Given the uncertainty of life and death, it is best to make a Will as soon as you can ensure the security of your family in your absence. Here are the top 7 questions that you must ask your solicitor before making a Will.
- Can a beneficiary also be an executor?
Yes! As long as anyone benefitting from your Will is above 18 years of age they can be your Executor as well. The more pressing question is whether they are able and willing to be appointed as an Executor.
- Can beneficiaries witness to Will making?
No, a beneficiary in your Will cannot witness your signing it neither can a spouse or civil partner of the beneficiary can be present at the time. If they are witness to it, they automatically stand disinherited.
- Can I write a Will on my parent’s behalf?
No you cannot! If you do that, the Will stands nullified and invalidated. A Will must be a reflection of the person’s direct wishes without any influence from anyone else. If you wrote a Will on your parent’s behalf, it may not reflect their actual wishes and you will be charged for pressuring them to make the Will that echoes of your wishes instead of theirs. If this happens, claims can be made to render such a Will invalid.
- Where can I store my Will?
Once you write your Will using a simple Will template, you can either keep it with yourself or avail storage facility service to keep it safely stowed away from prying eyes. Usually storage facilities have 24/7 security along with CCTV installed. Plus these facilities are fire safe so you can be assured that your Will is kept safe.
- What happens to my Will after my death?
It is recommended that you tell your Executor of your Will’s whereabouts. You might even want to give them a copy of the same while you still can. Upon your death, your Executor will have to locate the original document so that your last wishes could be honoured.
- Can a Will be contested?
Most definitely Wills can be contested as nothing can keep someone from trying to nullify it. The more important question that you should be asking is if your Will can be successfully contested?
If your nearest relatives and dependents benefit from your Will then there is no room for your Will to be challenged. But if you eliminate someone who is expecting something from your Will, there may be questions revolving around your mental capacity or whether you were coerced while writing the Will. On these grounds, your Will can be contested.
To avoid such issues it will really help if you talk about the Will with your family and loved ones. This can be really important if you’re planning on excluding someone. Plus, you can write letters to your Executors explaining your decisions and this can be stored along with your Will.
- Can I save Inheritance Tax using my Will?
The first thing that you must do is to understand the value of your estate because 97% of the estates do not have to pay Inheritance Tax. Find out if your estate and property exceed the Inheritance Tax threshold that is £325,000 at the moment for individuals and for married couples it is £650,000.
The opportunities to save money on Inheritance Tax are few and exemption is available only if you leave your estate to your spouse or civil partner, or registered charities or influential political parties. If your estate is left to your children or other relatives then there are no instances of immediate reduction in the Inheritance Tax liability.
If you wish to save on tax by way of Inheritance tax then it is best to do so throughout your lifespan instead of relying on your Will alone.
To make the distribution easier, be as specific with your instructions as possible as it will eliminate instances of any confusion and your loved ones do not have to stress over anything. For this, it is best that you consult professional solicitors who will guide you through the entire process.