When it comes to making or in some cases changing your Will, there are many things you need to consider. Discussing your Will with a qualified solicitor will also help you to ensure that your estate goes to exactly to who you want it to after your death. Prior to seeing your solicitor you should perhaps consider the following:
Who are the executors and trustees of your Will?
Always think carefully about who you would like to be your executor and trustees to your Will.
An executor is responsible for dealing with your affairs and implementing the terms of your Will. Your executor is also usually appointed to be trustee of your assets whilst your affairs are still being sorted. Full names and addresses should be given to your solicitor.
Do you have any children?
If you have any children under the age of 16, you should consider carefully as to who is going to look after them should you pass away. Guardians can also be appointed in your Will. Full names and addresses should be given to your solicitor.
Do you want to give any specific gifts or items?
Always consider whether you would like to gift money or a specific item to a particular person named in your Will. Make a list of the items and the amount of money you would like to gift as well as the names of the beneficiaries. Please note that all these details should be given to the solicitor.
Whats going to happen to your residuary estate?
The residuary estate is the remainder of your assets/property once any liabilities have been paid off as well as when any gifts or money have been given. Always give careful consideration as to who you would like to receive this. If you are intending to give to a minor child, any funds will need to be held in a trust by your chosen executor until they reach a particular age. This is usually between 18 and 25.
How much inheritance tax needs to be paid?
It is important to note that the current inheritance tax threshold is £325,000, although there are exemptions and reliefs available which can help reduce the amount of tax payable. Make a list of your assets and their value. This list should be given to your solicitor so that they can advise you on the best way to reduce inheritance tax.
Register you Will
Once your Will has been signed and dated, you should ask your solicitor about registering your Will. Once your Will is registered, it will protect you should it get accidentally lost or destroyed.
Where can I store my Will safely?
It is very important to store your Will in a safe place. Your executors should also be aware as to where your Will is being stored.
If you are thinking of storing your Will, we would suggest an online option as it will protect you should your home flood or should you become a victim of theft. My Online Vault is a fully secure, protected and interactive document management system where you store your documents online within your own online vault. Find out more here.
Do I need to review my Will?
Yes it is recommended that you review your Will at least every 3 years, although this should be done more frequently should your family or financial circumstances change. Depending on your situation a Will can either be changed via a codicil or it may need to be renewed altogether. Your solicitor will be able to advise you on this and what is best for your situation.
Do you want to leave money to charity?
Through your Will you can leave gifts to your chosen charity. Anything left to charity is exempt from inheritance tax. Whatever your charity, make sure it is clear in your Will and your solicitor is made aware.
If your thinking of making a Will, MTA Solicitors can help you! To find out how our dedicated team of Wills and probate solicitors can help you with your Will or protecting your estate simply click here. Alternatively, you can call us on 0208 437 0731.