Making a Will
A will is a legally binding document that sets out an individual’s wishes following their death. With one exception a will can be changed at any time provided you retain the required mental capacity to do so and provided any changes are not being brought about through undue influence or pressure upon you. The one exception is in the case of mutual wills but these are quite rare in practice.
Why should you make a will? In a will you can:
- Set out either in general or in more specific terms your funeral wishes
- Appoint executors who are the persons you are entrusting to administer your estate which will include ascertaining the value of the estate, ensuring that all debts and liabilities are paid and finally distributing the assets in accordance with the provisions of your will. Your executors may also become trustees in the case of any trusts created by your will
- Make specific or pecuniary bequests to named individuals or charities. A specific bequest could be the gift of a particular item whereas a pecuniary bequest would be the gift of a fixed sum of money
- Appoint guardians for your minor children and set up any suitable trust structures to ensure that the financial future of those minor children is secured if you are no longer around
- Specify the beneficiaries of the residue. After payment of any debts, taxes and liabilities of the estate and after settlement of any bequests then it will be the residuary beneficiaries of the estate who will inherit the balance
- Mitigate inheritance tax. A properly drawn will can assist with reducing the inheritance tax liability upon death by being structured in such a way as to maximise the use of any available inheritance tax allowances and exemptions
Specialist help for all your needs
At Burley Geach our private client team is made up of specialist advisers comprising members of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) and Solicitors for the Elderly, who can advise on suitable will structures to cater for specific needs. For example, you might wish to make provision in your will for your current spouse but also perhaps children that you have had from a previous relationship. There may be potential beneficiaries to your estate who are vulnerable or disabled. In all these situations we can advise on the most appropriate provisions to include within your will. Please contact your nearest office to speak to one of our advisers for more information.