a single person
To think about making a will is just not on the radar when you are young, foot loose and fancy free. Perhaps you do not have a great deal to leave whilst you are still living in the comfort of your parents' home. However, once you have a job and begin to save and then rent or buy a home, making a will becomes important.
It is even more important if you are single to have a will. If you do not choose where your assets are to go it could have negative consequences on those who benefit. Being single does not have to mean living alone with no family. In the eyes of the law you are single if you are not married or divorced. You could however, be living with someone, have a child, have parents who already have large estates or simply dislike your family!! Without a will your estate will pass under the Intestacy Rules. A cohabiting partner may miss out, a child may inherit at eighteen rather than an age where they are mature enough to receive money or your parents may inherit your estate and lose 40% of it to Inheritance Tax. A will prevents all of these things.
So, shall we start to look at the things you need to think about when making a will?
Executors: you need to think about the people you trust enough to manage the responsibility of your estate following your death. Are they over eighteen? Can they deal with money management? Will they disagree with your other executors? Could there be a conflict of interest? An executor has to identify the assets and liabilities in the estate, calculate the total estate and work out whether it is subject to Inheritance Tax. They need to complete Inheritance Tax paperwork and swear statements for the Probate Registry. Once all this has been done they then need to collect the assets, pay the bills and distribute the estate.
Funeral wishes: a will is an ideal place to record your funeral wishes. You can go as far as you like with instructions or you can keep it brief. You would be surprised at some of the things that people want to do! You also need to let people know if you have a funeral plan.
Guardians: If you are not married then it is important you make provision for what happens to any children you have under the age of eighteen.
Gifts: Do you want to make any monetary gifts or gifts of specific items. These are often made to charities, close family and important friends.
Residue: This is what is left once everything has been paid and any gifts have been made. This is the pot you get to divide between those who are important. How old do you want your beneficiaries to be before they receive money? Remember, when planning what you want to do have you thought about the consequences of what would happen if your first choice of beneficiaries died before you? Would you want their children to inherit from your estate or would you want someone else to benefit?
When you look at making a will your wishes are of the utmost importance. However, you do also need to consider the impact of Inheritance Tax and care fees on your wishes as these can significantly alter what you have left to give.
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