When you make a Will it’s important to consider who you want your assets to go to when you die. Often this will be to just one single person, such as your spouse, however with ‘blended families’ being ever more common it’s wise to give it some serious thought so that you are clear on who you want to be a beneficiary so that you don’t accidentally miss someone important out.
Top Tip #1 – Think beyond the obvious.
When thinking about your assets, think beyond the obvious. Property, savings and investments are the likely assets that immediately spring to mind but don’t forget about the smaller items too. Who do you wish to receive the vintage watch that has been passed down through the family? And what about the cat? Although it may seem ridiculous now, when emotions are running high and family disputes are raging because people can’t decide who gets your fishing tackle they’ll wish that it’d all been made clear in your Will.
Top Tip #2 – Maybe don’t split equally.
When it comes to allocating your investments it’s easy to say “split it equally between x, y and z” but a bit of extra consideration might be wise. Perhaps you already given some money or other assets to your chosen beneficiaries and maybe this should that be brought into account? You might not think so but others may, so to avoid any conflict later down the line it’s important this is recorded. If it’s fairness you are looking for in the end then this all needs a little more thought.
Top Tip #3 – Name your beneficiaries, don’t label them.
If you state in your Will to “leave it all in equal parts to my children” do you mean your children or do you mean your step-children too? Using the statement “my children” means only your biological children and omits any step-children. Be clear on what you want and to avoid any issues it’s wise to name your chosen beneficiaries.
Top Tip #4 – Consider non-family beneficiaries.
You may immediately think that the beneficiaries need to be the people closest to you but this isn’t the case. You have the right to choose who receives part or all of your estate. Perhaps you wish to leave something to a charity, or to a friend who has been a pivotal part of your life.
Top Tip #5 – Make your wishes known.
There is an increase in challenges to Wills because the outcome isn’t always as expected and some family members might disagree with the contents of the Will. At that point it’s too late for you to explain your reasons so, when making a Will, make your wishes known to your family so that they can understand your rationale for your decisions. It will make for a much easier and peaceful time in the future.
Of course there are many more important things to consider when making a Will which is why using a solicitor is the best way to ensure that it's done right. Here at Thornton Jones we have a highly skilled and experienced team who can guide you through the process of making a Will.
Call us at any of our three offices for a FREE consultation and to arrange an appointment.
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