MAKING A WILL
Blythe Wills Limited job is to take your instructions and translate these into your Will, creating a document that accurately reflects your wishes. The Will needs to be understood by your executors and most importantly, The Probate Court, to ensure that it is proved quickly to minimise any problems that may occur causing delays and possible hardship to your loved-ones. There are some important questions that you need to consider before meeting with me. By having many of the answers available it will leave more time to discuss the other important issues that may arise during the consultation.
- THE APPOINTMENT OF EXECUTORS.
Being an Executor can be a difficult and time consuming role. It has legal, financial and tax consequences and under English Law, they are personally liable for the deceased’s obligations. I therefore recommend that they should be either business minded family or friends and/or professionals.
If you do want to appoint a professional executor, you should consider appointing either a solicitor, a Chartered accountant or a Trust Corporation to act on your behalf. I will be able to advise you on the best one in your circumstances and give a guide to the fees they are likely to charge.
- APPOINTMENT OF GUARDIANS
Only if you have minor children (under the age of 18 years) will you need to appoint guardians. It may be helpful to make at least one guardian a joint executor, they do have a right to money from your estate to help towards the cost of bringing up your children. If you wish to restrict the amount to which they are entitled, it may be wise to leave the money in trust, again I will be able to advise on the suitability of such a scheme.
If you have disabled children who are likely to require specialist care either at home or in the care of the Local Authority, a trust will be required to ensure that adequate funds are available for their future.
How you hold your property will determine how it passes on your death. As ‘Joint Tenants’ your share will pass to the survivor automatically. If you wish to pass your ‘interest’ in the property to your children or others, you should hold your property as ‘Tenants in Common’.
- OTHER CONSIDERATIONS
Specific Gifts – decide now if you wish to leave any other members of your family or friends a special gift.
Pecuniary Legacies – this is the term for a gift of money, again give some thought as to anyone, other than your spouse or children, who you may wish to leave a legacy to, this also can include gifts to your favourite charity (if a charity try and have the address and registration number available).
Residuary Legacy – this covers all the remainder of your estate, and in the case of a married couple passes ‘each to each other’ and then on to any children in equal shares upon the death of the survivor.
Long Stop – also described as the ‘total calamity or disaster’ clause, so called because these beneficiaries will only inherit if all those named as your residuary beneficiaries fail to survive you.
Funeral Wishes – you may choose to ignore this section. For those that wish to leave specific instructions, such as cremation or burial and whether flowers or donations are to be given, you should complete this section. It must be pointed out that whatever your request, these are only a wish and not binding on your executors to carry them out if they are unable to.
AND FINALLY – whatever you have put in your Will – and it is personal only to you – make sure that your executors can find it when the time comes. Tell them where you keep your Will and how they can get access to it.