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Home » Latest News » 20 useful points about making a Will in 2020

20 useful points about making a Will in 2020

20 useful points about making a Will in 2020

Senior Solicitor, Christina Starling, urges everyone to take the time to have a Will drawn up in the coming year.

  1. A Will is a legal document that allows you to express your wishes when you die. 
  2. ‘Testator’ is the legal term used to describe the person making the Will.  As the testator, this is your opportunity to make legally binding decisions about what happens after you die.
  3. Enlisting the services of a solicitor to assist you with your Will reduces the risk of any challenges against your intentions being successful.
  4. ‘Estate’ is the term used to describe your money, your possessions, and your property. Making a Will means that these will be divided according to your intentions.
  5. A ‘beneficiary’ is a person chosen by you to inherit a part of your estate after your death.  Dying without a valid Will is called intestacy and this leaves your estate to be shared out according to the law. This means that some loved ones may not be legally entitled to anything, for example your partner if you are not married or in a civil partnership.  You can find out who is entitled to your estate if you do not have a Will on the GOV.UK website.
  6. Sentimental items do not necessarily have monetary value and can often be overlooked when dividing an estate.  By writing such items into a Will you are ensuring that treasured memories are passed on to those you wish to share them with.  For example this could be a souvenir from a holiday, a memento from a special occasion, or even a photograph or album.
  7. Your Executor is responsible for dealing with the administration of your estate. This should be someone you trust who is reliable, honest and well-organised.  Depending on your age, you may wish to consider choosing somebody who is likely to survive you.
  8. A Will allows you to specify your preference for guardianship of any minors.  It is the court’s decision who becomes a child’s guardian if all those with parental responsibility pass away, and they will take the Will of a parent into consideration when making the decision.
  9. A trust is an arrangement where your money or assets are held on behalf of your beneficiaries. You can set up a trust in your Will.  You can find more information about trusts here.
  10. A child cannot inherit money until they turn 18 years old.  You can have the opportunity  in your Will to stipulate an older age, for example when they turn 21, as by this point they may be more adept at dealing with funds.
  11. If you wish to leave a donation in support of a charity, you can do this within your Will.  Many charities welcome all kinds of legacy gifts, from a share of your estate known as a ‘residuary gift’, to a cash sum known as a ‘pecuniary gift’.
  12. Making a Will can maximise your chances of inheritance tax relief, meaning that your loved ones benefit from your estate in the most tax-efficient way.
  13. If you are an owner or part-owner of a business, you can provide clarity of who owns what in the event of your death by writing it into your Will. 
  14. If you have a preference for what happens to your remains after your death, it may be prudent to make a note of this in your Will rather than leaving the decision to your loved ones
  15. If you would like anything in particular for your funeral ceremony, you can also specify this within your Will.  This could include anything ranging from your religious beliefs to choosing which song is played or which poems are read.
  16. The cost of a Will can vary, as with anything. Bridge McFarland LLP offer a simple will from just £180 (including VAT), or a pair of simple Wills for a couple from £300 (including VAT).
  17. Every situation is unique and, whatever the value of your estate or complexity of your Will, Bridge McFarland follow an easy, step-by-step approach that will leave you with peace of mind.
  18. Your first meeting with our team could be as quick as just half an hour.  We won’t take up any more of your time than is necessary.  Once the Will is drafted, a copy is sent to you for review before a final meeting for the original to be signed and witnessed. We have solicitors who specialise in Will writing and encourage face-to-face meetings to reassure you that your best wishes will be looked after.
  19. You will need to bring a valid form of ID to the first meeting along with a list of any assets.
  20. You will also need to provide the full names and addresses of individuals named as executors, beneficiaries or guardians.

Book your appointment to make a Will with Bridge McFarland LLP today!