How to make your will
It may not be something which you’ve necessarily thought about before, but making a will comes with many benefits to you and your loved one – and with the right planning and advice, making a will can be broken down into the following three broad and simple steps.
What have I got to leave?
Before you go to your solicitor, try to make a list of all the major assets you have.
These include your home / any properties you own, as well as:
- Items of particular value (e.g. jewellery)
- House effects (e.g. antiques)
You should also consider your finances, including savings in banks and building societies, shares, investments, insurance policies and pensions.
What to leave to whom?
This forms the main part of the will.
The technicalities of this can be quite complex, but don’t let this put you off – solicitors can help you guide through the process, but before you go to see a solicitor it’s a good idea to have thought through who you would like to receive gifts.
By making your will and ensuring it’s up-to-date you will not only help put your affairs in order and look after family / friends when you’ve gone, but you will also make a difference to those that you value - such as Rainbows.
Types of donation:
The most common types of donation are described below:
- Residuary – A share of the estate, or more accurately, what is left of the estate after all the debts, costs and other bequests have been settled, for example 10%
- Pecuniary – This is a fixed sum of money (e.g. £500, £5,000) specified in a will as a gift. Pecuniary bequests are not usually subject to inheritance tax.
- Specific – This is a specified item e.g. ‘diamond solitaire ring’. Specific bequests are not usually subject to Inheritance Tax.
Making use of a solicitor:
It shouldn’t take too long, but it’s very important to involve a legal professional to draw your Will up for you. During the process, you will need to choose executors to your Will to ensure your wishes are taken care of after you’ve gone – often solicitors will act in the capacity of an executor.
If the legal formalities aren’t followed correctly, your Will could be declared invalid.
At Rainbows, we don’t recommend a particular firm of solicitors, but for people wishing to choose a solicitor we do recommend contacting The Law Society. The impartial and independent organisation operate a free ‘find a solicitor’ service.
Contact The Law Society:
Phone: 020 7242 1222
Leaving a gift in your will is a big decision, so please decide in your own time. You and your loved ones are always welcome to come and see how your gift will help our children, young people and their families. Just contact us and we’ll arrange your visit.