Have you thought about making a Will? And thought it’s too early? Or too stressful? Making a Will shouldn’t be complicated or stressful, no matter how complex your financial affairs or family relationships.
Here at Barfield Financial Advisors, we’re here to help make the journey as smooth as possible.
What is a Will?
A will is essentially a legal document that allows you to state what should happen to your assets and young children after you have passed away. Assets can include your money, property, investments, and possessions. There are different types of Wills available in order to suit different needs. For example, some people will set a Will up for just themselves and others may set one up as a couple.
A basic Will for an individual is known as a ‘single Will’ and is most appropriate for people who want to record their own individual wishes. If your wishes are very similar to someone else’s, such as partner or spouse, then you may want to make a ‘mirror Will’ together.
There are various trust wills available as well, often used when you want to provide for your partner but also include children from a previous relationship. A trust Will can also help to protect your estate against care home fees. Alternatively, it can be used to protect inheritance if a beneficiary is unable to manage their finances.
What does a Will include?
When making a Will, you will be required to make decisions on specific things. Some questions you’ll have to answer include:
- Who will administer your estate?
- Who will be the Guardians of your minor children?
- What is your funeral wishes?
- Who will benefit from your estate and at what age?
- Will you include protection for vulnerable beneficiaries?
- What tax will be payable on your estate, and by whom?
These decisions shouldn’t be made lightly, and we recommend receiving advice from one of our advisors in order to make the correct and most suitable answers. These will then be documented within a draft of your Will.
Within a Will, you can…
- Appoint people you trust to carry out the terms of your will – these are known as executors.
- Name the people or charities you want to benefit from your estate – these are known as beneficiaries.
- Leave gifts of specific items or fixed sums of money – these are known as legacies.
- Create trusts to help protect your assets for future generations, protect against residential care costs or help vulnerable or disabled beneficiaries.
To put it simply, writing a Will clarifies your wishes and enables you to give your loved one’s financial protection once you die.
What happens if you die without making a will?
If you live in England or Wales, and die without writing a legally valid Will, it will be the Government’s decision on who gets what. However, if you have no living family members, all your property and possessions will go to the Crown.
If you have children under 18 years old, other people can make decisions about who will take care of the children and manage their finances, education and living arrangements. Therefore, by making a Will you can easily specify your wishes.
Whether you’re looking to start writing your own Will or would just like to know more information about Wills, contact one of our advisors today.
Will writing is not part of the Quilter Financial Planning offering and is offered in our own right. Quilter Financial Planning accept no responsibility for this aspect of our business. Will writing and trusts are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.