A will is a document which decides how a person’s property is distributed after their death.
It can be a very simple document where someone leaves everything to their wife or husband and appoints them their executor (the executor is the person whose job it is to ensure that the terms of the Will are carried out). Alternatively, it can be a very complex document involving, for example, the setting up of trusts providing for the distribution of someone’s assets well into the future.
For further details on making a Will, see our Guide to Making a Will. A Will can be revoked at any time and most people will make a number of Wills as their circumstances change.
The term probate refers to the process whereby the Probate Office (which is a government body and part of the High Court) formally recognises a Will as being the last Will of somebody who has died and authorises the carrying out of the terms of the Will.
Losing someone close to you represents a very difficult time, but it is also a time that demands a certain amount of pragmatism, particularly when it comes to the administration of the will. The first step you need to take when the matter of inheritance is raised is to seek legal advice from professionals that have expertise in probate law.