If you want to control what happens to your estate after you die you need to have a valid will in place. If you die without having made a will your net estate will be divided between your blood relatives according to the intestacy rules. This may mean that someone you cared for is left out.
Under your will you can appoint:
An appropriate person or persons to act as your executors. These are the people that are given legal responsibility to take care of your estate. They will also deal with HM Revenue and Customs in respect of any Inheritance Tax (IHT), Capital Gains Tax and Income Tax liabilities, if applicable.
A guardian or guardians for your infant children.
When choosing executors it is important to take into consideration their personal circumstances and age. Will they have sufficient time to devote to the administration of your estate? You can appoint professional executors, who will make a charge for their services, but can either act with lay executors, or alone. Professional executors would help if your estate is not straight forward or subject to IHT.
Under your will you can leave specific gifts, perhaps an item that may only have sentimental value that you would like a particular person to have.
Cash gifts which can include gifts to family and friends as well as charitable gifts and funds to create a trust, for example, for a vulnerable beneficiary.
By using a trust in your will you can ring fence assets which can be especially helpful where there are minor children or children from a previous relationship. A trust can also provide for the surviving spouse during their lifetime and at the same time protect assets for future generations, and protect a cohabitee if you are not married.
A will allows you to plan your estate and possibly save the amount of IHT payable or reduce the sum due.
If you would like to discuss your will, Beers’ friendly and helpful team is always willing to assist and are happy to hear from you. Simply contact us on 01548 857000.