A good reason for making a will is so that you can choose someone you trust to oversee the difficult and delicate task of dealing with your estate after you’re gone. This is a very important job because the person must find out your assets and liabilities and will be dealing with sensitive information. If you don’t make a will and choose someone, then the task could fall into the wrong hands. Remember that your private documents will all be in the custody of the executor. Wouldn’t you rather choose that person yourself?
This case shows the importance of making a will and choosing your own executors. Leaving it to chance can lead to some very unfortunate circumstances as happened in the true case below.
A woman died without leaving a will. Her son was only nine years old at the time, and he was entitled under the intestacy rules to all her estate. However, her ex-husband with whom she had an acrimonious relationship took out the grant of administration on behalf of her son, as his legal guardian.
Once he got the grant, he took custody of all her papers and assets. He maliciously refused to allow her parents into her house to pick up mementoes and her personal papers. In despair, they went to court to try and get the rights to her personal documents, but the court said they had no entitlement. Their daughter’s ex-husband had the right to manage her estate until her son turned 18 years of age.
This was a most unfortunate set of circumstances that added to her parents’ grief. If she had left a will, she could have appointed them as her executors. Click here to find out more about the role of an executor.
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