Where there’s a Will, there’s a way to stop arguments in the family
Do I need a Will?
A will is only needed when you die and we are all going to die. You can make as many wills throughout your lifetime as you want, each one cancelling out (revoking) the previous one, as long as you still have mental capacity – it is not set in stone so don’t be frightened.
A will is a document in which you have named the people you want to deal with the administration of your estate following your death. Hopefully for them, you might have even remembered them in your will? Without a will, friends and charities will not benefit and the ‘Intestacy Rules’ will kick in.
Having a will is the only way to ensure that the ones you love and want to benefit after your death can do so.
It’s not enough to verbally say to someone, “You can have this when I die”, you need to put this in writing, a Will being a legal document and one which has to be adhered to.
What happens if you die without a Will?
Anything you have promised someone verbally will not be upheld and the Government will decide who gets what. This will cause great stress to your friends and family.
What Information do you need?
You need to appoint an Executor, a person over the age of 18 who will ensure that the wishes of your will are carried out. The Executor will be the person who swears the Oath to enable the Grant of Probate to be obtained when required. If married, you partner is normally an Executor but in case you both die together, appoint a second Executor in their stead.
If you have children, appoint guardians.
Then think about how you wish to distribute your estate. Do you wish to leave any monies to charity?
It is best to divide your estate into 100% and divide it accordingly as opposed to leaving exact amounts of money which you might not have at the time of your death, especially if you find yourself in a nursing home later on in life. It does work both ways: you may win the lottery this weekend and have a lot more in your estate but either way, your Will will still work.
Do you have children?
Once you have your first child, it is important to appoint a guardian to look after them should something happen to both parents. Making a will is the legal document which assigns your chosen guardian for any children you may have until they reach 18.
Who do you want to have your property when you die? If you go into a nursing home then monies are often taken from your home to pay your nursing home fees.
Marriage Revokes a Will
If you had made a Will previously and have since got married, you need to re-write your Will as ‘marriage revokes a Will’, i.e. it is no longer valid.
Made in Contemplation of Marriage
If you have a long-term partner but are not yet married, insert this paragraph into your Will to prevent you making another Will should you get married in the future or not.
Married couples have the tax advantage of being able to leave £325,000 tax free to their partner. Even if you have not got married or entered into a Civil Partnership, having this paragraph in your Will will enable you to take advantage of this tax saving.
My marriage has broken down. Do I need to change my Will or should I wait until I’m divorced?
If you are no longer living with your husband/wife but have not yet divorced, amend your Will now. If you don’t make a Will, your assets will automatically go to your husband/wife would leave your long-term partner with nothing. AWill is cheaper to prepare and faster than waiting for a divorce to come through!
Executor / Executrix – the person allocated by you to sign for and swear any documents once you are dead.
Pecuniary Legacy – Fixed amount of money left
Beneficiaries – persons to benefit from the Will
Per stirpes – per branch
Without leaving issue – dying without having had any children
Fussell Wright’s fees
Fussell Wright will store your Will in their Strong Room, free of charge.