Steps to think about
If this is the first time you have made a will, there are a few important things you should think about before taking this important and responsible step.
You may find it useful to refer to our Will Instruction Form. This form lists the information we will need from you in order to assist you in drawing up your will.
Many people find it difficult when thinking about who they would like to inherit their estate and what arrangements they might want to make for their children and dependants after their death. It does however; provide them with a good opportunity to discuss their plans with their family, as having a conversation at this stage and informing the family of your intentions can prevent conflict or disagreement arising in the future.
Who do you want to leave things to?
Your assets include everything you own such as property, investments, life insurance policies, cash cars, antiques and personal possessions.
You will need to consider who you would like to inherit the assets held in your estate on your death. This could include former partners or spouses as well as current ones, and children from previous and current relationships.
If you have children under the age of 18, you will need to consider appointing guardians who could look after them in the event of them being orphaned. (You should always seek the guardians’ agreement before appointing them.) We can advise you on how to set up a trust to make financial provision for your children in these circumstances.
You may also need to think about the needs of anyone who you provide for financially, such as elderly or infirm relatives. Leaving something in your will can also a fitting way to remember your friends or make gifts to favoured charities. Gifts to charities are generally exempt from inheritance tax and, if large enough, can reduce the inheritance tax on the rest of your estate.
Inheritance Tax Planning and Estate Planning
Once we have discussed with you how you plan to leave your assets, we can advise you on the potential liability your estate will have to Inheritance Tax. If your estate is likely to exceed the threshold at which the tax becomes payable, we will be able to advise you on ways in which the liability can be reduced.
Reviewing your will
We recommend that you regularly review the provisions in your will every few years or immediately after significant life events. This can be particularly important if your family or financial circumstances change. If you do need to alter the terms of your will, we can advise you on the best way to effect those changes.