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It's never too early to think about making your Will. The basic first steps are:
1. Choose executors. These are the people who will make sure that the instructions in your Will are carried out. You can appoint your spouse, adult children, other relatives or close friends, including beneficiaries of the Will. If appropriate, you can also appoint your solicitor as one of your executors.
2. What is your estate? This consists of all your assets, including property, bank accounts, insurance policies, shares etc.
3. Decide on any specific legacies. These are items or sums of money that you wish to bequeath to specific people or organisations. If you own a house jointly with another person you will probably want to make sure that they inherit your half share. This may not happen automatically and, without a Will, your share of the house may not pass to your co-owner. Any assets that remain after legacies are called the residue and you should also decide who you wish to bequeath this to.
4. You may want to consider whether setting up a trust is appropriate, particularly if your beneficiaries are children. You may also want to specify who you would like to act as guardian to your children.
5. If you have any specific instructions for your funeral, these can be mentioned in your Will.
It is very important that your Will is correctly drafted in order to avoid possible tax and other problems after your death, and we strongly advise you to engage a solicitor to help you in this process.
29 November 2018