Making a Will may prove to be one of the most straightforward yet important financial decisions you make. You should ensure you have a valid Will. Without a Will, your assets and possessions will ultimately be distributed according to the rules of intestacy, meaning you have no influence over who receives the assets in your estate. Sorting out your affairs may also prove far more difficult.
Making a Will is a straightforward process and will ensure your wishes are clearly documented and followed in full. The issues which can be covered in a Will include:
Appointment of Executors - you will need to appoint in your Will Executors, who are those you trust to make sure your wishes are carried out after your death. An Executor needs to be aged 18 or above, and they can be beneficiaries of your Will. Careful thought should be given as to whom you appoint.
Guardianship of young children - if you have children under the age of 18 years, you should appoint in your Will(s) guardians who would care for your children after your death. Ideally a primary guardian and a reserve.
Specific legacies to individuals and / or Charity - can be specific item or sums of cash.
Property and other asset protection - do you want to ensure your estate passes to your chosen beneficiaries and is not at risk from any future spouse or live-in partner, or from the impact of long-term care costs?
Inheritance tax planning - is your joint estate in excess of the inheritance tax threshold? Your estate can include your house, lump-sum pension proceeds, life policies, death in service benefits, savings, investments and even your personal possessions.
Distribution of your estate - would you like your spouse / partner to inherit all of your estate in the first instance? If you have no spouse / partner or if you both die together, does your estate pass to your children? If not then to whom and in what percentages?
Any specific funeral wishes you have - do you have any specific funeral requests? These can be noted in your Will.