Having taken the decision to Make your Will, possibly for the first time, there are a few points you should consider before committing to an appointment with a Professional Will Writer. The Will Writer’s job is to take your instructions and translate these into your Will, creating a document, which 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. This will minimise any problems, which may occur, causing delays and possible hardship to your loved ones.
There are some important questions, which you need to consider before making your Will. To help answer these questions we have described a meeting with our clients Mr Mrs NEWMAN who arranged for the consultant to visit their home one evening. Examples for each topic discussed in this meeting can be found by clicking on one of the menu items above.
When considering Executors my advice to you is perhaps a professional along with a family member or friend. The professional can arrange all the necessary legal work if any and pay any tax and the other Executor can deal with the family matters, this would in effect save the estate in professional fees.
An example: Mr & Mrs Newman have chosen each other as Executor along with EZWill.co.uk, who will look after the probate and pay any tax that is due, as well as setting up any trusts contained in the Wills. EZWill.co.uk are professional trustees and their charges are, in many cases, about 50% less than using other professionals.
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. One should always remember though that Trusts can be expensive to administer, particularly over a long period.
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. There are several Trust Companies run by charities, which can help. We can give you individual advice in these circumstances.
An Example: Mr & Mrs Newman have a son Peter, aged nine. They appointed George and his wife Mary as Guardians. Mary is great with children and seemed a natural choice. They are also only a couple of years younger. They could have chosen either sets of parents but did not wish to create a burden on them in their mature years.
Mr & Mrs Newman are very happy with their choice of Guardians and now feel they are really getting on with completing their Wills. "We did not realise how easy it is".
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.
Joint Ownership: Jointly owned property will pass to the survivor no matter how short the period of survivorship may be, despite anything said in the Will.
Tenants in common: Where more than one person holds land or property as tenants in common the share of each owner in common passes on his/her death under his/her Will. You can change the way you jointly own property with help from EZWill.co.uk.
An Example: MR & MRS NEWMAN hold their property as tenants in common. This was dealt with by Ezwill.co.uk at our request as MRS NEWMAN has a son from a previous relationship.
MRS NEWMAN wanted to make sure she had made some provision for her other son SAMUEL who is at University now, to inherit her share of the property only after the death of her second Husband.
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.
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.(Unless you wish to make other arrangements).
Long stop. Also described as the total calamity or disaster clause, so called because these beneficiaries will only inherit if all those named in the will fail to survive you.
An Example: MRS NEWMAN left her personal jewellery to her niece CHLOE and her piano to her Musical nephew CHARLES.
MR NEWMAN left some money to a worthy charity. He left £5000 to the MAKE-A-WISH FOUNDATION, and also £1000 to a friend.
The balance of the NEWMANS estate went to their children. This was referred to as the residue.
MRS NEWMAN was delighted that she had chosen a home Will Writing service and could not wait to tell her friends.
You may choose to ignore this part. For those that wish to leave specific instructions, such as cremation or burial and whether flowers or donations are to be given, you can add these requests to your Will or in a letter of wishes.
It must be pointed out that whatever your request, these are only a wish and are not binding on your executors to carry them out if they are unable to.
EZWill.co.uk can provide a guaranteed prepaid funeral plan that can be paid for by way of a lump sum or monthly contributions over a period of time. Please ask for details.
An Example: Mr & Mrs Newman just wished to mention that they would both like to be cremated. After discussion they decided to purchase two guaranteed funeral plans so they made the Necessary arrangements and did not need to worry later about setting money aside to cover the cost of funerals.
Mr & Mrs Newman paid for their Wills and decided to take up the secure storage option and paid annually to have their Wills stored.
Our total bill was less than our car insurance!
Funeral Plans Can be purchased by paying a down payment of as little as £250 and then the balance can be spread over four years or you can pay by single payment.
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