When you first consider making a Will, it can be a daunting prospect. However, at HB Partners Wills & Estate Planning we will make the process as clear and smooth as possible. To get you started, here are some quick links:
Making a Will provides the peace of mind that comes with the knowledge that you are safeguarding your children and passing on your assets to your surviving family in the event of your death. After all, it is entirely natural to want this for them.
Conversely, without a Will your assets will not be distributed according to your wishes.
Without a Will
- There is no guarantee that those you would wish to benefit from your Estate will do so.
- Your spouse/civil partner will not automatically inherit your Estate in its entirety.
- ‘Common Law’ partners may not receive any of your assets, according to the laws which protect married couples.
- Minor children could be taken into care whilst guardians are appointed.
- There may be delays and disputes over the distribution of your assets.
- You will not be in control of who in your family will benefit.
- You will not be able to leave bequests to friends, colleagues or charities, as they fall outside of the Rules of Intestacy.
In summary, making a Will enables you to plan exactly what will happen to your property (Estate) following your demise. It ensures that those who you specifically would like to benefit actually do so. At the same time you can remove the risk of possible disputes between relatives.
Most notable and important is the peace of mind making a Will provides.
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Ideally, everyone should make a Will, but in reality, only one person in three has done so. Furthermore, of those, many of their Wills are out of date, no longer accurately reflecting their circumstances. For this reason, we strongly recommend that everyone makes and regularly reviews their Will.
Making a Will, and putting your affairs in order, is one of the most essential financial processes that you are likely to undertake, irrespective of your age and the value of your Estate.
Without a Will
- Many of the population lose their homes and/or savings to pay for Care.
- A large proportion of any inheritance is lost in future divorce settlements, creditors or bankruptcy and unnecessary taxation.
- If you own a business or a business share, then your spouse/partner and children may not inherit your share of a business.
The four basic types of Wills are
- Living Will - A living Will is one which is made in advance, so that you can communicate your wishes for end-of-life care.
- Testamentary Trust Will - A Testamentary Trust is a provision in a Will which appoints a Trustee to manage the assets of the deceased, particularly when the beneficiary, or beneficiaries, are children or dependent adults. These are suitable should you want to take care of a disabled relative or minor.
- Single Will - This type of Will is designed to suit single or divorced people.
- Joint or Mirror Will - This type of Will is ideally suited to couples who share the same wishes regarding how they leave their Estate.
You should not include the following in your Will:
- Joint accounts
- Joint tenancy property
- Pension benefit
- Life insurance
- Business partnership
If you have young children, a valid Will is essential to ensure their safeguarding in the event of your passing before they reach an age of independence.
For a fee-free consultation on making your Will
Putting the right Will in place is easier than you think.
To find out how, please call us on 020 3355 2875
Who needs a Will?
What are the four basic types of Wills?
What should you not include in your Will?
Yes, it is permissible and acceptable to write your own Will.
We recommend that you seek advice if your Estate is not straightforward or for guidance on tax efficiency.
Is it acceptable for me to write my own Will?
The Testator is the legal title for the person making the Will.
They must have the mental ability to do so. This is known as 'Testamentary Capacity'.
What is a Testator?
When preparing a Will, the Testator needs to consider the following:
- Who to appoint as Executors
- Who to appoint as Guardians
- What Legacies are in the Estate
- What Residue will remain after debts have been settled
- In which country/ countries does the Testator own assets.
What considerations need to be made, ahead of preparing a Will?
Making a Will
Providing you with peace of mind and protecting your children
At HB Partners, our consultants can advise you on all aspects of Will planning. We are committed to safeguarding your wealth for your children, grandchildren and chosen beneficiaries after your passing.
An Executor is an individual appointed by a Testator to administer their Estate.
Appointing an Executor
We recommend that the Testator appoints an Executor to ensure that the terms of the Will are carried out as stated. Executors can also be beneficiaries of the Will, and many choose to appoint their spouse, partner or children as Executors. It is strongly advised that you confirm with your proposed Executors that they are willing to take on the role, before naming them in your Will, as it involves considerable responsibility. You should also consider naming more than one Executor, in case one dies before you.
It may also help the Executors if there is more than one of them to share the workload and responsibility. Executors may be required to deal with the day-to-day administration of your Estate in the period before it can be distributed. Executors are permitted to claim from the Estate for any expenses incurred in carrying out their duties. If the Estate is large or complex, we recommend appointing a professional Executor.
What is an Executor?
Essentially, a Guardian acts in loco parentis. They are responsible for your child's day-to-day upbringing and wellbeing.
The terms of the Will should be such that the Executors and subsequently Trustees can do all that is necessary to assist a Guardian, in financial terms, to fulfil their responsibilities.
What is a Guardian responsible for?
Intestacy is the situation that arises when a person dies without leaving a Will.
The rules of intestacy for England and Wales specify that an Estate must pass on to the surviving spouse or civil partner, children or other descendants, parents, half-blood descendants or other descendants in its entirety.
What is Intestacy?