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The Top Ten Tips For Creating A Will

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The Importance of Creating A Will

There’s not many people that like to talk about death, especially their own, so it can be difficult when it comes to creating a will. However, if a will is not created while you’re still alive, a whole host of problems come to rise for your grieving family to solve.

Maybe people feel daunted by the whole idea of creating a will. Maybe people get scared about the idea of creating a will. It could even be the cost which is holding you back.

But, the small job a creating a will is probably way more straight forward than you might primarily think.

We’ve highlighted the top ten tips for creating the perfect will.

1 | Make sure you can trust the person who is writing up your will

There is the option of getting a DIY will creating kit from your local solicitors. However, the DIY will could be followed by pitfalls and errors. Going back to the cost of creating a will, it will cost a lot more if a solicitor must spend time sorting out badly drawn out wills and dealing with claims against those wills. DIY can be helpful with home improvements, but unless you understand the ins and outs, DIY is not for creating wills.

2 | Choose your executors wisely

After you’ve died the executors have the responsibility for exercising your estate in accordance with your instructors. This demanding role involves handling large amounts of money, so you will want someone that you can trust.

3 | Appoint a default or substitute executor

People in a long-term relationships or that are married, tend to want their partners to be their executor. Nevertheless, if they both die together, then who will carry out the terms of the testator’s will. With this in mind, we don’t recommend making your partner your sole executor. Always set up a someone to be a backup executor just in case the unthinkable would happen.

4 | Appoint Guardians

When you’re the last living parent of a child under the age of 18, if you have not specified who will be your child’s guardian then the court will appoint a guardian for them. If you and your partner have children but are unmarried, you might not get guardianship of your children. If an unmarried man dies, then the children will go to the mother of the children. However, if an unmarried woman dies then, the father wouldn’t. To avoid such situation, you should appoint each other as guardians of your children in each of your wills.

5 | Get A Trustworthy Trustees

A trustee will be responsible for looking after your money and property until it passes to the beneficiaries, so make sure they have a grasp of financial matters. We understand that this is obvious but if you are setting up a trust in your will or if your beneficiaries could be aged under 18 when you die, you will need to appoint trustees.

6 | Make Sure You Create Specific Legacies

A lot of families have heirlooms that have special sentimental values so it’s a good idea to leave these items as a specific legacy to a named beneficiary. These items could include such things like wedding rings or engagement rings.

7 | Make Sure You Leave A Residual Legacy

Once you have made any specific legacies, the “residue” is what is left over. If you want to avoid creating partial intestacy in your will then specify who you are wanting this to go to. In simpler terms, the legacies and small gifts would be shared out according to your will be the residue would be subject to the laws of intestacy.

8 | Start A Trust and Save On Tax

Many families are being left with the burden of an inheritance tax. This is more prominent where the value of a property pushes the value of an estate higher than the nil rate band for inheritance tax.

9 | Sign Your Will

To make your will official you need to have to sign it in front of two legal witnesses. These witnesses can’t be anyone that is mentioned in the will or anyone married to someone mentioned.

10 | Get It Stored Safely

Once you’ve got all the above sorted out, make sure that it’s kept in a secure, safe place. Your executor will be provided with a certificate that states where your will is being kept and how they will be able to obtain it once you pass away.

If you require any further information about making a will then please do not hesitate to call us on 020 7317 8930 or email wills@craiglaw.co.uk
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