Writing a Will involves more than simply choosing who to give your money to. So what should you consider when drafting or updating one? Steve Wright, from our Estates team, considers what’s necessary.
Executors deal with the administration of your estate. They will need to collect and value your assets, arrange for the transfer or sale of them and distribute money to your beneficiaries. Being an Executor can be complicated and time-consuming, so it’s important to choose people who you believe are capable of the responsibility, and who you trust implicitly. It’s also possible to appoint a professional executor, a role which The Fry Group has been fulfilling for many years.
If your children are under 18, you should use your Will to appoint a guardian for them in the event of your death. You should also speak to your chosen guardian and make sure that they are happy to take on the role. If you don’t choose someone yourself, then the courts will decide who should raise them.
If you want to you can include your thoughts about your funeral arrangements in your Will. Bear in mind that they will not be legally binding but a few pointers can give your loved ones some guidance which could be a source of comfort. It’s also helpful to make sure you have discussed any wishes in case your family does not have sight of your Will immediately.
You can leave gifts of money or items in your Will, known as specific legacies. These can be given to named individuals or charities. Residuary estate This is the portion of your estate that remains after all expenses, debts and specific legacies have been paid. You can leave it to one person or split it between several, giving each one a named share. The important thing to remember is that if your estate ends up being smaller than you had anticipated, the residual amount may be far less than you wanted to give. Those receiving specific legacies will still receive their money first, and those sharing the residuary estate may be left with very little.