Who Needs A Will? Download this document
We are all going to need a Will one day. Perhaps you have already made one. If not, the sooner you do the more protection it will provide for those you care about. Making a Will is a job easily put off. However, it needn’t be difficult or expensive. It will give you peace of mind, and may save a lot of problems later on. [Note: the law in Scotland differs, so, if
relevant, you should consult a Scottish lawyer].
What If I Don’t Make A Will?
If you don’t make a Will, you will have no control over your wishes and this means potentially:
- A surviving married partner may not inherit all of your estate automatically
- An unmarried partner has no rights of inheritance and may end up with nothing
- The Court could end up deciding who will bring up surviving children without specific instruction in a Will
- Legal costs and [potentially avoidable] inheritance tax may diminish the value of your estate
- Your family could suffer unnecessary emotional and financial hardship
Legal Terms Explained
WILL – A written document, signed in the presence of witnesses, stating how you wish your estate to be distributed after your death.
ESTATE – The value of everything you own, net of any debts and tax.
EXECUTOR – One of [usually two] people who agree to make sure your Will is properly administered after your death.
BENEFICIARY – A person or organisation who will benefit from the distribution of your estate.
BEQUEST OR LEGACY – A gift by Will to a person or Charity.
PECUNIARY LEGACY – A fixed sum of money allocated to a beneficiary in a Will.
RESIDUE – The remainder of an estate when all other parts have been settled.
Leaving Money To A Charity
Your first priority when making a Will is to provide for those you care about. Should you wish to make a bequest to a registered charity it’s worth noting that these are exempt from inheritance tax. It is a way you can support your chosen charity in a tax efficient way- and such bequests are very much valued and appreciated by them and are often crucial in allowing them to continue their valuable work.
Your Solicitor, or other Professional Adviser, will help you with the wording of your gift, but here are some specimen clauses you may wish to consider.
Suggested Wording For A Pecuniary Legacy
“I give free of inheritance tax the sum of £…………..(amount in words) to Kids at School in Nepal, of Wishing Well Croft, Hanlith, Skipton, North Yorkshire BD23 4BP, Registered Charity Number 1111461, for the general purposes of the Charity, and I declare that the receipt of the Treasurer or other proper officer for the time being shall be sufficient discharge to my Executors.”
A good way to help is to leave a percentage of what is left of your estate after other legacies and bequests have been paid. If you have already made a Will but wish to add a residuary gift to Kids at School n Nepal, your solicitor can advise you how to do this without affecting the specific gifts you leave to your family and friends.
Suggested Wording For A Residuary Legacy
“I give free of inheritance tax …….% (percentage in words) of my residuary estate to Kids at School in Nepal, of Wishing Well Croft, Hanlith, Skipton, North Yorkshire BD23 4BP, Registered Charity Number 1111461, for the general purposes of the Charity, and I declare that the receipt of the Treasurer or other proper officer for the time being shall be sufficient discharge to my Executors.”