At what age should I write a will?

At what age should I write a will?

The age at which one should write a will depends, to some extent, on individual circumstances. You can make a will any time after you are 18 years old, but there are some life events that you might think of as triggers for the preparation of a will. Becoming Financially Independent From Your Parents Some people quickly become financially independent from their parents, whereas others, perhaps because they are attending university or are in post-graduate…

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Can I revoke my will?

Can I revoke my will?

There are several ways of revoking a will. This can happen when the person who made the will intends to revoke it, but there are also some ways that it can happen automatically, by operation of law, even if the person who made the will did not intend to revoke it. Intentionally revoking a will A person can always revoke his will while he is alive and has legal capacity. A clause in a will…

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How can I avoid inheritance tax?

How can I avoid inheritance tax?

The basic rules of inheritance tax (IHT) are fairly simple: When you die, everything you own forms part of your estate. IHT is due on the value of your estate. The rate of IHT is 0% on the first 325,000 of your estate (which is known as the nil-rate band), and 40% on the rest. There are a number of legal ways to save inheritance tax. They involve appropriate planning in your will and certain…

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How do I make a will?

How do I make a will?

By making a will you can decide what happens to your property and possessions after your death. Although you do not have to make one by law, it is the best way to make sure your estate is passed on to family and friends exactly as you wish. If you die without a will, your assets may be distributed according to the law rather than your wishes. Why it’s important to make a will Leaving…

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How should I plan the division of my estate?

How should I plan the division of my estate?

When you pass away, the executors of your Will will be liable to pay inheritance tax from the proceeds of the estate if it is worth more than 325,000. In 2014, inheritance tax revenues jumped by 9%, and are set to double over the next five years. Many families are helping their loved ones make the most of their inheritance while still alive in order to lower the potential tax due. Before a Will can…

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Is there tax to pay if I make a will?

Is there tax to pay if I make a will?

It is important to plan ahead to ensure that when you die your estate is shared out exactly as you want it to be. This can be achieved by leaving a will. If you have complex financial affairs, you may wish to consult a solicitor or financial advisor for some help. Inheritance tax threshold The inheritance tax threshold (or ‘nil rate band’) is the amount up to which an estate will have no inheritance tax…

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Should I draft my own will?

Should I draft my own will?

There are lots of methods that you can use to write your own will. You can buy a book, buy a will-making kit (at the supermarket, even) or purchase software. The pitch for these products is, essentially, that a will is a simple legal document and that you can save yourself time and money by writing your own. Some people have successfully used these types of products to write their own wills — or even…

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Terms used in wills and probate matters

Terms used in wills and probate matters

The person who deals with (administers) the estate of a person who has died intestate (without a will). A gift of a particular object (for example, an item of jewellery). In will or intestacy matters, the children of the person who has died include adopted children and illegitimate children (children born to parents who were unmarried), but not their stepchildren (unless they are specifically mentioned). This term has no legal force, although a partner who…

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What can I do if I think the will is unfair?

What can I do if I think the will is unfair?

Wills are legal documents that set out the wishes of the person who drafts the will regarding their property and assets after they die. Also known as a ‘Last Will and Testament’, the will is drafted by the ‘testator’, who should list the assets that make up their estate, and detail who should receive those assets, known as ‘beneficiaries’. Generally speaking, UK law allows individuals to leave their assets to whomever they wish. This can…

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What can I do if I think there is something wrong with the will?

What can I do if I think there is something wrong with the will?

The most common reasons for a will not being valid are when: the person who made the will did not get their signature witnessed; the witnesses were not together when the will was signed; or the person who made the will got married after making their will. Also, if one of the witnesses is a beneficiary to the will, they lose the right to what the will says they should have (though the rest of…

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What can I do if there is no will?

What can I do if there is no will?

If someone dies without making a will, they are said to have died ‘intestate’. If this happens, the law sets out who should deal with the deceased’s affairs and who should inherit their estate (property, personal possessions and money). This information covers England and Wales only. Getting expert help from a solicitor When someone dies without leaving a will, dealing with their estate can be complicated. It can also take a long time – months…

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What do I need to know about intestacy?

What do I need to know about intestacy?

Hundreds of thousands of people die each year without writing a will. According to a recent poll by Barnardo’s, around 60% of UK adults have not written one — that’s around 30 million people. Even where a will is made, it often turns out to be invalid. This might be because the deceased failed to comply with the strict requirements of the Wills Act 1837; or lacked the requisite mental capacity; or was unduly influenced by someone else;…

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What does an executor or administrator do?

