We know that your first priority when making a will is to provide for your loved ones and that family and friends come first, but many people find that even after they’ve done this they can leave something to a cause they think is doing worthwhile work. If you are able to leave just 1% to Citizens Advice Flintshire, you can help us continue our vital work for generations to come. It costs nothing during your lifetime, but will have a powerful impact for years to come.
Finding a solicitor
A homemade Will can be problematic, or even invalid, if the correct formalities aren’t carried out, or if things are unclear. We always recommend you contact a solicitor or a member of the Institute of Professional Will Writers. Come and talk to us about Free Will weeks and find out which local solicitors are taking part in Flintshire. Or, contact us to make a free half hour Wills and Probate appointment with a specialist solicitor at one of our offices.
The executors of your Will are the people who administer it when you are gone. They tell the beneficiaries about their gifts, and settle any debts you owe. They also deal with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and Office of the Revenue Commissioners in the Republic of Ireland if necessary.
Every Will must have at least one executor. You need to be able to trust them, and they need to be ready to take on this responsibility. This is usually a family member or close friend, but can be a professional person such as a solicitor, accountant or bank manager.
This is a share – or possibly even all – of the balance of your estate once all other payments have been made (for example: lifetime debts, tax, administrative expenses and any pecuniary and specific legacies). 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.
You may prefer to leave us a fixed amount of money. It is worth noting that the effects of inflation could mean that the true value of this gift could become less than you intended, unless you review your Will regularly, or you link it with inflation. If you are considering a cash gift, see suggested wording for your Will for an example of a legacy that plans for inflation.
This is a gift of a specific item – such as personal possessions, land, buildings or shares.
Your solicitor or other professional adviser will help you with the wording of your gift, but here is an example of some wording you might use.
For a residuary gift:
For a pecuniary gift:
If you own your own home, it is quite likely that inheritance tax may be due on your estate when you die. This is even more likely if you do not share the legal ownership of your home with someone else.
You don’t have to worry about saving up for paying this tax. It will be paid for out of your estate when you die, from the assets you own at the time.
Inheritance tax starts at £325,000
If you are leaving your estate to your spouse or civil partner, you can pass your whole estate to them without any inheritance tax being due (it is worth noting that if you simply live with someone, this is not the case).
You also have the option to make gifts worth up to £325,000, tax free, to the next generation or to charity – and then pass the remainder of your estate to your spouse or civil partner.
Inheritance tax can start at £650,000 if you are a surviving spouse or civil partner
If someone doesn’t use all or some of their tax-free £325,000 allowance by making gifts to the next generation or charity, they can pass it on, or whatever is left of it, to their spouse or civil partner. This means the surviving legal partner can make gifts worth up to £650,000 before inheritance tax is payable on their estate.
Inheritance tax is normally 40%
If you do not have a surviving spouse or civil partner to pass your estate onto, your estate will normally have to pay 40% tax on any value above £325,000. This is also true if you do have a legal partner but are leaving your own estate entirely to the next generation.
You can reduce inheritance tax to 36%
To encourage people to put a gift in their Will to charity, HMRC will reduce any inheritance tax due on your estate by 4% if the gift you leave to charity is worth 10% or more of your net estate. This means that you can make a more significant gift to a charity if you would like to, with less effect on the value of any other gifts you leave to your family and friends.
Please note that the rules are different if you die intestate (without a Will).
If you want to make a change or addition to an existing Will, you can usually do this easily with a codicil. But it is very important to use a solicitor to do this to make sure you aren’t inadvertently upsetting any other arrangements in your Will.
You can download a codicil form here.
Beneficiary Any person or organisation that receives a gift in your Will.
Bequest/legacy A gift in your Will.
Codicil An addition or change to an existing Will. There is a codicil form here.
Estate The total sum of all your possessions, property and money (including life insurance policies and shares).
Executor/executrix The man or woman you ask to administer your Will when you are gone and make sure your wishes are carried out.
Inheritance tax The tax due on your estate if it exceeds a certain threshold. It includes the market value of your house when you die.
Intestate The word used to describe someone who has died without a Will.
Pecuniary bequest A gift of a specific sum of money in your Will.
Probate This is the legal administrative process of settling your estate after your death. It involves your executors (see above) applying for the legal right to deal with your estate, so that they can settle any outstanding financial obligations, and then distribute your money, property and possessions according to your wishes.
Specific bequest A gift of a thing, like a house or an antique or a necklace.
Residuary bequest A gift of whatever is left over once all other gifts have been made from your estate. You can leave all of the residue or cut it up into portions.
Thank you to the following solicitors for supporting our Will month
Aaron and Partners Chester
Llewelyn Jones Mold
Cyril Jones Shotton