Making a Will isn’t solely about passing on your assets. There are other areas you can consider, such as funeral arrangements. For instance, burial, cremation or the use of your body for medical research. You may also want to appoint legal guardians to care for your children if you and your partner should die before they are 18.
By writing your Will you can also make provisions for the age at which young beneficiaries receive their gift or share of your estate, as well as providing for beneficiaries with particular needs, means-tested health provisions or care provisions.
Another important consideration when making a Will is the appointment of your Executors – the people who will deal with your estate in the event of your death. Ideally, these should be business-minded family or friends or could be professional advisors. If you want to appoint a professional advisor as an executor, make sure you find out their charges first.
Read our guidance for executors.
Taking care of your assets
You may choose to use your Will to pass on business interests: for instance you could leave shares in the family company to a son or daughter who has come into the business. This is a very tax-efficient way to leave your assets to your intended beneficiaries. You can also specify family and friends who you wish to pass on personal items to.
You might also want to consider passing on your digital assets when making a Will, such as online bank accounts and digital music collections. Further information and a digital assets checklist can be found in our next steps to making a Will.
After you’ve looked after your family and friends, you may wish to leave a gift to a charitable cause that is close to your heart. Legacies from supporters make up an important income stream for many charities. If you do want to leave a charitable gift when making a will, the donation can be as small or large as you like. You can use our search tool to help find a charity close to your heart.
Giving in the EU
For those of you with foreign property in the EU, as of 2015 it has become easier to leave a charitable gift in your Will. Read our blog post to find out more about giving in the EU.
For more information on any of the above, please download our guide to making a Will.