According to Will Aid, around 80% of people in Northern Ireland don’t have a will, do you? It might not be one of the most enjoyable tasks you do but it is one of the most important. With October being wills month we thought we would answer some of the top questions people have.
Why make a will?
Making a will gives you the opportunity to specify who would get what you own (including your home) if you were to die.
What will happen to my home if I don’t make a will?
If you don’t make a will, a set of laws called the ‘Intestacy Rules’ will determine who would get your property. This may or may not be what you would want to happen.
Will my home not just automatically go to my husband, wife or partner?
Not necessarily. It all depends what type of tenant you are.
If you own a home with another person and you own the home as joint tenants, then your home will normally pass automatically to the other person if you were to die. You should still make a will to cover all the other assets that you own.
If you own a home as tenants in common, if you die then your share in the home will be dealt with under the terms of your will or under the intestacy rules if you do not leave a will.
When you purchased your home, your lawyer should have discussed this with you.
What is an Executor?
An executor is someone that you will name in your will who should deal with your affairs and make sure that your wishes are carried out if you die. Your executor should be someone you trust to do this.
What is a Guardian?
A guardian is someone who will look after your children in the event of your death.
This is only a very brief outline of wills and, as it is a complex area and everybody’s circumstances are different, we recommend talking to your solicitor about making a will.
 Claire McNeilly, Belfast Telegraph, September 2018