Burnetts logo

Wills, Probate & Trusts FAQs

Your inheritance questions answered

Wills, Probate & Trusts FAQs

What do I do if I am asked to take care of arrangements after a death?

  • Register the death at the Registry of Births, Marriages and Deaths
  • Contact a funeral director to make the funeral arrangements
  • Put together a list of assets valued as at the date of death
  • Ascertain whether the deceased has any debts
  • Take this information to a solicitor or direct to your local Probate Registry if you feel comfortable in dealing with these formalities

What is an executor?

The person who you choose to be responsible for your funeral arrangements and who will ensure that your wishes, as contained in your will, are followed.  Members of your family and beneficiaries can be executors.

I already have a will but am about to get married. What should I do?

You should make a new will. Marriage automatically revokes an existing will unless that will is made specifically in anticipation of marriage. Therefore, either make a new will in anticipation of marriage before the wedding or a new will shortly afterwards.

Should I have a will?

It is preferable, so that you can specify who is to benefit after your death. If your net assets are above the nil rate band you may have to pay inheritance tax

Also, executors under a will can deal with your assets immediately after death. Administrators on an intestacy (ie, where there is no will) have to wait until they are given authority following submission of the documents to the Probate Registry.

Who can witness my will?

Anyone over 18. If, however, a beneficiary witnesses a will, they will lose their inheritance but the remaining part of the will is still valid.

Can I leave a property to someone just for their lifetime and also say who receives it after their death?

Yes, it is reasonably straightforward for your will to create ‘trusts’ by which you can provide for two or more people to have the benefit of an interest in succession.

Who to contact

Martyn Wrightson profile photo

Martyn Wrightson

Martyn is a Partner and a member of the Wills, Probate & Trusts team.