If you’re thinking of writing your will, what should you put in it?
Over time, you’ll come to own all sorts of things like a property, savings or a pension. You may also have treasured possessions that you would like to pass on. Whether you’re updating an existing will or starting to think about writing one for the first time, here’s what could go in your will.
Many people like to pass on items they own of sentimental value. If you have a will, you can leave specific items you own to people you’d like to inherit them.
For example, ‘I give my engagement ring to my granddaughter’. And you can leave money to people as well – for example, ‘I give £1,000 to each of my children’.
Once you’ve decided who you’d like to leave specific gifts to, you can then set out who you would like to leave everything else to (known as the ‘residuary estate’).
You can also say who should inherit if any of the people you leave money or gifts to die before you.
Under the rules of intestacy (which set out who will get what if you die without a will), unmarried partners and stepchildren won’t automatically inherit from you. Instead, they would have to go to court to make a claim, which can be both emotionally and financially costly. So, if you would like to pass anything on to them, it’s important you put this in your will.
If your estate (that’s everything you own less anything you owe) is big enough to worry about inheritance tax, a solicitor can advise you on how to write your will to minimise the amount of tax paid. Generally there isn’t any inheritance tax to pay if your estate is worth less than £325,000. However, if you give your home away to your children (including adopted, foster or step children) or grandchildren, your estate can be worth up to £500,000 before inheritance tax kicks in. And if your spouse or civil partner dies before you, you could potentially pass on up to £1million free of tax. For more detail see Gov.uk
Single Wills are just that, a single will for 1 person. You cannot get a joint Will. For 2 people, say for example a husband or wife, boyfriend and girlfriend or a civil partnership, you would obtain a Mirror Will. They are called mirror wills because they normally mirror each other’s wishes but you can say in your Will different wishes of course.
A single Will is charged at £99, for a Mirror Will, 50% is taken off and is charged at £149
Here at David Nicholls, we can arrange this for you, contact us now for a free quote.
(please note, there are no hidden charges !)
A guardian is a person who has legal responsibility for children if their parents die and the children are under the age of 18 yrs of age. If there is no provision in a Will, children can be placed in care until the court appoints official guardians to look after them. In order to avoid this, many parents appoint a guardian.
What are a guardian’s responsibilities?
A legal guardian is responsible for all the roles you would usually play as a parent, including:
• Bringing them up until they reach adulthood
• Giving them somewhere safe to live
• Maintaining their diet and health
• Making sure they get an education
This is what is says on the tin. It’s organising the actual money side to the cost of your funeral to the actual arrangements of what you to happen on the day. You may want a certain song to be played or you may wish for a certain coffin or you may wish for the place of the funeral to happen at a certain place such as at sea !
You can of course choose what you want to. You may even wish for a party for your friends like the Irish or you may wish for an amount to go to your favourite charity or you may even wish for
Blocking someone from gaining access to your assets
Putting wishes within the Will legally
Once the will has been finalised, it will be emailed to you and printed and sent to you in the post to the address of your choice. You will need to sign the will in front of 2 independent witnesses. These witnesses cannot be within the will such as your children, your partner or member of your family. This process is known as Attestation.
Once the Will is signed, we can store a master copy here in our vault / office and a copy is given to you or you can store the original will at your home for example. Please note, if your will is damaged or you cannot find your will, in the eyes of the law, you do not have a will and your wishes will not be kept !
Most banks will charge £40 annual charge to store the will. Here at David Nicholls Associates, we charge £15 annually.
If ever your family wish to see the will, we can (with your authority) email them a copy.
This is simply a letter, written in plain English or typed, which sets out your wishes for the distribution of your estate on death. It is a non-binding letter designed to sit alongside your will.
Its purpose is to provide guidance to executors, trustees and family members and provides an opportunity to set out your thought process either at the time of making the will or at a later date. In many cases, a letter of wishes will become the most important tool in assisting your executors and trustees in reaching pragmatic early decisions in line with your specific wishes – speaking out where a will cannot. A letter of wishes can be key on assisting your executors to manage family expectations, wealth, the family business, and general family dynamics for many years.
Some thing are taken for granted such as pets, but who would look after your pet/s if you died ?
Here at David Nicholls Associates, you can pay a one off cost of £15 and can amend your Will in the future.