Wills and Probate
Chreighton and Reis Associates provide a full service to our clients to create Wills and administer estates. A will is the most important document most of us will ever sign. It is usually the only way we can ensure our assets are distributed in the way we intend after we die.
Due to uncertainties of life, we recommend you don’t delay in making a Will or changing one to meet your wishes. All too often we put off arranging our affairs, thinking we will have plenty of time in the future to sort everything out. Dying without a Will more than likely will have the result that your estate is not distributed how you would have wanted.
The general matters you need to consider before drafting a Will include:
- who will be the executors and trustees of your estate;
- are there any specific gifts that you would like to leave such as family heir looms to particular recipients;
- who will be the recipients of the remainder of your estate and in what proportions.
You can name guardians for your children, establish trusts and donate to worthy charities through the use of your Will. You can also make it known if you want to donate organs, be buried or cremated and what you where you want your remains to finally rest.
You should review your Will regularly to make sure that it meets your current needs and wishes. Our solicitors recommend that you consider this important document at least once every 3 years and every time there is a change in circumstances in your life. There are events that arise in that may act to invalidate your Will or parts of your Will, for example, marriage and divorce. Also consider if you have children or grandchildren if their interests are considered in your current Will. If an executor or trustee you have nominated is no longer able to act, then that should also be changed.
Chreighton and Reis Associates are not only able to assist you with your estate arrangements, but can represent you if things go wrong; you may have been omitted from a will or arrangements made need defending. See Contesting Wills for more information.
Powers of attorney
Powers of attorneys can be as important documents as Wills and in most cases, we provide an enduring power of attorney free of charge with each Will we draft. Powers of Attorney allow a nominated person or persons to perform various functions on your behalf. Such functions could include dealing with your finances or health matters if you are incapacitated or simply making decisions on your behalf in your absence. Powers of Attorney can be for a single event, for example, signing a document whilst you are on holidays or alternatively for an indefinite period.
There are two types of power of attorney:
- general power of attorney; and
- enduring power of attorney.
A general power of attorney is used to give someone the power to make financial decisions for you when you are away such as overseas and need someone else to sell your house or meet other financial obligations. An enduring power of attorney is generally used for when you are unable to make decisions for yourself, usually due to illness or an accident. A decision of your attorney has the same effect as if you made the decision yourself.
You will need to register the power of attorney in London or Madrid with the Land Titles Office if the attorney is buying or selling land on your behalf. You are able to revoke a power of attorney at any time. There are instances where a power of attorney will come to end as well, such as if you get married, divorced or die, so you need to keep in mind that changes may need to be made in certain situations or new powers prepared.