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General

Wills : The Beginners Guide

What Is A Will

A will is a legal document that indicates how your estate will be distributed after you die. Wills are often prepared to give inheritances to spouses and loved ones. A will can be created to all your belongings, including your assets, money, properties and even personal belongings. The word will is often used interchangeably with the term Will & Testament. It is important to prepare a will because your family would have to go through a long and often expensive process of claiming your assets if you die without a will.

There are different kinds of wills, and each of them has unique features and conditions. However, what they all have in common is that they are prepared by an individual who wishes to divide up their estate among their surviving relatives after they die. You don’t necessarily have to will your belongings to relatives, as you can also will them to charities and organisations of your choice. A will can also be used to exclude certain individuals from receiving any inheritances.

Before you can create a will, you must be at least 18 years old and must be of a sound mind. Additionally, when creating a will, you have to appoint an executor who will be responsible for taking care of your remaining financial obligations. These financial obligations usually include your bills and taxes, as well as disposing of your property as you intended.

Definition Of Terms

There are a couple of words exclusively associated with wills and other relating legal documents. We will be discussing a few of them throughout this guide and so, here is a list of them and what they mean

Testator

Testator refers to the person creating the will. So when you meet up with your lawyer to prepare a will, you are the testator in that will.

Executor

The executor is the person you name in your will to take care of your properties and financial obligations. They will be charged with the responsibility for paying your bills and taxes, as well as disposing of your properties.

Administrator

In certain situations, the administrator can also refer to the executor of your will. In other cases, like with a testament trust will, the administrator is responsible for controlling how assets are released to the beneficiary of the trust will.

Beneficiary

The beneficiary in a will can refer to your wife, children, or any other relatives that you name in your will. They receive your inheritance after you pass on.

Estate

Your estate is the total of all your properties and assets.

Types Of Wills

There are different types of wills based on the number of testators as well as what happens to your property after you die.

Simple Will

A simple will is prepared for people who do not have complicated financial situations. As the name suggests, the simple will is the most straightforward kind of will, and it includes basic details like the name of the testator, address, marital statements, and so on. It will also appoint an executor for the testator’s estate, directions on how the estate is to be divided, and guardians for children under the age of 18. Because simple wills are straightforward, they can be written without a lawyer, although it’s always best to have an attorney look it over and check for any errors that can lead to difficulties later on.

Testament Trust Will

A testament trust will also lets you transfer your inheritance to an individual, but with a caveat. Instead of releasing the assets at once, testament trust wills dictate that the assets be released to the beneficiary gradually. The assets are put in a trust, and you select a beneficiary of the trust, as well as an administrator. The administrator will be in control of how the assets are released. You might want to set up a trust for your children or for an individual who is known to be a spendthrift. That way, they can manage the assets responsibly. The executor of your will and the administrator of the trust can be the same person if you want, but they don’t necessarily have to be.

Joint Will

A joint will is a single will created by two testators in which they leave their assets to each other. If one of the testators die, the assets are transferred to the other, and vice versa. The joint will also indicates how the estate is to be distributed when the second testator dies. Joint wills are incredibly powerful in that they cannot be changed, except with the consent of both parties. This means that if one of the testators die, the surviving testator cannot include or exclude individuals from the will. The joint will is very common among spouses.

Mirror Will

Mirror wills are similar to joint wills in that they involve two parties, and they include the transference of assets from one individual to the other. However, unlike with a joint will, a mirror will is actually two separate wills created by two individuals. They are called mirror wills because they are exactly identical to each other, and they both contain the same instructions on how the estate is to be distributed. However, mirror wills are completely separate documents and are not bound to each other. They can be changed at any time, and either party is not obligated to inform the other of the change.

On Preparing A Will

Getting A Lawyer

You can draft uncomplicated wills like the simple will by yourself, and indicate how you wish your estate to be distributed. However, as mentioned earlier, it is always better to have an attorney look the document over. Basically, the simpler the instructions in the will are, the less likely it is that you need a lawyer. A simple will that involves leaving a home, distributing your money and assets, as well as appointing guardians does not require a lawyer. You will have to meet the other requirements involved in preparing a will like appointing an executor and having witnesses.

