A Will is made of up of three different sets of people, all who have an important role in making sure your wishes are met.
The first is the ‘testator’. This is you, whose will we are creating and whose wishes we are representing.
The second are the ‘executors’. These are the people you entrust to carry out your wishes and to make decisions regarding your estate when you are gone.
We recommend considering a couple of points when appointing your executors;
Your executors should be roughly the same age as you or younger to ensure that you limit the possibilities of your executors passing away before you. For this we recommend siblings, partners, children and friends. Using parents is a risky move as they are more likely to pre-decease you.
Consider reserve choices, no one can guarantee their executors will not pre-decease them, so by naming reserves you make your Will more comprehensive and will ensure there is someone available to allocate your estate.
Talking to your executors beforehand, letting them know they have been chosen and also informing them of your intentions. This way they are prepared to act when the time comes If you are unsure of your executors duties please read our guide.
The third group of people within your Will are your ‘beneficiaries’. These are the people who you are gifting your estate. By making a Will you have full control to whom you are leaving your assets to.
For beneficiaries under the age of 18 you have the power to dictate when you would like them to inherit from you. For the duration of them being underage your executors will protect and invest their inheritance on the beneficiary’s behalf.
There are different types of gifts you can leave to your beneficiaries. There are specific gifts which include a particular item or group owned by the testator and distinguished in the Will. These are most commonly wedding rings, cars or collections.
A general gift is a gift left whether or not the testator owns it, the gift is left and the money from the estate is used to buy the gift stated.
The final type is a residuary gift; this is the gift of all the testators remaining property. If no other gifts are mentioned then the whole estate becomes a residuary gift.
Trustees are very similar to executors but they are charged with looking after a particular amount or property placed within a trust to protect the asset and its beneficiaries. They are given powers to make decisions to make sure the beneficiaries best interests are taken care of, and are not allowed to use the property they are entrusted with for their own gain. It is common practice for executors to be trustees, as this means the estate is dealt with swiftly.
I want to leave my estate to Charity
Leaving your estate to charity can be beneficial in many ways. The first is it leaves you with peace of mind that your estate is being left to a good cause and you are helping an organisation that means a lot to you.
In the United Kingdom 74% of people support a charity which is a great statistic for us, the problem is only 7% leave any gift to a charity within their will. The majority of the charities run in the UK at the moment rely on legacies left by people in their wills. The astonishing issue is if just 4% more of the population leave a gift to charity then this would generate an extra £1billion for good causes.
The second benefit of leaving some of your estate to charity is that it can help reduce the inheritance tax you are obligated to pay. If you leave 10% of your estate to charity your inheritance tax bracket goes down from 40% to 36%, meaning your bill becomes smaller.
We are affiliated with a number of great causes. If you are interested in finding out more information on leaving a gift to charity please feel free to contact us.