Care planning FAQs
What can go into your will?
Each Will is unique but here are some examples of what yours might include:
Name of your executor (who will manage the Will)
Any Legal Guardians for your children
Your funeral wishes/arrangements
Personal assets (e.g. jewellery, cars, pictures)
Financial assets (money in the bank accounts, any property you own)
Name your beneficiaries (who you are leaving your assets to)
Why do I need a Will?
You decide when you make a Will who you leave your assets to. As soon as you begin to save, purchase your first home, have your first child or inherit money a Will becomes essential.
Without a Will you have no say in how your estate will be dealt with and instead, your assets will be divided according to the law. Your family may not end up with all that you wish or their future may be complicated by assets going elsewhere.
As long as you are able to give instructions and have capacity to make a Will you can. You decide who will be your executor, who will be the guardian of your young children, who you leave your personal items to and all of your other assets.
Where does my Will live?
We hold on to all the Wills so that it is safely kept. All our newly written Wills are also added to the National Will Register.
Do I need a lawyer to write my Will?
It is not essential for a lawyer to write your Will. However, the value that a lawyer brings to making a Will is the advice they provide in relation to taxation, care planning, conflict of interest and practicalities.
They are also familiar with the terminology that is used to interpret Wills by the Courts so can add valuable insight into what could be the difference between a valid Will or an invalid Will.
How to change my Will?
If there are any changes to your circumstances, contact us and we’ll discuss these with you.
Who are beneficiaries of a Will?
A beneficiary is the person(s) that you identify in your Will who you wish to receive assets whether this be something specific, a small cash gift or a larger part of your estate. A beneficiary could be your spouse or partner, your children and grandchildren, other family members, close friends, or charities.
What is better, a Will or a Trust?
Wills and Trusts are two different documents, so it depends upon what you want and need. A Will kicks in upon the death of a person. A Trust can be created during someone's lifetime or under the terms of their will. A Will can create a Trust.
If you are looking to see whether a Trust made during your lifetime to dispose of assets is better than a Will it very much depends upon your circumstances. There are several traps that you can fall into when making lifetime Trusts. You also need to be able to give away the assets that you put into a lifetime trust and never need them.
What is the role of an executor?
An executor is the person appointed under a Will to act in connection with the administration of an estate. They gain their power from the Will which appoints them.
Their job is to identify the assets in the estate and the liabilities, work out whether there is tax to pay on death, and complete the relevant H M Revenue & Customs and Probate Registry paperwork if it is necessary to obtain a Grant of Probate.
The executor must then gather and encash the assets in the estate, pay the bills outstanding at death and those which have accumulated during the administration period and distribute the estate in accordance with the terms of the will.
What should I never put in my Will?
Always carefully word gifts in your will to avoid giving something away that you might not have at your death (E.g. a bank account that may close before you die).
Your Will is a private document so anything that you write in it remains confidential. However, once a Grant of Probate has been issued it becomes a public document which means that anyone can apply to the Probate Registry for a copy. Therefore, it’s best not to include any sensitive reasons as to your thoughts; you don't want the world to see you airing your family disputes in public.
It is best to leave out a clause in your will that goes into detail about why you have excluded a beneficiary from your estate. These are often sensitive issues. By all means, you can say that you have specifically excluded a beneficiary but if you feel the need to tell people why, do this in a separate letter to your executors which sits with your will.