A Quick Guide to Wills

A Will is something that everyone should have; yet only about a third of people do. Making a Will ensures that when you die, your property and affairs will be dealt with in-line with your wishes and that any specific intentions you have for the disposal of your estate are carried out efficiently.

In this quick guide we break down some of the jargon and look at what you need to consider when writing your Will.

Your executors are the people who you appoint in your Will to deal with your estate, settle your debts and distribute your assets. You can also appoint a professional such as ourselves to be your executor.

Questions to ask:

  • Who would you trust most to deal with you Will?
  • Would they be capable and able to cope with the pressure of administering your Will following your death?
  • Is your estate complex – will they need the support of a professional executor?

A guardian is the person named by you in your Will who you want to be responsible for your children if you die before they are 18.

Questions to ask:

  • Who would you want your children to live with should you pass away before they are 18?
  • Would they welcome your children into their home?
  • Would they be able to accommodate your children in their home?
  • Would they raise your children in line with your values?
  • Would you leave a specific bequest from your estate to contribute to your children’s upbringing?

In your Will you can decide to leave a gift of money, property or possessions to an individual or charity, any gift left to a UK charity is free of inheritance tax liability.

Questions to ask:

  • Are there any specific charities you would like to support
  • What money, property or possessions would you like to leave?
  • What effect will this have on the rest of my estate and my beneficiaries?

The residuary estate is the remainder of the deceased’s estate after the payment of tax, liabilities and the distribution of all legacies as set out in the Will. This portion of the estate is usually left in whole or in shares to specific persons named in the Will.

Questions to ask:

  • Who would you like to benefit for your estate?
  • Do you wish to spilt your estate equally among a number of beneficiaries such as your partner and children or leave specific bequest to specific people?
  • How much would you like to leave to each person?
  • Do you have any possessions which you would like to pass to specific people?

Under the law in England and Wales we have “testamentary freedom”, enabling you to leave your estate to whomever you wish. You are not legally required to leave anything from your estate to your children or anyone else, though you will be asked to give detailed reasons when writing your Will.

Questions to ask:

  • Do you have any adult children you wish to exclude form your will?
  • What are your reasons for excluding them?

We hope this quick guide to Wills has given you an overview of what to consider prior to writing a Will. We would always recommend seeking legal advice at an early stage and our team of Will writing experts would be delighted to support you.

If you would like a free initial consultation with a member of the Wills & Probate team simple click on the “Speak to Our Experts” button on this page, call us on 01244 356 789 or email info@cullimoredutton.co.uk

Please note: This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.