Making a Will is often seen as something dull or intimidating to do but with the right instructions from a qualified professional, you can enjoy peace of mind and bring a smile to those you love.
Here are just a few things you may not know about making a Will:
1. You don’t always have to be 18 to make a Will
If you are a soldier on active duty or a sailor at sea, you can be any age when you make your Will.
2. You can’t leave your estate to your pet
Your furry or feathered friend might be the most loved member of your family, but unfortunately they cannot own property or money so you can’t leave anything to them in your Will. However, you can put provisions in place for them to be taken care of, like Mrs Mandel’s birds. After her death, Mrs Mandel left specific instructions that her birds should continue to live in the aviary in her $4 million New York property!
3. Your debts don’t die with you
Sadly, any debts that are outstanding when you die will need to be paid from estate funds. Once these have been paid, the remainder of your estate can be distributed in accordance with the wishes expressed in your Will.
4. Your love can live on through your legacy
You can leave gifts to the people and charities you love in your Will. This even includes romantic gestures, like the US comedian Jack Benny who died in 1974 and left instructions in his Will for one long-stemmed red rose to be delivered every day to his widow, Mary.
5. Your Will cannot appoint someone to make decisions for you
A Will only ever comes into force upon a person’s death. You therefore cannot grant powers or instructions to be followed while you’re alive. To do this, you will need another document called a Lasting Power of Attorney. You can find out more here.
6. ‘I don’t need a Will, my spouse will automatically get everything’
Without a Will, your spouse will not automatically inherit all of your assets. This will depend on the regulations at that time so you need to make your instructions clear in a Will, as the Bard, William Shakespeare did when he left his wife only his ‘second best bed’ and then everything else to his daughter!
7. Gifts to charity are tax free
You may not have known that any gift you make to a UK charity in your Will is free of inheritance tax. As well as the gift itself being tax-free, charitable gifts can also reduce the amount of inheritance tax that the rest of your estate will pay.
Gifts in Wills are vital in funding the specialist care that we provide to local patients and their families. You simply need our registered charity number (297798).
Our will-writing service is available all year round in partnership with local solicitors who waive their fee in order for you to make a donation to Hospiscare.
To find out more, click here or call Louise on 01392 688020.