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Making a Will

Many of us put off making a Will - we don't like to think about our own mortality, and there is always "tomorrow". But making a Will can be one of the most important things you do.   It can help to safeguard the future of your family and your loved ones.    Whilst the law provides for what will happen to your estate if you die intestate (without leaving a Will), this may very well not reflect what you yourself would wish to happen.

Making a Will need not be difficult or expensive.   The consequences of not making a Will, however, can be enormous.  A few hundred pounds spent making a Will now, can ensure that your wishes will be carried out, and that your loved ones are protected.

We can make the process of making your Will quick, simple, and cost effective.

What if I can't make it in to your Office?

If you cannot make it in to our office (if, for example, you have mobility problems and find it difficult to get out, or if you have been admitted to hospital), we will be happy to call out to visit you in order to make your Will.

What information will I need to give?

Wills are very flexible, and it is usually possible to achieve whatever you would wish in your Will. The usual sort of things we would need to know would include the following:
  • your full name
  • your address
  • your occupation or former occupation
  • whether you have previously made a Will
  • where you are "domiciled" (the country which is your permanent home)
  • the names and address of the people you want to appoint as your "Executors" (who will be responsible for sorting out your estate in accordance with your Will)
  • any arrangements you might like to include as to your funeral, burial or cremation
  • details of any money legacies which you would like to make
  • details of any specific items or properties you would like to give
  • who you would like the remainder of your estate to go to (or be divided between)
  • What you would like to happen if a person you have named as a beneficiary dies before you (for example, would you like their husband or wife, or their children, to receive in their place?)
Who can act as Executors?

You  can appoint anyone who is over 18 to act as an Executor,    We recommend that you appoint at least two Executors (in certain circumstances you may need to have at least two), and that they should preferably be Isle of Man residents.  A beneficiary under your Will can act as an Executor (but must not act as a witness when your Will is signed).

If you wish, we can act as Executor of your Will - if perhaps you feel that your family may not want to have that responsibility themselves, or may find it upsetting.   Our charges for acting as Executor of an estate are calculated by reference to the amount of time spent in sorting everything out.

Where should I keep my Will?

You should ensure that your Will is kept safe - it is one of the most important documents you can have.  We will be happy to keep your Will for you at no additional cost, in our secure and fire-resistent Wills Safe.

What will happen to my estate if I don't have a Will?

If you die without having made a Will, then the law makes certain assumptions as to what you would likely have wished to happen to your estate.  The Administration of Estates Act 1991 sets out a list of relatives who would inherit under your intestacy.    The entitlement of the relatives in that list would depend on what relatives you left behind.    If you do not leave behind any relative within the list, then your estate would go to the Crown as "bona vacantia".

The Administration of Estates Act 1991, however, is unlikely to deal with your estate entirely as you would wish, and it can cause additional expense to your estate if distant relatives have to be tracked down.

Making a Will can give you the peace of mind of knowing that your wishes will be carried out, and your loved ones' futures can be protected.

What happens to my Will if I get Married?

Any Will that you have made before your marriage will automatically be revoked when you marry - unless you made that Will specifically in contemplation of that marriage. Accordingly, unless you specifically stated in your Will that it was made in contemplation of that marriage, it would most likely be held to be "revoked" and your estate would then be dealt with according to the intestacy provisions contained in the Administration of Estates Act 1991. You should therefore consider making a new Will if you have married.

What happens to my Will if I get Divorced?

If you get divorced, then your Will would remain valid - but it will be read as if any reference to your former husband or wife were removed. This would only apply from the date of your Final Divorce Order (Decree Absolute). You should review your Will to see if it still reflects your wishes, and to ensure that it deals with the whole of your estate.

What happens if my Will does not deal with all of my assets?

If your Will only deals with some of your assets, then your estate would be "partially intestate". The assets which are effectively disposed of under your Will would be dealt with in accordance with your Will. Any assets not effectively disposed of under your Will would be dealt with in accordance with the intestacy provisions under the Administration of Estates Act 1991. When making a Will it is accordingly important to ensure that your Will deals with all of your assets.

What if I have assets outside the Isle of Man?

Most Wills are drawn up to deal with all of your assets wherever those assets may be located. You can, however, have a Will to deal just with assets in a particular jurisdiction (for example, if you live in England, you may wish to have an English Will prepared to deal with your English assets, and a separate Will drawn up in the Isle of Man to deal with your Isle of Man assets).