Handwriting Your Will

You can create your will by typing it out or by writing. Handwritten wills are only accepted if they are in the handwriting of the testator. Additionally, the will has to be witnessed and signed by two people. Ideally, these will be people who are not included in the will. Wills that are not witnessed are not legally acceptable.

On Contesting A Will

Wills can be contested by anyone who is considered to be an “interested party”. This means that the person falls under one or more of the following categories

  • They are a beneficiary of a previous will
  • They are a beneficiary of subsequent wills
  • They are interstate heirs.

Additionally, before a will can be contested, the interested party must prove that they have standing. This means that they were either named in the will or stand to gain or lose something if the will is invalid. There are several reasons why a person might want to contest a will, including:

  • If the will failed to meet the requirements of the will act
  • If the testator is deemed to not be in a sound state of mind when the will was created
  • If the testator did not know about or did not approve of the will

There are legal provisions that allow wills to be contested by interested parties. Also, as the testator, you cannot prevent your will from being contested after you die. There is no clause you can include in the will to prevent this kind of action. However, you can ensure that your will is defensible and accurately reflects your wishes.

The BottomLine

As you can see, wills are powerful documents that can be useful to both you and your loved ones. Also, you don’t have to wait until you’re old to prepare a will, as it’s never too early to start learning about all the ways you can take care of your family and loved ones.

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Business

Free classifieds ads and small business benefits

As we are already that classifieds are affordable options online. They are easy to access and are also cheap. They are just ideal for small business owners. They offer lots of business potential for small business owners.

Classifieds can be used to convey your message to global audiences. So, if you are running a short budget then classifieds online offer with convenience. These can also be integrated with multiple platforms.

Most business owners should find using classifieds more convenient or promotional offers. No matter what medium you use, still if used with classifieds online, then your campaign becomes more affordable.

Money and time

To post free ads on classifieds it is certain that you may not have to spend much money. Free options are available that can be a boon for small business owners. These are in fact much cheaper as compared to using newspaper columns.

Some websites will also offer you with classifieds for free. With classifieds, you also have an advantage where you don’t have to spend much of your time as well. Just within few minutes your campaign can be organized for free.

You may not have to hire the services of an ad agency. The task of preparing ad can be done on your own. Once the ad has been created you just have to click post option and your ad will go online.

Reach

Once posted, you can expect the ad to be live on a global platform. This is what makes classifieds more convenient as for free they can be posted for global audiences. This means that you can now promote your business online to global audiences for free. They feature an also be customized as per your own convenience. You can make selection of selected zone where you want your ad to be displayed.

This will offer you with benefit where you can target an only specific group of audiences. Your ads can now be restricted and viewed by only smaller groups. This factor is beneficial for small business owners who want to target their neighborhood only.

Access

Even if there are unlimited options to organize your advertising campaign, still free classifieds offer with lots of advantages. To look around for potential services or customers you may not have to search for hours. A simple search option on classifieds offer you with convenience to see results instantly.

To post free ads it is certain that not much effort or money is needed. Anyone can do it to help promote their business or services.

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General

Is an apprenticeship the same as university?

Deciding what to do after you have finished school is a very important decision. Two of the most popular routes you can choose from are apprenticeships, or going to university. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the key similarities and differences:

What are the similarities?

Whether you choose the route of apprenticeship or you study at a university, you are actually working towards the same goal, just through a different method; that is to attain a level 6 qualification which is equivalent to a bachelor’s degree in the United Kingdom.

What is the main difference?

The main difference is the way you attain the qualification. If you are doing an apprenticeship, that means you will be employed and undertake on-the-job training, where you will be learning the trade through practical experience. On the other hand, if you are doing a university degree, that means you are gaining the theoretical and practical knowledge related to the subject through lectures, tutorials and coursework.

What are the main benefits?

