What Sort Of Thing Do We Need To Know/Decide Before Making A Will?

My Husband And I Have Just Had Our First Child.  We Are Planning On Making Our First Will In The Next Couple Of Months – What Sort Of Thing Do We Need To Know/Decide?

There are certain decisions you will need to make before drawing up your Will.  Some of these can be emotionally difficult to make, but it is much better to be properly prepared in the event of an untimely death of either or both of you.

Appoint An Executor

You will need to appoint an Executor to your Will.  It is advisable to choose two people, as there can be a considerable amount of time and work involved.  When you have decided whom you would like to appoint, it is important to discuss with the individual/s involved.  The Executors named in your Will are authorised to deal with your affairs after your death and to carry out your wishes as stated in your Will.

Appoint A Guardian

You must appoint a Guardian to your child in the event of the death of both parents.  This Guardian will be responsible for raising your child in your absence.  It is important to include any unborn children resulting from your marriage.  You may want to specify certain requirements for your children’s upbringing (such as schooling/ residency) and include details of any trust funds.

Inheritance Tax

You need to consider whether your estate will be liable for Inheritance Tax as there are steps that you can take to reduce the tax.  There is often an assumption made that Inheritance Tax only applies to the rich, however, the value of your property may well push you above the threshold.  The current tax-free limit is £325K, after all debts are paid (such as mortgage payments/ utility bills/funeral costs). Your spouse, however, can inherit your estate free from Inheritance Tax.

Specific Gifts

Your Will may contain specific gifts to named beneficiaries. These are often gifts that have emotional value; for example jewellery or paintings. You may also make gifts of money to family, friends or to charities. After such gifts have been given, you may need to consider the main beneficiaries of your Will. This is usually your spouse or any children.

Funeral

You can set out in your Will how the funeral will be paid for and any specific wishes regarding your funeral.  In addition you can state whether you would like to be cremated or buried. Making these decisions and detailing them in a Will can really help your loved ones to cope in the period following your death.

Witnesses

You should choose two people to witness you signing the Will.  The witnesses must be over 18, of sound mind and they don’t need to be aware of the content of the Will, they only need to witness your signature.  It is worth noting that these individuals cannot be beneficiaries named in the Will.

Making a Will is not something that you should put off doing, particularly when dependants are involved.  If you die without a Will then you are deemed Intestate and your informal wishes will not be taken into account.  The process of making a Will is not expensive or time consuming and can be done in the comfort of your own home. Gerard James Estate Planning Limited can visit you at a time to suit yourselves at your own home. We will meet initially to talk through your requests, your Will shall then be prepared in draft and emailed to you. If complicated clauses arise, a second meeting would be scheduled at that time. Once you are happy with the draft, the documentation would be drawn up and a meeting arranged at your home for the Will to be signed and witnessed. The cost for this process is £125 for a single Will or £200 for standard mirrored Wills for a couple.

To arrange the writing of your Will, contact Gerard James Estate Planning on 07905 748073 today.

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