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U.K. WILLS

A valid Will is the most effective way of ensuring your wishes are carried out after your death. Whilst there is no fixed format in which a Will must be written there are legal processes which must be complied with in order for it to be valid.

Many people write their own Wills and where circumstances are simple this is often the most cost-effective method. However, life is becoming increasingly complex: couples having different home countries, children by previous marriages, separation, divorce and assets held in multiple jurisdictions are all reasons why a professionally prepared Will may be a wiser option.

When approaching an unfamiliar task, such as writing a Will, it takes time to familiarise yourself with what needs to be done and to understand the legal jargon. Even if you wrote a Will several years ago, there will have been changes in legislation and taxation which you need to consider when writing your Will. These details need to be researched and add to the complexity to the situation.

The combination of unfamiliarity, jargon and fine detail add to the risk of potentially getting something wrong and your Will being challenged in court. Consequently, whilst there is a cost in appointing a Will writer, this is a relatively small amount compared to the amount of your time and effort expended; the risk of missing important Estate Planning opportunities and a potential legal challenge to your wishes. Contact us for more information.

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WHAT HAPPENS IF I DO NOT HAVE A WILL?

Why pay for a Will, if you do not need it? In some circumstances, there is no need for a Will. However, for expatriates living in UAE, this is very rare.

Where no valid Will exists or no Will can be found the deceased will be treated as having died ‘intestate’. The treatment of the deceased’s assets depends on factors such as where the assets are located.

For assets in UK, married couples with children have a right to all of their deceased spouse’s personal effects as well as the first £250,000 of the estate plus half of any amount over £250,000. The balance is distributed evenly between the children. This can cause problems. For instance, where the main asset is the matrimonial home and one of the children wants their inheritance causing the property to be sold.

Where there are assets in UAE and there is no Will the situation is complex, local law requires a Sharia scholar to be appointed. This person will oversee the distribution of the assets within UAE in accordance with Sharia principles. The distribution will depend on the relatives of the deceased and others who may make a legitimate claim on the assets such as lenders.

For further information, please contact us.

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