What is a Will?
A will is a legal document typed or handwritten by testator or an individual clearly states, what happens to his money, property and possessions after his death.
Why should one make a will?
Making a will now prevents conflicts over your properties by your family member when you die, therefore not making a will can mean chaos and financial worry for your family or dependants after you've gone. Without one, you can't be sure that your money and property will be passed on according to your wishes. If you die without a will (called dying intestate), the intestacy rules determine who inherits what.
Who can make a Will?
Anyone over the age of 18 can make a Will and you can choose to write it yourself or use professional will writers to guide you.
I am not wealthy, do I need a Will?
Yes. Although you don't have properties to give out but by using will you can appoint a guardian for your children & to convey a special message to your loved ones.
What are the benefits of making a will?
  • It ensures your assets are distributed to those you love
  • It will prevents people you don't want to benefit from your efforts
  • It also prevents property fights among your family
  • It allows you appoint the right guardians to have parental responsibility of your children
  • Appoint a person you trust or organization to carry out your wishes
  • It gives you a peace of mind knowing that your loved ones will stay protected
  • How can I make my will valid?
    For your will to be legally valid, you must:
  • Be 18 or over
  • Make it voluntarily
  • Be of sound mind
  • Make it in writing
  • Sign it in the presence of 2 witnesses who are both over 18
  • Have it signed by your 2 witnesses, in your presence.
  • If you make any changes to your will you must follow the same signing and witnessing process
  • How Often Should I Review My Will?
    You should review your Will as soon as you're personal circumstances change. For example, if there are additions to your family e.g. children, or deaths in your family one of the beneficiaries, or you get a civil partner or anything that has any effect in your will, get divorced or married, executor of your will dies, you acquire new assets etc.
    Does Marriage, Civil Partnership Or Divorce Affect My Will?
    If you marry or enter into a civil partnership after making a Will, the Will is automatically revoked unless the Will expressly states that it is made in contemplation of the marriage or civil partnership. If you get divorced after making a Will, the Will remains valid but any gifts or appointment of your former spouse will fail.
    Where Should I Keep My Will?
    There is no legal requirement determining where a Will should be stored but you should inform your Executors where it is. We provide a secure Will storage service at minimal cost. It is advise you to keep a Will in a safety trusted source where it can be easily obtained such as our will storage vaults, because upon your death your lawyer, friend, family members you choose will be able to pick it or delivered to them, after we confirm the incident.
    What Will Happen If I Don't Make A Will?
    The Rules of Intestacy (person dies without a will) mean that, in a way, everyone has a Will even if they haven't physically made one. If you don't make a Will, the authorities will distribute your assets according to the Rules of Intestacy that were created in 1906. Relying on this law rather than creating a Will has disadvantages. The law decides who benefits from your estate, not you, and as it was created almost a century ago, it doesn't bear much relation to modern personal and family situations.
    What is intestacy?
    When someone dies without a Will, they are said to have died intestate. In cases like this, the Rules of Intestacy apply and these, which were created in 1925, determine the administration and beneficiaries of the estate.
    What Is An Executor?
    Executors are responsible for dealing with your estate in accordance with your instructions. They will collect in your assets, pay all your debts including any tax, deal with any specific legacies that you have left and then distribute the remainder of your estate in accordance with your wishes.
    How Many Executors Can I Choose?
    You can have as many Executors as you like, but the maximum can be four to act at the same time and they could be individuals or legal entities like us.
    Can an Executor be a Beneficiary?
    Yes, provided the Will contains the appropriate wording. However Executors, beneficiaries, or the spouses of Executors, beneficiaries, must not be a witness at the signing of the Will, as gifts to witnesses or their spouses will not be allowed to stand, save for exceptional cases.
    If I have a Trust, do I still need to make a Will and Living Power of Attorney?
    Yes. Anything you put into a Trust will be distributed in accordance with your wishes, and the Will distributes anything you own when you die that you haven't put into a Trust. A Living Power of Attorney document enables your chosen people (Attorneys) to manage assets you didn't put into the Trust while you are alive, if you are unable to deal with them yourself following accident, injury or disease. Living Power of Attorney's are optional but highly recommended as part of your wider estate planning. .
    Do I need a Will if I have a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)?
    A Living Power of Attorney is a completely separate document to the Will – It is possible to have a Living Power of Attorney written without a Will.
    How can Making changes to your will?
    You can't amend your will after it's been signed and witnessed. The only way you can change a will is by making an official alteration called a codicil. You must sign a codicil and get it witnessed in the same way as witnessing a will. There's no limit on how many codicils you can add to a will.
    What is a codicil?
    A codicil is legal document typed or handwritten by testator making changes to an already existing will. The codicil could be removing or adding things/individuals/explaining statements made in the will.
