Six Essential Considerations When Making a Will

Creating a will is an essential step in ensuring your final wishes are respected and your loved ones are taken care of after you’re gone. While thinking about your mortality can be uncomfortable, having a well-prepared will can provide peace of mind for you and security for your family. At Astraea Linskills, we understand the importance of this process and are here to help guide you through it every step of the way. Here are six crucial factors to consider when making a will.

  1. Choosing the Right Executor

The executor of your will is responsible for managing your estate, paying off debts, and distributing assets according to your wishes. Selecting someone trustworthy and capable of handling these responsibilities is paramount. Consider their organisational skills, understanding of financial matters, and willingness to take on this role. It’s also advisable to discuss your choice with the person beforehand to ensure they are prepared to accept this duty.

  1. Clearly Defining Your Beneficiaries

A beneficiary is anyone who will receive a portion of your estate. Clearly defining your beneficiaries prevents potential disputes among your heirs. Be explicit about who gets what, including specific items, property, or sums of money. If you have minor children, consider establishing a trust and appointing a trustee to manage their inheritance until they come of age. Outlining contingent beneficiaries, in case your primary beneficiaries predecease you, is also wise.

  1. Detailing Your Assets and Liabilities

Accurately listing all your assets and liabilities ensures that nothing is overlooked and your estate is distributed according to your wishes. This includes property, bank accounts, investments, valuable personal property, and any debts or obligations. Keep this list up-to-date as your financial situation changes. Providing detailed information, such as account numbers and contact details for financial institutions, can simplify the executor’s task and prevent complications.

  1. Planning for Taxes and Expenses

Estate taxes and other expenses can significantly impact the value of your estate. Ensure your will addresses how these costs will be covered. This might involve setting aside funds specifically for taxes or designating certain assets to be sold to cover expenses. Understanding the tax implications of your estate plan can help you make informed decisions and minimise the financial burden on your beneficiaries.

  1. Keeping Your Will Updated

Life changes, such as marriage, divorce, the birth of a child, or significant financial shifts, necessitate updates to your will. Regularly reviewing and revising your will ensures it reflects your current circumstances and wishes. At Astraea Linskills, we recommend revisiting your will every few years or following any major life event. Keeping an updated will prevents legal challenges and confusion for your beneficiaries.

  1. Protecting The Interests of Your Children

Appointing a guardian for your children ensures they are cared for by someone you trust if something happens to you and your spouse. Beyond guardianship, creating trusts can safeguard your assets from being depleted by care fees and protect your children’s inheritance from potential claims, especially in the case of a surviving spouse remarrying. These proactive steps help secure your children’s future and provide peace of mind, knowing their well-being and inheritance are protected according to your wishes.

How Astraea Linskills Can Help

At Astraea Linskills, we specialise in estate planning and are dedicated to helping you navigate the complexities of making a will. Our experienced legal team offers personalised advice tailored to your unique situation. We assist with:

  • Executor Selection: Helping you choose a reliable executor who will faithfully carry out your wishes.
  • Beneficiary Designation: Ensuring your beneficiaries are clearly defined and your assets are distributed as intended.
  • Asset Management: Providing guidance on documenting your assets and liabilities comprehensively.
  • Tax Planning: Advising on strategies to minimise estate taxes and manage expenses effectively.
  • Will Updates: Offering regular reviews and updates to keep your will current and legally sound.

Creating a will is a vital part of securing your legacy and protecting your loved ones. Contact Astraea Linskills today to schedule a consultation and take the first step towards peace of mind – 0330 128 1660.

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