Making a Will is important to help individuals protect their loved ones when they die and ensure their estate is dealt with in the way they choose.

Here Fairstone Chartered Financial Planner Sean Larkin looks at 10 things to think about when making a Will.

1. How do I go about making a Will?
2. What will I need to consider before making a Will?
3. How do I work out the value of my estate?
4. Is making a Will expensive?
5. How many executors should I appoint?
6. What happens if I die without making a Will?
7. I live with my partner but I'm not married or in a civil partnership, how would I be affected?
8. I have children under the age of 18, can I make provision for them in the event of my death?
9. How often should I update my Will?
10. Where will I store my Will?


 

1. How do I go about making a Will?

Whilst you can make a DIY Will, it is best to use a professional Will drafter such as a solicitor to ensure that it is prepared correctly as the consequences of getting this wrong can be expensive.

2. What will I need to consider before making a Will?

Firstly, decide who you wish to appoint as executors to handle your estate on death. If you have children under 18 years old, decide who you also want as their guardians. Then itemise any specific bequests that you wish to make, noting down what they are, amount of money or percentage if applicable and the names and addresses of those who you wish to benefit. This can also include a charity. Then decide who you wish to benefit from your remaining estate such as your loved ones, family or friends. Consider what you would like to happen if any of your beneficiaries were to die before you and who you would like to benefit in their absence.

3. How do I work out the value of my estate?

You can work out the value of your estate by noting down and totting up the value of your money, investments, life assurance not in trust, property and possessions. Then deduct any liabilities you have such as mortgages, credit cards and car loans etc. This will give you the net value of your estate.  

4. Is making a Will expensive?

Most Wills are straight forward and inexpensive to set up in comparison to the costs and consequences of not having one.

5. How many executors should I appoint?

Most people appoint their respective spouse or partner, however it is important to consider that they could predecease you and therefore appointing an extra executor would be beneficial.

6. What happens if I die without making a Will?

The Government will step in and decide who will benefit from your estate through the laws of intestacy. This may mean that people could benefit that you may not have wished to.

7. I live with my partner but I’m not married or in a civil partnership, how would I be affected?

The law of intestacy doesn’t recognise partnerships, this would mean your partner would not be able to benefit from your estate under these rules.

8. I have children under the age of 18, can I make provision for them in the event of my death?

It’s even more important that you have a Will in place if you have children under the age of 18 years old. Through a Will, you can appoint legal guardians to look after and be responsible for your children until they become an adult.

9. How often should I update my Will?

There is no set time period, however a good way to update your Will is to do this at any major life event or indeed anytime you wish to update how and who you want to benefit from your estate .

10. Where will I store my Will?

It is best to store your Will with a solicitor. However, if you are planning on keeping it at home, it is best to store this in a fireproof safe and register it with the National Will Register.

 

It is also crucial to review your Will regularly to ensure it reflects any changes in circumstances.

In a recent Fairstone client survey, almost 70% of our clients had reviewed their Wills in the last 10 years. More than half had also put in place current Letter of Wishes articulating how they would like their financial assets and custody of dependants to be handled.

You can read more about this as well as further insight into the importance of long-term financial planning, in our latest white paper, One View Navigating volatility: the importance of long-term financial planning.

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PRESS INFORMATION

For further information, please contact:
Andrea Barker
andrea.barker@fairstone.co.uk
/ Tel. +44 (0) 191 519 6243