About Writing A Will

One of the most important legal activities each of us faces is deciding how, after our death, our assets will be used and who will benefit from them. Estate planning and the writing of a will is a deeply meaningful way to make a powerful statement with these assets. However, a great number of people die “intestate” (without a will). When that happens the state or others decide for us where and how the estate will be distributed. If your preferences have not been clearly stated in a will, then it is likely that those preferences will not be carried out. It is, therefore, vital that you have a will. It is a wonderful way of expressing your love to the people and organizations you cherish. It is a way to take control of your assets, and make a positive statement. This information brought to you

Guidelines to Consider When Writing a Will

There are four “P’s” of estate planning:

  1. People: Consider all the people who are important to you and for whom you’d like to provide. This might include your spouse, children, relatives and friends.
  1. Property: Consider all property that you own including bank accounts, real estate, stocks, bonds, life insurance, pension plans and personal property.
  1. Plans: Ask yourself how you’d like to provide for the people in your life, and how you can make this happen. Will the people who are important to you be provided for in the future? Will you have enough income to manage during your retirement years?
  1. Planners: Who are the people who will help you with your financial goals? Consider attorneys, accountants, bank trust officers, stock brokers and insurance agents to help you meet your financial goals.

Tips on Naming Beneficiaries

  • Understand the limits of a will.
  • Know when beneficiaries are required.
  • Decide who gets what.
  • Don’t name your estate as a beneficiary.
  • Don’t name minor children as beneficiaries.
  • Consider setting up a trust.
  • Think about tax ramifications.
  • Name contingent beneficiaries.
  • Keep everything up-to-date.
  • Make copies.


Q: I don’t have a will, where do I start?

A: As a will is a legal document, it is strongly recommended that you consult your solicitor.

Q: What about home-made wills?

A: Home-made wills can be disastrous. You may omit particularly important details, or inadvertently write sections in a way that can be misinterpreted. Making a will with the help of your solicitor is the only way you can be sure that your wishes will be followed after you die. By drafting a will with a professional, you will save your family a lot of extra worry.

Q: What can I include in my will?

A: Wills aren’t solely about passing on your assets. You can also include specific funeral arrangements: for instance, burial, cremation, or the use of your body for medical research. You may also want to appoint legal guardians to care for your children if you and your partner should die before they are 18.

Q: Who do I appoint as Executors?

A: One other important consideration when writing your will is the appointment of your Executors – the people who deal with your estate in the event of your death. Ideally, these should be business-minded family or friends or professional advisers.

Glossary of Terms

Administrators. Those appointed to administer an estate where there is no will or no executor.

Bequest. Same as “Legacy”.

Beneficiary. A named individual or organisation who benefits from your Will.

Codicil. A document making minor changes to your Will. Must be signed and witnessed in the same manner as your Will.

Crown. This means the Treasury, where your money will go if you have no next of kin and did not make a will.

Estate. Everything belonging to you, and owed to you, at the time of your death.

Executors. Referred to in your Will as trustees. These are the people you appoint to deal with all your affairs after your death.

Guardians. Those you appoint to care for your children until they reach the age of eighteen years.

Intestacy. A person is said to die intestate if he dies without making a valid Will.

Pecuniary. Legacy Specific sum of money given by a Will.

Probate. A procedure, required under law in most cases, to establish formally whether you left a legally valid Will and who your executors will be.

Residuary Legacy. The residue of an estate, or a share in it.

Residue. The remains of your estate after payment of all debts, expenses, tax and distribution of pecuniary and specific legacies

Specific Legacy. A tangible item, such as a gold watch or an engagement ring.

Testator. The person making the Will.

What Does The Law Mean To You?

Although we all have an understanding of what law is, and generally why it’s appropriate that it should be in place to serve and regulate our conduct in society, we seldom think of what law actually means in an everyday context.  What is law for the average Joe in the street?  How does law impact on our lives from day to day?  Indeed, is the law a distant concept with which we find it hard to relate?  In this article we will look at some of the fundamental ways law operates in society, in addition to the nature of the law as we know it.

