A typical Will will cover the following points. You may find it useful to consider these and discuss them together (where appropriate) before our meeting.
You executors are trusted people whom you appoint in your Will to be in charge of winding up your estate after your death. You can also appoint fallback executors, in case the original executors were to predecease you or were unable or unwilling to act.
If you have children who are under the age of 18, very importantly, in your Will you will appoint guardians who will be in charge of bringing them up if you both died. If you failed to make a Will, a court would be obliged to make this decision for you.
- Personal possessions
A Will usually includes a ‘chattels clause’ which provides for who will receive your personal possessions. It usually sets out that they should be distributed in accordance with any wishes that you may leave, and you then have the option of preparing a letter of wishes in this regard, which you can do informally and then update it as you wish. You should simply sign and date the letter of wishes and then store it with your Will, for ease of reference.
If you wish to leave legacies of, for example, money or personal belongings to specific people such as your grandchildren, godchildren or close friends, you can do so in your Will.
Once the funeral has been paid for and any inheritance tax or other debts settled, the ‘residue’ is everything which is left over. Typically, a married couple will often leave the residue to one another on the first death, and then on the second death will divide it between their children, possibly at a specified age such as 21 or 25. Alternatively, the residue clause may establish a trust to balance the interests of your spouse and children if you have been married before, or a trust to provide for a vulnerable beneficiary.
- Funeral instructions
If you wish, you can include funeral instructions in your Will such as burial or cremation, or more detailed information.