Working with a professional will writing service is a great way to put a will in place in just a short time and without a lot of effort, but the best way to ensure the process goes smoothly is to have your answers to their questions ready to go.
This article outlines the 4 main things you need to consider before you get on the phone or go online to start the process, so you’ll be prepared to answer their questions.
What Will the Professional Will Writer Ask Me?
1. Assets and Their Value
The best place to start is to determine your assets and the value of your estate. It is important to think about this before you start the actual will writing process as it may take some time to acquire valuations and other information, as well as helping you divide your assets between your beneficiaries in the next step.
Start with those assets that are the easiest to value, including your financial savings and valuable objects like jewellery, vehicles, and heirlooms. Then move on to your other assets that might be harder to value, like property, stock market investments, businesses if you own or part-own, and your pension. The value of your pension will depend on your circumstances and might take some investigation to determine its value.
Be aware that if you co-own any property, the type of tenancy you have will affect whether or not they can continue to live there after your death so you will need to state your wishes for that property in your will, as well as this you can only bequeath what you own so if something is owned jointly, you can only give your share to a beneficiary.
The next step is to decide who your assets will go to. Your first step is to write a list of your potential beneficiaries and start deciding exactly who you want to leave your assets to. This is usually the people who are closest to you i.e. your spouse or partner and your children and grandchildren, but it may also include extended family members, friends, and your favourite charities.
You may have some beneficiaries, such as a child or someone with disabilities or mental health issues, who you want to provide safeguarding to. In this situation, it is usually best to set up a trust which can be managed by a trusted person who is more able than the intended beneficiary either for good or until they are able to look after themselves.
This is also the time to decide what you want to divide up for sentimental value. It’s important to note that you don’t have to assign all your possessions individually, just the things that mean the most to you or one of your loved ones.
The executor is the person or persons who will be in charge of handling your estate. This should be someone that you trust completely and has good organisational skills, as it involves a lot of administrative tasks. The more clearly you express your wishes in your will the better, as it will take some of the stress out of an upsetting situation if they’re grieving your loss. Deciding who can take on this role before and notifying them will allow them to be mentally prepared for this responsibility.
4. Inheritance Tax
The last consideration is inheritance tax (IHT). IHT is generally due on anything over the £325,000 threshold once mortgage and other debts are paid. If you leave everything above this threshold to your spouse or partner, or an exempt beneficiary, there is usually no tax to be paid. You may also be able to pay less IHT if you own a property and leave some of your estate to relatives like children and grandchildren. If inheritance tax will be a factor for you, it’s worth speaking to an accountant to see how you can best minimize this tax.
Once you have made these decisions you will have everything you want to do with your estate outlined, and it will be a much quicker and smoother process to work with your professional will writing service. When you’ve worked through these considerations, click here to talk to us and we’ll start the process immediately.