Following on from my 6 posts regarding what is in a Will, i thought it would be an idea to show you what a Will actually looks like. We have teamed up with samplewill.co.uk to show you how a Will looks. Simply visit our friends at sample Will.
This is the last of 6 main parts in a Will. Although funeral wishes are not legally binding in a Will, if you state your wish then normally your family and/or friends will follow this wish.
The main wishes are:
- A request that your body be used for medical purposes
These wishes can then include a great amount of detail including:
- Funeral service
- Party or gathering after the funeral
- Memorial service
For an in depth look at funeral wishes please visit Bereavement Advice Centre
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.
Many people choose to leave specific gifts to certain individuals. These are not gifts of money therefore they must be described accurately when writing your Will. Specific gifts generally include things like a car or maybe some jewelery. When making your Will you must specify whom you would like to receive each gift.
When making your Will you can specify any gifts of money. These are normally:
- A basic cash gift
- A conditional cash gift (You may want to leave a gift of money to a young person however may not want that person to receive the gift until they have reached a certain age for example 18)
- A Charity or Community Amateur Sports Club cash gift (Many charities are now encouraging cash gifts to be left by you for them)
If you leave a gift to a Charity or Community Amateur Sports Club (CASC), its value will be deducted from your estate before any Inheritance Tax is calculated.
If your estate is liable to Inheritance Tax (we’ll touch on this soon), you could reduce the amount that is due by choosing to give money to a Charity. You can either leave a Pecuniary Legacy (fixed sum), or, part or all of your estate once other gifts have been distributed. This is known as a Residuary Legacy.
A guardian is a person who has legal authority to care for the personal interests of another which may include the use of his or her financial resources.
The role of a guardian within a Will is to ensure that the minor children of the deceased are cared for. This may include schooling and moral training. Choosing a guardian can be very difficult and it is always advised that careful consideration is taken before reaching a decision.
If you were to die without writing a Will, the courts would decide who takes care of your minor children (Children under the age of 18). The decision of the court may be good however to ensure that your children are looked after as you would have wished, it is strongly advised to write a Will and appoint a guardian. In the majority of cases the sole surviving parent will assume care of your children however when writing a Will you should name a specific guardian for your minor children in case neither you or your partner is able to act.
A guardian must be over the age of 18 and willing to assume the responsibility. It is advised that you check with your prospective guardian(s) that they are willing to act for you before naming them in your Will.
An executor is someone who is appointed by someone writing a Will to carry out the terms of the Will.
The main role of an executor is to ensure that the estate of a deceased person is secure, assess its value and pay any inheritance tax that may be applicable. The executor will also need to gather all the assets, pay any debts, and then distribute what’s left as outlined in the deceased’s Will.
You will need to appoint two executors in your Will. So who can be an executor?
- An executor can be your partner or spouse, and for couples that are looking to make a mirror Will, it is advised that you appoint one another as the first executor. This will make things a lot easier upon the death of the first partner.
- Beneficiaries of a Will can also be executors. Children can also be executors and can be a good selection as they are in a perfect position to carry out the wishes outlined in a Will.
- If you are single with no children then the next best person to appoint as executor would be a relative or sibling.
- If you cannot find a suitable executor then you can always instruct a solicitor to be an executor.
You must always confirm with your prospective executor that they are willing to act before naming them in your Will. You will need to explain what is required of an executor as most are unaware of the responsibilities imposed.