We receive different types of gifts in Wills and we’re always incredibly grateful to receive each one. There are three main types of gift you can leave in your Will:
1: Residuary legacy
This is a share (or maybe even all) of the residue of your estate once all other payments have been made such as tax, administration expenses, lifetime debts and of course, any pecuniary or specific legacies you may wish to leave (see below for more information on these type of gifts). The advantage of this type of gift is that it will not lose its value over time, and if you leave a proportion to us you can still ensure other beneficiaries are taken care of.
2: Pecuniary legacy
This is where you can leave us a fixed amount of money. It’s worth being aware that the effects of inflation could mean that the ultimate value of this gift could become less than you intended. This can be addressed if you review your Will regularly or you link your gift with inflation. If you are considering a pecuniary gift, your solicitor or professional Will writer can advise you on wording to do this.
3: Specific legacy
This is a gift of a specific item. It could be anything from jewellery to a house – it’s entirely up to you.
Visiting a solicitor
There are a lot of things to consider before you start to think about visiting a solicitor. Some key things to keep in mind are below:
1. Estimate the value of your estate
Compile a list with an up-to-date value of everything you own (your assets) and another with all your debts (your liabilities).
2. Decide who you want to include
You might decide to leave specific items to friends or family, a sum of money or maybe even a share of your estate.
3. Inheritance Tax
Gifts in Wills are exempt from Inheritance Tax, which in some cases can increase the value of your gift at no cost to any other beneficiary. This can be a complex area where specialist advice may be needed, so we recommend that you speak to your solicitor on tax issues. You can also find the latest information on how Inheritance Tax could affect your Will on HMRC’s website or by contacting the HMRC helpline (0845 302 0900).
Executors are responsible for administering your Will when you are gone. It’s their duty to inform beneficiaries of their gifts, and to settle any debts you owe. They will also deal with the HMRC if needed. It’s important that whoever you choose to be your Executor/s that you have complete trust in them and that they understand the responsibility involved. You could choose a family member, a friend or even a professional such as an accountant or solicitor (bear in mind they would normally require payment from your estate).
5. Take essential information with you
Take a list of the full names and addresses of everyone you want to benefit from your Will.