Whatever your age, planning and taking some small legal steps now can make an enormous difference in the future to safeguard you and your family, whatever tomorrow brings.
Making a Will is important whether you feel you have valuable possessions or not. Yes, part of making a Will is to decide who will inherit your possessions but there are also other important instructions that can be included.
Here are some things you should consider including in your Will:
Choosing an Executor/s
The Executor/s you choose will be the person/s responsible for your dealing with your affairs and distributing your assets as you have instructed in your Will.
An Executor can be someone you know and trust, or a professional like a Solicitor that has the experience and knows how to carry out all the responsibilities you have asked for.
Pick Legal Guardians for your children
If you are a parent to a child under 18 years of age, an important thing to consider is selecting legal guardians for your children and naming them in your Will.
This step is something to be thought about carefully – it is crucial to choose the right guardians and to ensure they agree to take on the responsibility.
Money and possessions
As most people are aware, a Will is used to provide instructions on the allocation of your assets when you die. Your assets can include real estate or property, stocks and shares, a business, vehicles, bank accounts, foreign assets, digital assets, jewellery, cash, other valuables and even jointly owned assets.
The Solicitor will take a list of your assets and discuss with you how you would like them distributed.
Choosing your Beneficiaries
Beneficiaries are the people who will benefit from your assets. You can choose and outline who will inherit money, property, and valuables. We know this can be difficult to think about but the more detail you add in your Will, the easier it will be for your family.
Your Will can also include details on how your pet should be looked after. You can pick the person that you would want your pet to live with or provide details of charities you would like to take care of your pet.
Read our blog on including pets in your Will here.
Gifts and donations
There are three types of gifts you can include in your Will: specific gifts of items like property, vehicles and jewellery, pecuniary gifts (gifts of money) and residuary gifts. Residuary gifts or your ‘residuary estate’ is basically what is left over after payment of all the specific gifts and pecuniary gifts included in your Will and after payment of any debts/liabilities and expenses of your estate has been paid. You can choose who receives everything else that is left over (your net estate).