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.
One big mistake frequently encountered in home-made wills is that the testator thinks he can leave his half of the house to his children rather than his wife.
This is probably the area where the gap between the reality of the legal situation and the understanding of the common man is widest.
It is probably true to say that most married couples would regard themselves as owning half a house each. Nowadays it is fairly rare to come across the situation where the house belongs to the husband alone.
Couples today buy the house together with a joint mortgage and regard themselves as equal owners. Most are surprised to discover that the law regards them as owning their house under a trust arrangement and that they are regarded as trustees.
For the purposes of the law there are two different estates held by co-owners, one is the legal estate and the other the equitable (beneficial) estate. It is the equitable estate that may be varied to suit the circumstances of the testator.
There are two ways of holding the equitable estate, these are known as a joint tenancy and a tenancy in common.