Legacy FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions about gifts in Wills

Why should I make a Will? What happens if I do not make a Will? How do I make a Will? How much does it cost to make a Will? What is Inheritance Tax and will it apply to me? Why should I consider leaving a legacy to a charity? Why do I need to review my Will? If I want to add a bequest do I have to write a new Will? What if I need to make a change to my Will? Additional queries
Why should I make a Will? A Will ensures that your possessions and property are distributed according to your particular wishes after your death. Without a Will, there is no guarantee that your estate will be dealt with as you intended. Back to the top What happens if I do not make a Will? If you die without making a Will (intestate), your estate will be dealt with according to law. Usually, this means your estate will be left to your next of kin, leaving out other family and friends who you may have also wanted to benefit. Back to the top How do I make a Will? The best way to make a Will is to see a Solicitor or professional Will Writer. Although your intentions may be simple, the legal formalities and language required are complicated and must be carefully followed. Some people are beginning to opt to write a ‘letter of wishes’, these are not intended to be legally binding, however, offer guidance to Executors on your intentions. It is a separate document from the Will and can provide more confidentiality and flexibility; as it can be changed or replaced as the testator’s circumstances or those of their family change. Back to the top How much does it cost to make a Will? The cost of making a Will can vary, but usually between £85 and £200. So it is an inexpensive way of ensuring your wishes are carried out. It is strongly recommended you seek professional advice when making a Will to ensure it complies with the detailed legal requirements and is valid. The Law Society can provide you with a list of solicitors in your area. Back to the top What is Inheritance Tax (IHT) and will it apply to me? Inheritance Tax is a tax payable on the remainder of an estate that is over and above the Inheritance threshold. Most home-owners will be liable to pay IHT on their estate, so check with your Solicitor for the latest threshold before tax is payable. Back to the top Why should I consider leaving a legacy to a charity? Gifts to a charity are exempt from Inheritance Tax, which means leaving a charitable gift can reduce the amount of tax your estate incurs. A charitable gift can be an affordable way for many people to support their favourite charity, something that might not have been possible during their lifetime. Back to the top Why do I need to review my Will? It is advised to review your Will whenever you make a significant purchase, such as a house, or there is a change in your family situation, such as a marriage, divorce or birth of a child. If you do not review your Will at these times, your wishes may not be fully reflected in your Will. Back to the top If I want to add a bequest, do I have to write a new Will? No, you can make minor amendments or changes to your Will by adding a Codicil. This is a simple procedure that your Solicitor can assist you with. Back to the top What if I need to make a change to my Will? You may need to alter the terms of your Will as circumstances change. This is easy and your Solicitor can help you to do this by adding a Codicil to your Will or you may need to update any ‘letters of wishes’ you have written and may be held by your Executor(s). Back to the top If you have any further questions relating to gifts in Wills, please call Mandy on 01737 365 081 or email legacies@thechildrenstrust.org.uk

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