For some people, they feel as though the law is there merely to protect their interests, and that they have no need for daily interaction.  However, they assume that if the day comes where their behaviour is called into question, the law will operate, the course of justice will be run, and the will of the people will be fulfilled.  This is perhaps a naïve interpretation of the function of law, and indeed the way it operates in our lives throughout the day.  For instance, at the top level we have the constitution, establishing parameters within which the government can and cannot act to protect the citizens of our nation.  That has an overwhelming effect on the way in which our government and indeed our country is run, which has a knock on effect on everything we do throughout the day and how we do it.  Even at a local level, the law interacts with the services we are provided, the jobs we work and pretty much everything to do with the lives we lead.  A distant concept?  I don’t think so.

The law does not just operate in criminal spheres, nor is it confined to merely constitutional matters and the distribution of power.  Law is a significantly more sophisticated tool in the orchestration of the day-to-day organisation of society, through regulating not only personal conduct but also the way we act in business situations.  Take for example the everyday task of boarding a train.  The law regulates many aspects of this feat: (1) the criminal law and the constitution permits us to board public transport.  (2) The constitution permits us to make contract with another.  (3) The laws of contract permit us to form a contract for transport with the train company,  and ensure that that contract is fulfilled.  (4) The laws of contract and tort allow us to board without fear of injury, or with remedy should the worst happen.  Finally the law of ownership and currency allows us to hand over money in consideration for this service, which is of value to the other contracting party.  In fact, the law regulates just about everything we do, and is vital in doing so to ensure the smooth running of community and every aspect of our lives.

The law is not some abstract notion that can and will protect us when we need to rely on it.  The law is an integral part of democratic life, and something which regulates our conduct, and in essence allows us to act according to our own desires within reason.  Some may think the law is too restrictive in certain areas, but it works.  The law serves its function as regulating our behavior very well, and if it doesn’t?  We can change it.

The fact is, law has been an important part of society since it began, with implied legal and social orders and boundaries that could not be crossed.  Today, it is a sophisticated network of guidelines and regulations which is adapted to shape the way we live our lives from one day to the next.  There is no doubt that the law is important to the citizen, and plays a profound impact on the lives of the people on a daily basis. To learn more visit

3 easy to teach dog tricks

To teach your dog tricks even easy ones you need to have some small reward treats, be in a quiet suitable place and keep the training sessions to 10 – 15 minutes or your dog will start to get board, remember when he gets something right lots of praise and a reward treat, just be careful not to get him over excited or he will loose concentration.

Getting your dog to give you his paw, first get your dog to sit, then as you say the word ‘paw’ take your dogs paw in your hand, give the dog a treat, repeat this, after a few times do not take his paw so quickly, say the word, count to one then take it, you should notice he is bringing his paw up as you say the word if he does not go back to saying it at the same time, do it a few more times then slow your response again. After 2 or 3 sessions most dogs pick this one up quite happily.

The high five, like a lot of tricks the high five is a progression of an earlier trick, in this cast the paw trick. Hold a treat in your fingers and raise your hand slightly higher than you would for the paw trick. You dog will think you want to do the paw trick and will reach for the treat with his paw as we taught him earlier, as he reaches up you say “high five” and give him the treat. Once your dog has mastered the paw trick this one should be very easy to learn and with just a few sessions he will be doing it on hand signal rather than voice control.

Getting your dog to jump through a hoop, before you start this one I would just like to ask you to be a little sensible and not hold the hoop too high as you do not want your dog to heart himself while doing the trick. Sit your dog on one side of a hoola hoop, get the dogs attention on your hand on the other side of the hoop take a treat in your hand and give the dog the command to release him from the sit, at first he may attempt to go around or under the hoop, if this happens start again, your dog wants the treat and will soon learn that going around or under does not get it so he will soon start going through it, when he does say hoopla and give him the treat. He will soon be jumping through the hoop on the command of hoopla. When I started doing this trick I had a medium sized dog (a Labrador) so I started with the hoop 6 inches from the ground and slowly raised it to waist height, if you have a smaller dog you might want to start with the hoop touching the ground so the dog just goes through the hoop and then slowly raise it as he gets used to the trick.

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