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What to include in your Will.

Writing a Will can be a tedious task and many people are happy to put it off until they think they need it for a variety of reasons, such as “I’m too young” or “I don’t know what to include” - that’s why we’re here to help ease the stress by giving you a step-by-step guide on what information you will need when undertaking a Will writing service.


Executor(s)

The first thing a Will addresses is who you have nominated to act as an Executor of your estate. An Executor is a trusted person who you trust with the task of administrating and dividing your estate per your wishes written in your Will.

For most people, this tends to be their spouse/partner or their child(ren) - however, it is not uncommon for a person to nominate a friend to act in this role.

For more information on what an Executor is and what their role entails - visit our Executor blog - here.


Gifts

Any monetary gifts or gifts of specific items such as jewellery or property can either be written into your Will or be written into a Letter of Wishes which can be held with your Will for the attention of your Executors to distribute per your wishes.

When including any gifts in your Will or Letter of Wishes it is important to be as specific as possible to ensure that any items or property are not confused for other items which could potentially mean that the person you have gifted an item could get the wrong item.


Beneficiaries

Dependent on your domicile this can be subject to Prior and Legal rights rules. In England, you are able to leave your estate to whoever you like, your spouse or your children have no express rights to your estate upon your death. However, in Scotland, your spouse/civil partner is entitled to Prior Rights which are:


Dwelling house which the surviving spouse has lived in up to the value of £473,000. Furniture and furnishings in the dwelling up to £29,000. Cash sum of £50,000 if the deceased had children or £89,000 if the deceased had no children.

You are also unable to disinherit a child with a Will in Scotland as children have what is known as Legal Rights meaning that a child is entitled to claim one-third of the deceased’s moveable (cash, shares, jewellery etc. ) if there is a surviving spouse, or one-half of the deceased’s moveable estate if there is no surviving spouse. It is incredibly difficult and almost impossible to disinherit a spouse/civil partner or a child in Scotland and will most likely result in a Will being contested in court.

You can also include in your Will fi there is an age restriction on any of the beneficiaries, these ages are generally 18, 21 or 25.


Guardianship

You can appoint guardians for any children under the age 16/18 or for any persons you are legally responsible for in your Will. This should be well thought-out and not be made impulsively. You are also able to provide general directions for Guardians to instruct them on how you would like your dependant raised in the event of your death.


Funeral Directions

Funeral directions can be inserted into your Will to ensure that your Executors and your family are aware on how you would like your life celebrated upon your death. This can range from if you would like to be buried or cremated to the type of service you would like (religious or humanist for example) or where you would like to be buried/interred or where your ashes should be scattered.

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