At Clapham & Collinge, we have an expert team who are able to provide the necessary support and advice to help tailor your Will to your circumstances. However, there are a few things that you need to consider before your Will appointment.
The first is making sure you have a rough estimate of the value of your estate. This includes any assets such as property, investments, and savings. This allows us to tailor our advice regarding any legacies you may wish to leave, and whether your estate may be subject to Inheritance Tax.
You will need to consider who you would like to appoint as Executor of your Will. Executors are the people you have chosen to administer your estate following your death. In terms of who your Executors are, it is typical to appoint between 1-4 people, and this tends to be family and friends who would work well together to administer your estate. However, you can also choose to appoint a professional as your Executor, whether that is a solicitor or an accountant. You should bear in mind that professionals may charge for administrating the estate, and their fees will be taken from your estate before it can be distributed.
Although funeral wishes are not legally binding, they are usually respected by the Executors. It is, therefore, important to consider your wishes for your funeral. These can be included either in your Will or in a letter of wishes, so the executors know for when the time comes.
If you have young children, you may also want to consider a guardianship clause in your Will. This clause allows you to appoint someone you trust, such as family or friends, to have legal responsibility for your children following your death. This allows them to make decisions regarding health care, living circumstances, education etc. However, guardians do not have responsibility to raise your children with their own money and it is therefore important to make arrangements to ensure they have enough resources to raise your children. This can be done by leaving the guardian a pecuniary legacy (often known as a cash gift), by appointing them as trustee, or informing the trustee in a letter of wishes that they can have access to money for the children's expenses, such as school uniform etc.
It is helpful to come to your appointment with a list of full names and addresses of people or charities who you wish to benefit from your Will. This can either be by a specific legacy if there is a certain item or sum of money you wish to leave, or for all or part of your residuary estate to go to them. Your residuary estate is your estate following payment of any debts and specific legacies you have left in your Will.
Our Private Client Department are experts in providing advice on Wills, Trusts, Probate, Lasting Powers of Attorney and any other related matters. To book an appointment, please contact our dedicated Client Relations Team on 01603 693510 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Face to face appointments are available at our Norwich, North Walsham or Sheringham offices. For your convenience, home visits can also be arranged for Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney appointments.