more from the deceased’s estate than they received. For a will to be declared invalid, a person must go to court and prove that there is a fatal defect in the document. For example, the signature was forged, you were not in a stable mental state when you made the will, or you were wrongfully influenced by someone.

What Will Happen If I Die Without Having Written a Will?

If you do not make a will or use any other legal method to transfer your property when you die, state law will determine what will happen to your property. It will usually go to your spouse and children or, if you are unmarried and without children, to other close relatives. If there are no living relatives to inherit your property, it will go to the state. In addition, in the absence of a will, the court will determine who will take care of your young children and their property if the other parent is not present or is unable to do so. If you are part of an unmarried couple, your surviving partner will not inherit anything unless you live in one of the few countries that allow registered domestic partners to inherit as spouses.


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