Posted: 19 September 2023
Category: Company News
Will Writing – Your Questions Answered
WRITING A WILL – YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED
It is vitally important to have an up to date will to avoid any problems following your death.
Here we answer some frequently asked questions to help you create the perfect will.
- WHO SHOULD ADVISE YOU ON WRITING A WILL?
There are DIY will writing kits available from stationers but unless instructions are very simple they can create problems. We don’t advise you ask your beneficiaries to help you either, especially if they are grown up children, as your instructions could be challenged by other beneficiaries that might feel you have been unduly influenced.
It is for these reasons that we suggest that you use the services of a solicitor to help draft your will.
2. WOULD IT BE BENEFICIAL TO SEEK FINANCIAL ADVICE PRIOR TO MAKING A WILL?
If your estate is valued at more than the nil rate band of £325,000, it may be helpful to seek the advise of a specialist tax planner to mitigate your liability.
3. DO I NEED AN EXECUTOR?
Yes, an appointed executor is responsible for managing the estate of the person that has died and exercising their instructions and wishes contained in the will. It is a responsible and demanding role and may involve handling large sums of money. If you are married you might want your spouse to be the executor but we would advise you not to appoint them as your sole executor. If you both died together, neither of you would have a living executor. It is therefore, advisable to appoint at least two executors so they can share the responsibility. Up to four can be appointed. An executor can be a friend, family member or a professional person like a solicitor or accountant.
4. DO I NEED TO APPOINT GUARDIANS?
If you are the last living parent and you die, leaving children under the age of 18, then a guardian will be appointed by the courts, so it is vital to specify who you would like to be the guardian of your under age children. This is even more critical if you are unmarried and have children because if an unmarried woman dies the surviving male partner doesn’t automatically get guardianship of their children.
5. DO I NEED TO APPOINT TRUSTEES?
Only if you are creating a life interest trust, discretionary trust or the beneficiaries are under 18 at your death. It is vital to choose someone that you have complete faith in and has a good grasp of financial affairs.
6. DO I HAVE TO LEAVE SPECIFIC BEQUESTS OR LEGACIES?
Only if you want certain friends or family members to be given a specific memento or treasured family heirloom. Legacies generally take the form of a monetary gift to friends, family or a charity.
7. WHAT IS A RESIDUAL LEGACY?
The “residue” is the remainder of your estate after all specific bequests and legacies have been allocated. If you don’t specify who this is left to you create a partial intestacy in your will. This then becomes subject to the laws on intestacy.
8. ANY TIPS ON WRITING A WILL?
Leave clear and unambiguous instructions. So if, for example, you are leaving a collection of glass to one beneficiary and a collection of silver to another, you have to be specific about who will inherit the silver mounted glass claret jug.
Don’t use nicknames and make sure the name used matches the name on their birth certificate.
9. ANYTHING ELSE I NEED TO CONSIDER?
Don’t forget to sign your will in front of two independent witnesses otherwise it won’t be valid. A witness cannot be anyone mentioned in the will or married to anyone mentioned in the will.
10. WHERE SHOULD I STORE THE WILL?
Don’t hide it so well that no one can find it. It should be stored in a safe storage facility to protect it from fire, flood damage or loss. Your executors should be informed where it is stored.
IF YOU REQUIRE MORE INFORMATION ON WILL WRITING OR REQUIRE A PROBATE VALUATION BY AN ACCREDITED COMPANY PLEASE CONTACT NICHOLAS MUSTON ANTIQUE VALUATIONS ON 01273 838348 OR 07812 518557, EMAIL INFO@ANTIQUEVALUATIONS.CO.UK< BACK TO POSTS