Why make a will?
Having a Will in place is one of the most important things that you can do and is a quick and easy way to safeguard your loved one’s future and to protect your legacy.
Standard Will Writing Service
A Will is a legal document that allows you to pass on your possessions to benefit others, giving you control over what happens to your money, possessions and property after you die. You can also name important people to help take care of your estate on your behalf and appoint guardians to take care of your children. Below is what is considered as ‘standard’ inclusions in a Will. If you require a Will that offers more beneficiary or asset protection, then we can talk about your options and you may decide to include a Will Trust in your Will as well as the standard provisions listed below.
Executors are responsible for safeguarding your possessions, dealing with the paperwork relating to your assets, paying debts and ensuring the instructions in the Will are carried out.
Trustees are responsible for managing any trust that might arise in your Will and for holding funds for children until the date specified in the Will or until a child’s 18th birthday.
Executors and Trustees are often the same people, but you can appoint different people for each role.
A Will can ensure your children are cared for in accordance with your wishes and you can safeguard your children’s interests by appointing legal Guardians to care for them if both parents die.
Guardians will care for children until they are 18. Due to the responsibility of the role, which may be a lifelong commitment, it is important to consult your proposed Guardians.
You can appoint a single person or a couple. Consider appointing substitute Guardians should your first choice be unable to act.
You can include specific gifts such as money, or make specific gifts such as your favourite painting, item of jewellery etc. in your Will.
Remember that if you leave something to your surviving spouse, partner or a friend in the belief that they will honour your wishes in respect of it, they are not obliged to do so.
If you are unsure of the legacies that you wish to leave in your Will at this time, you may wish to deal with your possessions by way of a non-binding ‘Letter of Wishes’ which would accompany your Will.
You may wish to leave a family pet to someone after you die. Some people leave a cash gift or donation to a charity towards their upkeep and maintenance.
You may choose to name your pet or pets in your Will. I’m happy to do this by the way, although it does mean that if your beloved pet crosses over the rainbow bridge before you, the Will would need updating if a new pet is then later adopted.
A solution to this is to state ‘dog or dogs’ (cat or cats) etc as this helps to keep it generic as such. Often people will continue to own dogs, cats or ferrets etc throughout their own lifetime.
You can provide for specific funeral arrangements in your Will.
Any details about your funeral in a Will are ‘wishes’ only and are not legally binding. It is always wise to talk to your loved ones about your funeral preferences.
You can specify whether you want your body to be buried or cremated.
You can also state whether you are willing for your body to be used for medical research. Donation must be pre-organised and it is not dependent on what the wills says. However it is referred to in the Will because it helps to indicate your wishes.
After your Executors pay any debts, taxes and other liabilities and any gifts have been gifted, the remaining assets in your estate is known as your “Residuary estate” or “Residue”.
You will need to specify who is to inherit the residue.
You can divide your residuary estate as you choose to include any person or cause that is special to you, such as your spouse, partner, civil partner, children, relatives, friends and charities.
You can gift your residuary estate outright or place all or part of your Residue in to a Trust fund which would be created upon your death.
Is it up to date?
Even after you have made a Will, there may have been changes to your life which could immediately impact on the validity of your Will. You should review your Will regularly to make sure it still reflects your wishes, such as adding or removing beneficiaries if you change your mind regarding who you wish to inherit your estate. Your children may now be grown up and have children of their own who you’d like to include. Check your current Will and ask yourself:
Making a Will is a quick and easy way of giving security to your loved ones and peace of mind to you.
The reality is that a person making a Will doesn’t benefit from it unless you count peace of mind as a benefit. Your loved ones, on the other hand, might find that dealing with your affairs will be a lot easier, quicker and probably cheaper when a Will has been written.
Save your loved ones from added stress at an already anxious time and make a Will. It is never too early, but often it can be too late…