Everyone needs a will. Whatever your circumstances, it’s important to ensure your wishes are adhered to after you die. But creating a will can be a complicated process and knowing what an executor to a will means is part of that process.
You might be wondering: What does an executor of a will do?
Many of us don’t even think about writing a will until MUCH later in life. The average age for creating a will is 58.
And the reality is that the latest Will writing statistics suggest that 68% of adults in the UK don’t even have a valid will. But if you have children, own property, or want to ensure that your loved ones are looked after, then it’s prudent to consider creating a will.
But knowing where to start can be tricky…
What Do I Need To Know When Writing A Will?
First thing’s first, you need to make a list of EVERYTHING you own.
That includes cars, property, savings, investments, shares, possessions, jewellery, and any businesses you own.
It’s easiest to list everything and start from there.
If you know the value of each item, then it’s worth including that. As it will make it easier to distribute assets among your loved ones.
Essentially, if you’ve got ANYTHING that you want to give to your friends and family, you should be making a list and writing a will.
It’s worth seeking legal advice at the earliest opportunity, as a qualified solicitor will be able to advise you on your best options and help you create a valid will that meets your needs.
What Is An Executor? And How Do I Choose Them?
Your executor is the person that will handle your estate after you die.
It’s usually someone close to you such as a partner or child because this role carries a lot of responsibility and involves a significant amount of paperwork.
It’s common practice to select more than one executor, a primary and a reserve. So that the reserve executor can step into the role if the primary executor is unable to do so for whatever reason.
If your will includes a trust, you might also want to specifically name a trustee to manage the estate. But this can be the same person as your executor if you wish.
Writing My Will – What Else Do I Need To Consider?
The reality of modern life is that many families are ‘blended families’, where two people enter a new relationship and each of you has children from a previous relationship.
This means stepfamilies are more common. With many people coming out of marriage at a stage in their life where they might have children and assets, things can be complicated.
It might be that your wishes are unique to your circumstances, and it’s a great example of why a will needs to be regularly updated. This is especially true whenever your circumstances change. Whether you’ve gotten married, divorced, have a newborn child in the family, or you’re cohabiting with a partner.
If it changes your life, it changes your will.
Disputes from former partners can be complicated. Particularly if you’ve been married more than once. So it’s best to consider everything before you draft your will.
You should also consider inheritance tax (IHT) and gifting rules.
If the total value of your estate (when you add up ALL of your assets including property, finances, and possessions) is under £325,000, then you don’t need to think about inheritance tax…
But if it’s more than £325,000… then you’ll need to account for IHT.
Inheritance tax is currently taxed at 40% of anything above the £325,000 threshold. So, if you’re estate is worth £400,000, then you’ll pay £30,000 in inheritance tax since that’s 40% of £75,000.
Find A Solicitor Near Me To Help Write A Will…
Creating a will can be a complex process.
Your circumstances and wishes are unique to you. So it’d be wise to seek legal advice at the earliest opportunity. To enable you to explore your options and ensure you create a will that’s valid and fulfils your wishes.
Find A Wills Solicitor Now