Things To Consider When Writing A Will: – Creating a will is something that many simply don’t consider until later in life…
But in the past couple of years, more and more people are looking to create their will, with enquiries to solicitors rising by 70%.
In fact, with data from Remember a Charity revealing that 68% of adults in the UK don’t have a valid will – it’s more important than ever to write your Will and to make sure you do it correctly.
So, What Do You Need To Consider When Writing a Will?
Well – a fair bit.
The easiest place to start is by mapping out your estate and assets.
Now, you don’t need a portfolio of property or an account at Coutts to write a will – far from it.
If you’ve got anything you want to leave to friends and family, you should be considering writing a will.
Whether that’s simply family heirlooms like your grandad’s old watch, your car, or your wedding ring – you should write a will.
But before you do so, make a list of EVERYTHING you own.
And we mean everything.
Cars, property, savings, any businesses you own, shares, personal possessions – seriously… EVERYTHING.
And make sure you include the value of each item too. Doing so will make it much easier for assets to be distributed among your beneficiaries, which is particularly helpful should any financial or tax issues arise.
So, How Do You Go About Listing Your Beneficiaries?
Deciding who will get what is not an easy thing to do.
Beneficiaries are anyone that benefits from your will, whether that’s financially or your Gregg Wallace decorative china plates.
Once you’ve got a good idea of your list of assets, it’s time to start figuring out where everything will go. The smart way to do this is by creating a list of beneficiaries first, then deciding how each of them will benefit – it’ll help you keep track of things A LOT easier.
There’d be nothing worse than finishing your list and realising you’ve left your favourite cousin or niece off it…
And you might want to include charities and organisations in there too – so have a good thing about your list of beneficiaries first!
This is a great chance to think about things before you commit to them in your will.
Think About The Specifics In Your Will
The reality is that the complex nature of modern families, as blended families become more common, means that there can be issues with wills and inheritance.
This is why a will needs to be updated whenever your circumstances change. That means marriage, divorce, the birth of a child or grandchild, or simply if you’re cohabiting with a partner. Remember this saying when it comes to making a Will and you will not go far wrong:
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.
Choosing Your Will Executors
Choosing your executor, trustees, and guardians is essential.
Your executor is the person that’ll handle your estate after you die. This requires a responsible person since it involves a lot of paperwork when the time comes – so choose carefully.
It’s common if you’re in a relationship to choose your partner as your executor, while any children you have over 18 are also a good choice.
Most people will choose more than one executor (usually 2), a primary and a reserve who could step into the role if the primary executor is unable to for any reason.
If your Will includes a trust, you might also want to specifically name a trustee to manage the estate – don’t worry, this can be the same person as your executor if you wish.
Work Out Any Inheritance Tax Due
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 worry about inheritance tax.
If it’s more than £325,000… then you’ll need to account for it and consider how it will be paid.
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.
However, when it comes to couples, remember there is a doubling up of allowances, so this means a lot more people slip under the inheritance tax limits.
Find The Right Legal Professional
Creating your will is a significant task to undertake.
So, before you take the final step of writing your will, you need to carefully select the right solicitor to help you.
Find A Will Writing Solicitor