What to consider when making a will

North Devon Gazette

Many believe their assets will pass automatically to their nearest and dearest when the time comes, but often this is not the case.

Making a will ensures you choose who benefits, explains Justin Wallace, partner at Brewer Harding & Rowe.

Who to appoint as executors? These are people who take legal responsibility for administering your estate: applying for probate, completing tax forms and preparing accounts, or administering trusts.

Beneficiaries can be executors but you do need to consider whether they can cope with the pressures.

Funeral wishes: Some have specific wishes; others don’t want to think about it. Including this in your will makes things easier for those you leave behind. It is important to keep these up-to-date.

Who to leave assets to? Many are in second marriages or may have children and grandchildren with different expectations. Many believe if they don’t have a will, their partner will be looked after. This is often not the case, especially with unmarried couples and stepchildren.

Digital legacy! More of us bank online, have email accounts and use social media but the majority have not considered what should happen after their death. A secure list and possibly a password management system will save time and money.

Asset protection: For some, creating a trust in their will is a way to provide for a spouse or partner while protecting assets from care costs and preserving assets for loved ones. Do not be afraid to ask questions. You should be able to understand clearly how any trust will operate.

Saving tax: The government receives more than £5billion a year in inheritance tax. A specialist advisor can help plan and potentially save tax.

Costs: Brewer Harding & Rowe offers a fixed fee for a will and dealing with your estate. Be careful of companies offering to allow you to pay for the cost of administering your estate in advance. You may be paying one no longer in existence by the time you pass away.

For a free initial consultation contact Stephen Dove or Richard Allin in Barnstaple on 01271 340675, Justin Wallace in Bideford on 01237 427503 or Donna McNulty in Braunton on 01271 818371.