Things To Consider When Writing Your Will
Writing a will is something many of us do not like to think about but it really is something you need to condsider.
First of all you should really consider all of your assets and then compile a list. When doing this you should include anything of value, such as cash (bank accounts), pension, jewellery, property, land, vehicles and shares etc.
It is important that your assets are valued correctly in order to address inheritance or estate tax.
Inheritance or Estate tax
The amount of inheritance or estate tax that is payable upon the death of a person can vary from country to country. It is therefore important that you check what amount of tax is payable and what amount, if any, is exempt. Ideally, you should make provision for this payment. Your solicitor or financial advisor will be able to help you with this.
Beneficiaries are those people who would benefit from your will. In most cases this will be friends or family, but it can also involve any person or organisation you would like to be included.
Allocation of Your Assets to the Beneficiaries
This part of the process is entirely down to you and what you want each person to have. It is a good idea to provide reasons for your decisions in order to avoid any misunderstanding or uneasiness amongst your beneficiaries. How you split your assets is entirely down to you, you may want to divide your entire estate as a percentage to each of your beneficiaries. For items such as jewellery, you should give a detailed description of which pieces are to go to each beneficiary.
Executors are the people who will action the instructions of your will. You should seriously consider who you want to do this for you. Ideally, you should have at least two executors whom you fully trust and who are capable people. Realistically, only one of your executors should be a beneficiary, the other could be your solicitor. Be sure to have their consent before you decide to list them.
Storing Your Will
Most people will leave their will in the care of their solicitor, others in a bank or home safe or maybe in a cupboard in the spare bedroom. Your will should be stored in a safe and secure place that is accessible to your family or executor/s. If, after your death, your will cannot be found, it cannot be executed. So be sure to keep your family, solicitor or executors updated as to where it is stored.
Michael O'Doyle offers some simple advice on making a will, writing for Patrick J Farrell and Company Solicitors