What information do I need to have with me when I make a Will?
Details of any previous marriages or dependants (this includes your children).
If you have children under the age of eighteen you need to supply details on who you would like to appoint as Guardians.
The person or people you would like to appoint as the executors of your Will. Where you plan to have an executor hold money on the behalf of children under the age of eighteen it’s best to have at least two back up executors this also helps should any of your chosen executors be unable to act on your behalf.
Details of Gifts
If you plan on leaving money, property, gifts or any other personal items it’s a good idea to make a list of these before starting the Will writing process with an idea of who these will go to.
This will include who you would like to receive your residuary estate which is the remaining property of an estate after all debts, expenses and specific bequests have been paid. Also think about who you want to receive your residuary estate if the originally proposed recipients are unable to do so. Most commonly estates would be allocated between spouses with instruction that should both a pass away that their children would be the recipient(s).
This is your decision as to whether you would like to include and funeral arrangements such a specification as to cremation or burial.
Inheritance Age of Your Children
You are able to allocate an age when your children will inherit your legacy. The minimum age by law is 18 but you can raise this to, for example 21 or 25 years of age. Please note that you will need to supply the full names and addresses of all your beneficiaries, executors and guardians included in your Will.
What happens if my circumstances change?
If you move house you don’t need to change your Will but it’s advised you let us know for future correspondence.
However, we recommend you review your Will at least every year but should your personal circumstances change you should change your Will straight away. This includes if:
- Change of family circumstance – this could include the birth or death of a family member
- Change in relationship status – should you separate or divorce it is wise to revise your Will
- Overseas property – any real estate you own outside of England means it’s sensible to have a Will made for that county to ensure you comply with the each particular countries laws
- Change in your financial situation – it’s recommended to review your Will when there has been changes in your financial situation to ensure your estate is sufficient to provide for any legacies you may have
Does marriage, civil partnership or divorce affect my Will?
Should you marry or enter a civil partnership after you’ve made your Will the Will is automatically revoked unless specifically stated in the Will that it should remain as is should you enter a marriage or civil partnership.
If you divorce after making a Will any gifts or appointments of your former spouse will fail but the rest of the Will remains valid.
Can I change my Will?
You can update your Will at any time.
I have children, do I need to appoint a guardian?
Yes, if they are under the age of eighteen.
Who should I choose as an executor?
Normally spouses / partners choose to appoint each other as executors but you should also consider having back-up executors. These can be friends or family members and you aren’t affected if they are named as beneficiaries in your Will. You can also appoint Chadwick Lawrence and it’s worthwhile noting that you need to appoint at least two additional executors if you have any children younger than eighteen
What does an executor do?
Generally an executor would:
- Distribute your estate in accordance with your Will
- Would prepare probate papers and the HM Revenue and Customs account for inheritance tax
- Collect in the assets, pay in the debts and distribute the balance
- Organising the sale of your home and the contents
Where should my Will be stored?
You should keep your Will in a safe and secure place to avoid loss, theft or damage. Chadwick Lawrence offer secure Will storage for a small price, contact us for details.