What is a guardian?

Guardians can only be appointed for children under 18. A guardian has parental responsibility (PR) for the child. This means that the guardian can make important decisions about the child’s life in areas such as medical treatment and education. A person who does not have PR, but who has care of a child, has only a limited legal right to do what is reasonable in all the circumstances to safeguard or promote the child’s welfare.

Who should I choose as executor?

Being an executor is a complex and demanding role, often involving large sums of money. First and foremost, choose someone you trust absolutely, but it is also important to check that they are willing to take on the responsibility. It is also sensible to choose a substitute executor, especially if you name your partner as primary executor. This will ensure that you have a fall-back position, for instance if you and your partner were to die at the same time.

What should I do with my will once it is signed?

First of all, don't hide it. If your will cannot be found after your death, you will be deemed to have died intestate, so the effort you put into drafting it will have been wasted. Try to keep it somewhere where it will be protected from fire, flood, damage or loss. You should try to provide your executors with information telling them where your will is stored and how to get hold of it after your death.

What assets will my will cover?

Your will covers your worldwide assets. If you have property outside England and Wales then you should consider whether you need to speak to one of our advisers about putting in place more complex arrangements to take account of your foreign assets. You can dispose of all of your assets by will other than: 1. Assets owned jointly with another person (or persons) as beneficial 'joint tenants'. When two or more people own an asset (such as a house) as joint tenants, that is, joint owners, and one of them dies, the asset automatically passes to the surviving joint owner(s). This will happen regardless of the will of the joint owner that has died. 2. Nominated assets that the testator has directed should, on his or her death, pass to a named individual.

Do I need to include funeral wishes in my will?

An expression of funeral wishes is not legally binding, but is normally followed where possible. A testator may choose, instead, to express their funeral wishes in a separate document which is often kept with the will. As with the will, you should notify your relatives and/or executors where they can find your funeral wishes document if you choose to do this instead of including your wishes in your will.