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Thinking about Willing

You will be coming in to make a will. These are some of the things you should think about to be ready for your appointment.

If you have an existing will, where is it? We will need to write for it, and after you have signed the new one, destroy the old one. It can help for us to have the old will to hand when we talk to you, so please call in to sign an authority for us to obtain it as soon as possible.

Next, identify what assets you have, and their value. You do not have to be precise about values, but remember to include the death values of life policies and pension schemes. Do you know if these are written in trust? We need this information to advise you on whether your estate may be affected by Inheritance Tax. In particular also be realistic about the value of any property you own.

These are some of the things you should consider:

  1. Who will look after your children?
  2. Do you wish to make any particular gifts either in kind or in money?
  3. Who should take the balance of your estate after any debts and gifts have been paid (the Residue).
  4. What is to happen to any of these gifts, particularly of residue if that person dies before you?
  5. What are the full names (accurately spelled) and addresses of all the beneficiaries?
  6. Who is to be responsible for sorting out your estate, your executors. Do they agree to act? You need someone responsible and sensible, perhaps a member of your family. We can act if you wish, but of course we would have to charge.
  7. Might any beneficiary be under eighteen? If so, you will need two trustees/executors.
  8. Is anyone dependant upon you now? If so it is important to consider their needs before deciding what you want to happen to your estate. In any event, the law will prevent you ignoring these needs.
  9. Do you wish to make any gifts to Charity? We have books listing all sorts of charities who would welcome a gift, and if you have a particular charity in mind or want assistance in choosing one, we will be pleased to help.
  10. Do you have any wishes for your funeral arrangements?

In every case, keep an open mind until you have discussed it with us.

Important: Please note that our law-bytes are retained for archival purposes only. The law changes, and these notes are often, now, out of date. You must take direct advice on your own personal situation and the law as it currently stands.
All information on this site is in general and summary form only. The content of any page on this site may be out of date and or incomplete, and you should not not rely directly upon it. Take direct professional legal advice which reflects your own particular situation.
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Copyright and Database Rights: David Swarbrick 2012
18 October 2013 54 18 October 2013