    Can one make a new will?
    Yes, for major changes you should make a new will. Your new will should explain that it revokes (officially cancels) all previous wills and codicils.
    Have another question?
    If you have a different question that is not listed above, please contact our team of advisers today.
    Is it possible for a foreigner who owns property in Uganda & abroad make a single a will?
    A foreigner living in Uganda who wishes to bequeath assets in Uganda should make a local will. But also a will made outside Uganda by a person who is domiciled in Uganda is valid provided it meets the requirements of the Succession Act with respect to Ugandan laws of inheritance. However a will valid according to Ugandan law bequeathing assets owned abroad may not necessarily valid unless it meets the legal requirement of that given country.
    Can I giving property to charitable organizations?
    If one wants to give property for charitable purposes, the law requires that a will is written a year before one's death (that is to will where charitable is given some of the deceased's assets, it should be one year old before his/her death), this is to give one time to think over their decision. This is because possibly, within a year one can change their mind and the will could have been done under stress. For example, during praying or anointing of the sick, some shrewd church ministers can bias the patient into giving them his or her property. The one year condition applies, even when one does not have children. This is because his/her relatives or children are more entitled to the deceased's property than even the church or mosque.
    Why make a will introduction?
    Around 180,000 people a year die intestate (without making a will). That is a shocking 80% of Uganda's deaths. Dying without a will can cause significant problems for the people you leave behind, and should be avoided where at all possible.
    We all know we should make a will, but it's one of those things that many of us never seem to get round to. In fact, it's estimated that one in three people die without ever having made one.
    But not making a will can mean chaos and financial worry for your family or dependents after you've gone. Without one, you can't be sure that your money and property will be passed on according to your wishes.
    Why should you make a will?
    To help convince those who are delaying or even having doubts about writing a will, we've listed 10 very good reasons why you should.
    1. First and foremost, a will puts you in control. You choose who will benefit from your estate and what they are entitled to. You also decide who will administer your affairs after your death.
    2. If you don't make a will, the intestacy rules will decide who benefits from your estate and that can produce undesirable results. The law also sets a hierarchy of who is able to handle your financial affairs after death, and that can lead to problems if the person is not suitable because of age, health, geographical location, or for any other reason.
    3. When you make a will through a suitably qualified lawyer or will writing company, the chance of a problem or dispute arising after your death is reduced. Disputes arise more often when someone dies without a will, as certain people are entitled to apply to court to challenge the provision made by the intestacy rules, if they deem it unfair. For example, a long standing unmarried partner would receive nothing under the intestacy rules, so may have to consider making an application to a court to be awarded a share of the estate. There is huge stress and expense attached to such claims.
    4. Whilst a will can also sometimes be challenged on the basis that it is unfair, the courts are generally more reluctant to interfere in the provision made by a will than that provided for by the intestacy rules.
    5. It is often quicker, cheaper, and less stressful to administer an estate where there is a will. If you die without a will, dispute over your property arise and court case. That can be very expensive and time consuming.
    6. A will also enables you to preserve assets for beneficiaries. For example, if you have property and/or business interests, you may want those to go to certain people, whilst leaving further assets to others. The intestacy rules provide for a division of your whole estate, so, if more than one person is due a share, can necessitate the sale of assets. This can cause problems and uncertainty for your staff if you have a business, and property may need to be sold despite it being the home of a particular beneficiary or other dependent.
    7. A will can be used to ensure you make provision for those that need it, whilst protecting assets for other beneficiaries. For example, married couples can very easily set their wills up to protect a share of their home. This will give them the comfort of knowing the property is available for the survivor to live in for as long as it's required. Equally, for couples who each have children from previous relationships, a trust can be used to ring fence a part of the estate for those children. Otherwise, the intestacy rules may result in all the marital assets being passed down to the surviving spouse, with the children of the first spouse getting nothing. This, in effect, produces a lottery, with the prize going to the children of the second spouse to die.
    8. A properly drafted trust in your will could enable someone to manage the inheritance you leave to a disabled or vulnerable person, and may ensure the intended beneficiary does not lose his/her means tested benefits.
    9. If you die without a will and a share of your estate is left to a vulnerable or disabled beneficiary, the person handling your estate may need to insist on someone applying to be their court-appointed deputy before paying out their share, a process that is both expensive and time consuming. This is because people who lack capacity are unable to give a valid receipt for their share of an estate.
    10. You can nominate someone to act as a guardian for your children (if you die while your children are minors) and you can also record your funeral wishes in your will. These are things that people do not commonly discuss within a family, so formally expressing your views in a will can provide very helpful and practical guidance for those you leave behind.

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