The primary benefit of going to a university is that you will have more options when it comes to choosing a subject, and ultimately, the right path for you, because there are thousands of degrees available. In addition, you will have more options for the job you do after you qualify because on a degree, you learn multiple skills and can be employed in a variety of fields afterwards. Whereas on an apprenticeship, you are qualified for just one trade or profession. On an apprenticeship, however, you gain valuable real world work experience and practical knowledge by working directly in the area you wish to specialise in. On a degree, you will not be gaining this same level of direct on-the-job experience. It is also a cheaper way to qualify, which means you don’t need to either have access to a large sum of money to be able to access the qualification, or build up large sums in debt that have to be paid back at a later date.

How much do they cost?

Apprenticeships are the clear winner here if you compare the costs. If you are under the age of 25 and opt for this route then the government and the company that is employing you will pay for your training; you won’t have to worry about apprenticeship finance. On the flipside, if you go for a university bachelor’s degree, then you have to pay around £9,000 per year minimum in tuition fees and this does not include other expenses such as accommodation fees and living expenses. It is possible to take out a student loan to pay for these however which you do not have to pay back until you are earning over £21,000 per year.

What are the main fields?

In the past, the scope for apprenticeships was minimal with the only fields available being engineering and accounting. But now many other fields such as law, business, publishing, journalism, music and even information technology have opened the door for students to the apprenticeship route as a choice. The government plans to create more opportunities for students and wants to bring the number of apprenticeships closer to the numbers of university degree courses available in the next few years. That said, university degrees number the thousands, and for a person who is unsure about the field they ultimately want to work in, and who wants to keep their options open once they have completed their education, then this route is the best way forward.

What are the learning opportunities?

Apprenticeships are for people who want to keep their scope narrow and want to gain practical experience in the field of their choice. It offers practical, hands-on training and includes learning how to work machinery or software programs related directly to the job you want to do. In short, you will be broadening your scope by actually doing the job instead of just learning  about it and will have the opportunity to get more training through workshops. But university education provides you with a broader understanding of the field of your choice and enhances your skills and knowledge of the subject you are learning about. The focus is on research and practices related to what you are studying. There will be lectures and seminars instead, along with exams.

What are the job and earning prospects?

A university degree is a requirement for many jobs and you won’t be able to practice in professions such as medicine or teaching without one. However, your job prospects may be higher with an apprenticeship for other fields as they provide you with more direct experience, contacts in the world of work and chances to practice in your chosen job, which employers really value. The fields that may prefer an apprentice include engineering, construction, media and manufacturing.

When it comes to earning potential, a report published in the Guardian newspaper stated that a university graduate earns an average of £500,000 more than a non-graduate over the course of their lifetime, which is a significant difference. But a similar study conducted by The Sutton Trust shows that apprentices earn almost £52,000 more than university graduates if they qualified from a university outside of the Russell group.

Which ones do employers prefer?

There is no clear favourite for employers, although it obviously depends on what the job is. Employers respect universities for their research-based education and knowledge and apprenticeships for their updated and modern training methods. Eventually, it comes down to the domain you are working in and the type of job responsibility that is required by the employers. Some companies now offer apprenticeship opportunities, which are government funded, train the individual and then hire them if they are deemed capable.

What is the most common route?

University education is the clear winner here with more than 200,000 students enrolling into different degree programs across the United Kingdom every year. The number has kept on increasing gradually over the last decade. However, apprenticeships are growing in number and have now become more commonplace over the past few years with almost 50,000 students opting for this route annually instead of a university degree.

Conclusion

The simple answer to the question, is an apprenticeship the same as a university education, is no. The only similarity is that they both lead to the same level of educational standard. And in some professions, they may lead to the same end job. However, the methods of learning are very different and the types of jobs they lead to are often quite different too.

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General

10 ways to make your home office more professional

The trend of working from home is gaining more and more prominence. It does not matter if you are doing so as a remote worker or have established your business at home, you need a place where you get that professional feel. It not only has a good impression on the people visiting but also keeps you motivated throughout the day. . In this article, we look at some of the ways to make your home office more professional.

