2010 - 2017
Making a Will is not about wealth it is about making sure that what you want to happen to your estate does happen. It gives you the opportunity to specify such things as who will administer your estate, who will care for your children and who will receive specific items of your property.
Probate is the process by which your will is pronounced valid and your executors administer your estate. Where there is no will, the procedure is much the same except that the Court will issue a 'Grant of Letters of Administration' instead of a 'Grant of Probate' and you have no say in who obtains the grant.
For intestate estates, the question of who is entitled to the grant is governed by the intestate succession rules. For example, if your spouse is alive he or she will be the person entitled.
If you leave no spouse but several children, any one of the children may take out the grant. Where there is a minority or life interest involved, there must be two administrators.
If you are divorced with minor children, you need to be aware that failing to make a will could leave your former spouse in charge of your money on your death.
This is because a person under 18 cannot take out a grant to your estate. There will need to be two administrators appointed to take a grant out on the child's behalf and the surviving parent will be the person with the prior entitlement. He or she will need to appoint a co-administrator.
The grant will be limited until the child's 18th birthday when he or she will be entitled to take out a fresh grant if it is required for any reason.