Making a Will; what to expect

In the last 10 years we’ve written hundreds of Wills across North London for people from all walks of life and all backgrounds.

Haringey is such a diverse place, which is one of the many reasons why we love living here. But whether you’re a Crouch End actor or Hornsey history teacher it seems that you all have the same questions and concerns when preparing to write your Will.

So, we thought we’d share the most commonly asked questions with you on this blog:

What do my guardians need to know?

Perhaps the most sensitive aspect of this process is thinking about what would happen if you were both unable to bring up your children.

On a practical level you need to tell them at what age you want your children to inherit. This is typically 18, 21, 23 or 25. The most popular option is for your Guardians to give some money on either their 18th or 21st birthday with a final check at 25, once they’ve had a chance to experience adulthood.

On a more personal note we always ask that you write your Guardians a letter – in your own words - to be kept with your Will, outlining how you would like your children to be brought up.  

Think about which relatives you want them to keep in regular contact with, whether you expect them to be privately educated.

Many parents’ also express dietary preferences such as asking their children are raised as vegetarians. It is all very personal.

Am I due IHT?

Inheritance Tax is one of the big issues and its get a lot of media coverage. That’s because if you own property then the chances are you will be liable for IHT.

At present the Government take 40% of everything you own (your estate) over the Nil Rate Band.

This currently stands at £325,000 – considerably less than the average price of a home in London, which is £375,795 and rising.

However, there are lots of ways that you can reduce this tax liability through your will. In many cases we are can remove it completely.

Can I protect my assets from my kids’ spouses?

Unfortunately not everyone is as fond of their children’s partners as they are and this is a question we’re asked rather a lotIt is possible to do this by setting up something called a Discretionary Trust.

This effectively makes your children beneficiaries of your estate but not the outright owners.

What will happen to my business if I die?

If you have your own business you could create a Business Trust in your will. This will allow your trustees are able to carry on running it until it is sold.

You may also need to leave instructions detailing how best to manage the affairs of the business.

Can I appoint someone to look after my affairs if I cannot?

Becoming too sick to manage your own affairs is a huge problem that affects many people in the UK. However you can guard against it by creating a Lasting Power of Attorney.

This will allow whoever you select – spouses, children, friends or even a trusted professional – to look after your affairs, always acting in your best interests, until you either get better or pass away.

If you want to discuss any of these issues then contact us on the number above or send an email here.