Colour Ideas

It is surprising how painting your room with a new colour can change the overall look of the place and how it can give you a different feel. Some of the colours such as pale yellow, blue, light orange and purple not only maintain a professional look for the place but also give an energising appearance. If you are going for brighter colours you can paint all the room with it, on the other hand, if you go for bolder and dark colours, it is better to paint one wall with them and use lighter shades on the different sides.

Choice of furniture

There are different factors that you have to consider when selecting the appropriate furniture. Two of them are the size of the space and the functionality whenever you go and buy something for the office. If you want to buy a desk of specific size, first think about the area you would place it. Go for a chair that is comfortable if you have to work while sitting and if it’s for longer periods arm sets will be extremely beneficial. Also, have a desk that allows you keep the device on the same level so there is less burden on your eyes.

Storage options

Aside from the furniture in the room, you need something to keep other stuff. If you have a smaller space, a filing cabinet is suitable to keep everything that is paper-based, although they are not the most attractive things to keep in your office. Similarly, if you need to keep items such as reference books or need to remember and reach something quickly a bookshelf, magazine rack or display shelves are a better choice as they take less space and cost less. Irrespective of that, always have a shelving system so that you have an idea where you have kept the documents, you can use plastic boxes for that purpose and tag them appropriately.

Floor setting

For a more classical look, having tiles and marbles isn’t a bad option either, but you will have to do a lot of work to clean them regularly. But depending on the personal choice, you can go for full floor carpeting as it not only hides any issues with the floor but also gives a professional look in most cases.

Ergonomic rules

If you do not feel comfortable, then you won’t be able to work properly. Even if you are using a laptop or computer, your table should be such that the screen is just below your eye level and there isn’t much distance. The keyboard needs to be in a position that keeps your arms parallel to the floor. Find a chair that that space to keep your feet on them if that’s not the case you can go for a footrest. Don’t put too much stuff on the desk, remove things that you do not need regularly.

Keep all essentials

You should have everything that you need in your office. It does not make sense that if you need something, you have to go to the other areas of your house, it kills the whole purpose. You can keep a small fridge in the office, so you have all the fluids stored but don’t start storing food inside as you do need a change of environment at least during your lunch break. If you are cramped for space you can keep items such as your printer in other areas of your house.

Natural light

When selecting the position of your desk, it is essential to make sure you keep it in a location where you can receive enough natural light. If you have a window, then that’s the best place as you will be able to feel that freshness of sunlight and be able to take your eyes off the computer screen now and then to have a look outside. For dark backgrounds and walls ir if you do not have natural sunlight coming, you can use bright color wallpaper as an alternative.

Opt for lamps

Even if you have a window or not, you still need to have lamps for the late hours when there is no natural light available. The importance of overhead lighting is still there, but having lamps gives that professional look to the place. Go for lambs that can easily be placed on your desk,if the size is bigger you can always place them on a nearby side table close enough to benefit when natural light fades away. To give it a different feel you can also choose an antique or vintage table lamp.

Go green

Adding some greenery to your office gives organic character to your workspace. It gives that fresh feel to the surroundings and also makes people happier. Usually go for small plants as they are easy to maintain. Some of the most common examples are Jade plant that does not require much watering and African violet that is suitable for small desks. If you have a carpeted space, you can also go for artificial plants and flowers just to have a renewed feeling.

Avoid wire clutter

If you visit an office you will see chords everywhere, it does not give a good impression to the visitor and an irritating feel to the person working. But since you have to rely on electronic devices there is no way around it. To avoid clutter of wire you can use Velcro double sided hook and loop that help with the organisation of wiring within the workplace through colour coding. Also, keep the extension cord behind the desk so that it is not visible.

Finally, the goal is to create a workspace in your home that can inspire you to work better and feel motivated. If everything will be the way you want, you will work with more interest and able to do so for longer times without getting bored. Therefore, go for things that you feel are bound to make it more fun to complete your daily work tasks.