How To Make Your Will – Making your will
Before making your will, you need to think wisely about who do you want to leave your things to and how much do you have to leave. Our simple guide will help you understand the basics and write a good will.
Prior to you writing a will, you first need to decide on what everyone will get.
You need to set all of the basics and plan the repartition of your money and possessions prior visiting a solicitor or discussing your will with the entire family.
Do not worry, it’s not as hard as it may sound, it’s actually pretty simple, you just need to follow out step-by-step guide. How To Make Your Will :
If you want to know How To Make Your Will, the first step will usually take only a few minutes, you can do it anywhere.
You may want to include:
• Your truest friends
• Some charities that you find helpful to humanity
• Your life partner or spouse
• Your children or some of your other family members
All of these people (and charities) can also be called beneficiaries.
2. Estimate The Worth of Your Assets And Property
This is the second part on How To Make Your Will. You need to firstly begin with your assets as they are easier to estimate :
• Your savings.
• Your valuable objects, this includes jewellery, heirlooms, computers, phones, cars etc..
After this, move on to the thing that can change their value over time, inflation etc.. These will be a bit harder to estimate accurately, but it can be done.
These might include:
• Your pension or salary.
• Your business or businesses if you have any.
•Your stock market investments, like shares, bonds and / or funds.
• Your property, this includes your house and any investment properties, land, and/or even a parking space that you have the partial or full rights of.
Remember to take into consideration the value of any debts you may have secured against your property.
At last, you need to think about your most precious stuff, in the sentimental sense, as you may want to give those to particular people that you love/trust.
The inclusion if your pensions and/or salary can depend on the rules which affect it and you will need to check it beforehand.
If you are able to include your pension, the estimation of it may take some calculus.
Its value depends on when you are going to die. The first things at which you need to stop and think a little are the benefits from the Pensions Advisory Service.
This is the third step on How To Make Your Will, it’s another important step before making a will, thinking about how you will split your money and property.
There are about 5 types of legacy that you can leave in your will.
• “I will leave $3,000 to my daughter” – this is usually called a ‘pecuniary bequest’. It means that you will leave a fixed amount of money.
• “I leave my jewellery and heirlooms to my wife” – this is usually called a ‘specific bequest’. It means that you leave a specific item which you own entirely or partially. The way of identifying it will be to see what meets that description criteria at the moment of your death. If you have no jewellery and hairlooms at that time, nothing will be received by your wife.
• “I will leave half of my estate to my sob” – this is called a ‘residuary bequest’, which means that you will leave an exact percentage of your estate’s worth at the moment of your death, after all the debts debts, costs, liabilities, legacies and taxes have been paid.
• “I will leave my part of my house to my wife if I die before her, but if she dies before me, it will then pass to my son”. This will be called a ‘reversionary bequest’ for your son, it specifies what should happen if the person you left your belongings to dies.
• “I will leave my part of my house to my wife for the rest of her life and it will pass to my son at the moment of her death”. This is commonly called a ‘trust’ over that part of the house. The trust allows allows you to choose who will benefit from your property after your death and who will benefit from your belongings once the first person dies. This type of leaving can go wrong quickly, that’s why you need to get some legal advice if you want to include or not a trust in your will. If your dealings are not that complicated, it’s usually better to simply use a residuary bequest.
If things are not that simple as usual, you may need to use a combination, such as :
John is married and has one daughter. His wife also has a daughter from a previous marriage. He is leaving :
• His part of the house goes to his wife until she dies.
• $2000 to each grandchildren he has.
• Everything else he owns to a charity of his choosing.
Dorothy is a widow that has three children and 5 grandchildren. Her only daughter has mental problems. She is leaving :
• $700 to each of her grandchildren
• Half of her estate in a trust to her daughter until she dies, then it will be split among her sons, but if a son dies before her, that son’s children are going to receive the dead son’s quarter share of the estate between them.
4. Do You Need To Pay Inheritance Tax ?
Usually, you don’t need to pay any taxes for :
• The amount of money that your estate costs less than $325 000.
• You are leaving everything above that threshold to your life partner, civil partner.
• You leave everything that exceeds the threshold to a church or charity.
There will be another threshold for your house. Here is How To Cut Your Inheritance Taxes
If you believe that you may be able to pay inheritance tax, you will need to get professional advice.
5. How To Protect Your Will’s Beneficiaries
This is the fifth step on How To Make Your Will. There are times when you may need to set some safeguards on your bequest or bequests, an example of that can be the fact that you are leaving something to one of your children or a person with mental health problems.
A lot of people take care of these things by using trusts. The meaning of this is that what you leave will be managed by people that you trust to act in the best interest of the person that receives the goods, either forever or until the person can look for himself / herself.
And the last, but another important step on How To Make Your Will is :
If you went through all of the steps described above, you now know a bit about wills and have a pretty clear idea about what you will leave in your will and who the receivers will be.
Now you may want to talk with your family about these choices.
Now you only need yo get your will drawn up.
If you don’t have a complicated estate you can even do it yourself
The less simple and the bigger the estate is, the more need of legal advice you will have.