Have you protected your estate for your blood line?
In a will you can name guardians for your children
Have you made a Lasting Power of Attorney?
Partners living together really do need a will
Gifts and Legacies
When making a will you are leaving the “residue” of your estate to beneficiaries. Residue is everything that is remaining after you die, your complete estate including money, property, shares, knives and forks, etc!
Before reaching the “residue”, however, in a will you can leave gifts and legacies. Gifts may be items you own from jewellery to pictures to various collections. Legacies are sums of money.
With gifts you must be specific and leave a good descritpion to avoid arguments and recriminations. If you are married/civil partner do not adopt the attitude “I”ll let my children sort it out among themselves” as this can lead to nasty arguments. If you do have gifts that you wish to leave then PUT IT IN YOUR WILL so that it is in writing and legally binding and cannot be disputed.
Secondly, please give accurate descriptions. For example, try to imagine the gifts being challenged in court. The description should be good enough to stand up to cross examination. With jewellery this is most important and a description of the design, stone and their carat, gold or silver would be good.
If you are leaving gifts of money the first thing is to ensure is that your estate will be able to affford such gifts. An individual has £325,000 before inheritance tax creeps in and any gift will come off of that amount. Obviously with a married couple/civilpartners the total before tax will be £650,000. Also you have to decide if the gift to someone is free of inheritance tax which on most estates it will be.
With couples it is normal to make all gifts payable on the second death as if, say, there is £25,000 of gifts then on the 1st death the survivor would have to find that money. It should come from the final estate residue.
Remember though that if you wish to bequeath gifts to people put it in the will and give a description that cannot be disputed.
A qualified will writer will ensure this is the case.
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