If you have decided the 2015 is the time to make your Will and you want to ensure that your family are protected, there are some things that you need to think before you go along to your solicitor to make your Will. This is an important decision to make and if you have children, you are married, divorced or living with your partner, making a Will is something that you should seriously consider.
Your first consideration to make before seeing a solicitor about making a Will is about your children. If you have children under the age of 18, you will need to think about who will care for them in the event that both you and your partner die and this needs to be included in your Will. If you die and you have made no Will, there is a possibility that your children may be taken into care while a judge decides who should look after them. In addition, the court may appoint someone as their guardian who you would not have chosen, so to avoid this situation, a Will is vital.
In addition to outlining who you want to appoint as a guardian for your children, you must also detail arrangements for their inheritance, including any trusts and property left to them. You can protect them by leaving the property and any money in trust for them and release this to them at an age you deem appropriate, perhaps 18 or 21 years old. They can then live in the house and no one can legally sell it until they reach that age.
Not only is a trust a good idea for children who are not yet adults, but they can also offer some tax benefits so you should also consult a Financial Advisor to ensure that your Will is also tax efficient.
Next, think about any specific items you want to leave to your family, friends or children. By listing these items in your Will, you protect them from being swallowed up in your estate and you can ensure that these items go to the right people when you are not there to make sure this happens.
Consider any charities that are close to your heart and whether you wish to make a bequest to these in your Will. There are some additional inheritance tax benefits to making charitable donations in your Will, so speak to your Financial Advisor about these.
These are only some of the things that you will need to consider when making your Will, but your solicitor will talk to you in detail about all of the other options and things that you need to cover in your Will.