What to consider when making a will
Making a Will is often a difficult thing for people to discuss. Inevitably it brings up uncomfortable topics and for some people it can be a hard process to go through. However, a little forward thinking and planning can make it easier for your loved ones and offer you peace of mind. Below are a few things to consider when making a will to ensure that you have something that is clear and works for you.
Who is your executor?
This is the person who will be responsible for arranging the terms of the Will. Often it is recommended to choose someone either with legal experience or someone who is not a direct family member. It is best to get some contact details before you discuss this with your Solicitor so that they know you have someone in mind for this.
This is something to consider if you have children under the age of 16 as you will need to think about who you would wish to look after your children in the event of your death.
In some cases, you may have specific amounts of money or items you want to give to people or charities. This is something you should write down so that you can clearly state what you want to give to the specific people involved (for example passing down an heirloom to your son or daughter).
Estate and inheritance tax
The residuary estate refers to what remains after you have paid liabilities or given any items to specific people. If you intend to pass down the estate to your children and they are under a certain age (usually around 18-25) then it can be held in trust until they reach that age.
With regard to inheritance tax currentlythe threshold is £325,000. However, this does not include gifts and some exemptions and your solicitor can guide you through the options available (for example gifts to charities are exempt from inheritance tax.)
Registration and storage
After your Will has been signed and dated you can then get it registered with your solicitor. This is strongly recommended as it protects you in the event of the will getting lost or destroyed. You can also get it stored with the solicitor for an additional cost (remember to keep it in a safe place and inform the executor of your Will of its location).
Reviewing your Will
There will often be times when you will want to update your Will. For example, if you inherit something yourself that you want to pass on then you may wish to include it in a revised Will. If you wish to get divorced and want to include your new partner in a revised Will this can be arranged as well.
In simple terms it is vital to keep the terms of the Will updated as much as possible in order to avoid disputes in the future.
Making the arrangements
At Larcomes we have specialists available who can guide you through the process of making a Will as well as arranging Trusts and Probate. We believe in providing our clients with up to date information and ensuring that the legacy that is passed on to future generations is properly secure.