Civil WillsWill Writing and Probate, Caterham Surrey & London
What to decide before writing your will
I would wish to remind you of the things that you need to consider for inclusion when writing your Wills.
1. You need to decide who you will appoint to act as the executors and trustees of your Will. Whoever you appoint will have to administer your estate, collect in the assets on behalf of the beneficiaries and then pass them on to them, or retain them in the discretionary trust in respect of the Will of the first of the two of you to die. It is normal to have family members acting as trustees. Usually it would be the survivor of you plus another family member.
2. You need to consider whether or not you wish to make any specific legacies. This is a gift of particular items to particular people, it could be items of considerable value, or items of sentimental value, family heirlooms etc or it could just be items that you know a particular person may want to receive from your estate e.g. cars jewellery antiques etc.
3. The next section deals with what is called pecuniary legacies. This is just gifts of sums of money. If there were people who you did not want to benefit from the bulk of your estate but you wanted to make some provision for them e.g. grandchildren, nieces and nephews or even charities, then you would specify the person concerned and the amount that you wanted them to receive.
4. Even if there are no specific legacies and pecuniary legacies you will always have residuary legacies. This is a legacy of the rest of your estate, or the entirety of your estate if there are no specific legacies and pecuniary legacies. This would normally be firstly to your wife/husband, then to your children.
You should also then provide for substituted beneficiaries in the unfortunate event that there may be a disaster which wiped out both of you and your children, in those circumstances you need to consider who else you wished to benefit from your estate e.g. brothers, sisters, parents or other family members.