What does an executor or administrator do?

The executors are the people appointed in a will to deal with the estate of the person who has died. Unlike witnesses, executors can also be beneficiaries of the will. An administrator is the person who deals with the estate of a person who has died intestate (without a will) – see ‘Who takes charge if there is no will?’. The executor or administrator may both be called a ‘personal representative’. If a person has…

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What if there isnt enough money to pay for the funeral?

What if there isnt enough money to pay for the funeral?

By asking a funeral director to conduct the funeral, you make a contract agreeing to pay for the funeral. This means that, if you are the executor or administrator, you should do this only after you have made sure that there is enough money in the estate to pay for the funeral. Otherwise, you should be willing to pay any part of the bill that won’t be covered by the estate. If you need to…

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What if there isnt enough money to pay the persons debts?

What if there isnt enough money to pay the persons debts?

When someone dies, their debts don’t die with them. They have to be paid out of the person’s estate. If you are administering an estate, you must make sure you have paid all the debts before you pay the beneficiaries. If you are not sure what the debts are, you need to advertise in the London Gazette and a local paper for anyone who may have a claim on the estate, and then wait two…

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What sort of things should I include in my will?

What sort of things should I include in my will?

Here is a checklist for writing a valid will. It includes items that you should organise and matters that you will want to bear in mind. Earlier wills Revoke earlier wills: ordinarily this is done by inserting a revocation clause in your new will. Retrieve / destroy copies of earlier wills: this may be sensible to avoid any future confusion. Assets Make a basic inventory of your assets: to get an idea of what you…

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When do I need to rewrite my will?

When do I need to rewrite my will?

If you have a will, there are certain circumstances where you might need to rewrite your will. Here are some of them: 1. Your financial circumstances change If you have the good fortune to come into money or substantial assets (by inheritance yourself, or perhaps selling a property or a business for a substantial gain) then you may find that you need to re-write your will. There are several reasons for this. First, you may…

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Where can I get further help on making a will?

Where can I get further help on making a will?

Provides free information direct to the public on a range of common legal problems. Call 0845 345 4 345 If you qualify for legal aid, you can also get free advice from a specialist legal adviser about benefits and tax credits, debt, education, employment and housing. You can also find a local legal adviser or solicitor. Click www.clsdirect.org.uk to find out more. There are probate registries in cities and larger towns. The Probate and Inheritance…

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Who can be a witness to your will?

Who can be a witness to your will?

What is a witness? From a legal standpoint, a witness is a person who satisfies two criteria: they observe a particular event they are willing to confirm that the event occurred. What is the legal foundation of providing witnesses to a will? The Government passed the Wills Act 1837, which requires two independent witnesses (over the age of 18) who have seen the signing of a will and are prepared to have their information included…

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Who gets the estate if there is no will?

Who gets the estate if there is no will?

Any inheritance tax must be paid. After that, all debts (including mortgages and other loans) must be repaid, whether the dead person has made a will or not. After that, the Administration of Estates Act 1925 sets out who gets what in every situation where there is no will. Some of the more common situations are as follows. The husband, wife or registered civil partner gets everything (but an unmarried or unregistered partner gets nothing)….

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Who takes charge if there is no will?

Who takes charge if there is no will?

If you, as next of kin (or someone else with similar powers), believe that someone who has died has left a will, but no one can find it, you can take steps to find out if they made one. These can be: searching the belongings of the person who has died for any evidence that they made a will (for example, a letter from a solicitor); phoning or writing to solicitors and banks that the…

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Why should I make a will?

Why should I make a will?

It’s easy to put off making a will. But if you die without one your assets may be distributed according to the law rather than your wishes. This could mean that your partner receives less, or that the money goes to family members who may not need it. Making a will – why it’s important There are lots of good financial reasons for making a will: you can decide how your assets are shared out…

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Will I have to pay inheritance tax?

Will I have to pay inheritance tax?

Will I have to pay inheritance tax?  When you pass away, the people responsible for looking after your financial affairs have to add up the value of everything you leave behind – your ‘estate’ – and take away any debts and funeral expenses. Depending on how much of your estate is left once this is done, inheritance tax may be due. What are the inheritance tax thresholds? For people who are married, in a civil…

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Wills FAQs

Wills FAQs

Why should I make a will? A will enables you to distribute your assets according to your wishes when you die. It’s also a means of providing for family members. Parents with minor children can use a will to appoint their choice of guardian to look after their children in the event the children are left without parents. You can also use a will to provide legacies or specific gifts to non-family members, such as…

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