What information should be included in my Will?
Posted on 27th January 2020
According to research carried out by the Independent, nearly two thirds of adults in the UK don’t have a Will. Based on statistics released by the Office for National Statistics, this means that out of approximately 52,400,000 people over the age of 18 in the UK, around 34,584,000 of them do not have a Will. This figure, quite frankly, shocked our team of Wills solicitors in Preston, as this means that over 34 million adults don’t know, for sure, that their loved ones are taken care of following their deaths.
Particularly if you have children, it’s important to know that making a Will should be on your priorities list. However, we don’t want to lecture you, so now that you know it’s important, our team of will solicitors want to discuss the sorts of things you may want to consider putting in your Will, when the time comes.
#1 Personal Chattels – These are items that belong to you, such as jewellery, your car, TV, your pets, and your clothes. You could leave a gift of these specific items in your Will, or you could choose to leave a general gift of these items to your trustees, to distribute in accordance with your wishes made known to your trustees during their lifetimes.
#2 Guardians for your Children – If you die before your children are adults (18), you may wish to appoint someone as your legal guardian. These guardians will look after your children, if you can’t.
It’s worth speaking to the guardians about whether they are happy to care for your children and make sure that your views are either aligned, similar or that you understand what their views are about things that may affect your children, including their education, medical treatment, religion, food and anything else that could affect their upbringing. You should be happy enough with their views that you trust them to care for your children.
#3 Appointment of Executors
The executors are the people who will deal with your estate, including the collection of assets, settling liabilities, organising your funeral, and distributing your estate in accordance with the wishes contained within your Will.
You may wish to have a chat with your prospective executors to confirm that they’re happy to act as, if they aren’t, this could leave you without executors once you’ve died, as they could decide not to act at this point. It’s important to note that you do not have to tell your executors anything about your Will; however to avoid complications, you may choose to.
A lot of people who do not yet have children old enough to act as executors, may choose to appoint their parents as their executors. However, if your parents are a lot older than you, then there is a chance that they may be unable to act before they are required, and therefore you may wish to appoint replacement executors who can act in case they can’t.
#4 Funeral Wishes
You can choose to include funeral provisions in your Will, for example whether you wish to be buried or cremated. You may even go as far as to include details of what music you wish to be played. However, our team of wills solicitors in Preston would suggest that these details are kept in a separate letter to your executors, as then you are able to change the details if your circumstances change in the future, without having to change your Will.
#5 Assets such as property and money
You may wish to make specific gifts of these assets, or you may just want to include them as part of your ‘residuary estate’ (the remainder of your estate after any liabilities and specific gifts are made). Your residuary estate could be left to whoever you choose: a charity, your family or a friend.
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