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Your estate is everything that you own that is in your sole name, for example property, investments and cash. Your estate does not include money in joint accounts or property or shares owned jointly. Your residue is everything that is left of your estate after all debts have been settled, this includes funeral expenses.

Once your gifts of money and specific gifts are distributed you can specify who inherits the remainder of your estate. The remainder of your estate can be distributed in equal shares, alternatively you can state specific percentages. For example; you may wish to leave 60% to your son and 40% to a sibling.

If your estate is worth more than £325,000 it will be subject to Inheritance Tax. We will write about Inheritance Tax in the near future.