What can’t be included in my will?

Whilst most of your assets and possessions can be left to anyone you choose, there are a number of things which fall outside the scope of your will and will be disregarded, no matter what you request. Items which can’t be included: Joint bank accounts – any funds in these accounts will automatically go to the surviving account holder. Any property held as a joint tenancy – your half of the property will automatically go to the surviving joint tenant. See our ‘Your home and your will – joint tenant’ article to find out more. Life insurance policies in trust – any payments due on death will be paid directly to the beneficiary previously nominated by the deceased. Death in service benefits – any payments due on death will usually be paid to the spouse or person nominated in the policy information. Pension benefits – these will usually go to the spouse or the person nominated in the scheme documents. Trust assets – if you’re the beneficiary of a trust, you may not be able to give away those assets in your will. Your trustee will be able to confirm the conditions applicable to you. Equally, if you are a trustee you cannot give away any will assets you hold as a result of your position. Assets not owned by you – this can include items borrowed or leased, such as a car. To avoid any doubt, when you make your Affio will, we’ll help you identify the assets you have and the ones which can’t be included, so you can be sure of who will get what when...

Will my partner get anything if I die without a will?

If you die without leaving a will, then the state decides how your estate (money, property, personal processions etc.) is distributed, using the intestacy rules. These rules are thought by many to be old fashioned and may not reflect what you would have wanted to happen. Key people such as your partner could be excluded under the intestacy rules. Intestacy rules The rules used can be complicated, but here are some of the highlights: Currently if you are married or in a civil partnership, your partner will get the first £250,000 of your estate and all your possessions, no matter what their value is. The remainder will then be split equally between your surviving partner and any children. If you are not married or in a civil partnership your partner will get nothing. Instead your estate will be distributed according to a pre-set hierarchy of blood relatives. If you have been married, got separated, but not divorced your ex could still inherit as if you were married. When there isn’t a will the whole process of administering and distributing an estate becomes much more complicated and long-winded. Making a will is the only way to be certain that those who you want to inherit do so. Not only does it ensure that no one is left out, but it will make things so much easier for those you leave behind. We’ve made it all so simple for you to do, so if you haven’t got round to making yours yet, don’t put it off any longer, give us a go and you could have it sorted in no time...

Why might a gift in my will fail?

If circumstances have changed or the will is worded poorly then gifts may not come into effect in the way you want. It’s vital your will is written clearly and correctly. There are two main reasons a gift might fail: Circumstances have changed Examples of changes in circumstances that can cause a gift to fail include: The Testator no longer owns the item or property matching the description in the will. The Beneficiary dies before the person who made the will. A charity mentioned in the will no longer exists. There are not enough assets in the estate to satisfy the gift. Affio helps you plan what happens if circumstances change. See our article on What happens when a gift fails. The beneficiary or gift can’t be identified. Examples can include: A gift is unclear – ‘I leave my house to my daughter Mary’, when you have more than one house. A beneficiary being unclear – ‘I leave my brother…’, when you have more than one brother. Beneficiaries cannot be forced to take a gift, so a gift might also fail because a beneficairy refuses to accept it. A gift to a beneficiary would also fail if that beneficiary witnessed the will. At Affio we will help you ensure that both the person and the gift is correctly identified and specified. Once that is done we create will clauses using language provided by legal experts to ensure your wishes are expressed in the proper legal manner, ensuring the right person gets the right gift. Back to the Knowledge...

What happens if the appointment of an executor or guardian fails?

You might have already approached the people you’re going to appoint as guardians and executors in your will for their permission to do so, but let’s face it, a lot can change between now and when your will’s going to be needed. This could include these key people changing their mind, not being around anymore or not being physically able to carry out their responsibilities. How you can minimise the risk of this happening We’d always recommend you appoint substitutes for the key appointments in your will, so if for any reason your first choices aren’t available when the time comes, there is someone who can step in to fill in the gaps. You should carefully consider who to appoint – not only should you check that they’re willing to take on the role in the first place, but you may also want to consider if they’ll be able to cope with the duties required so soon after your death, have the skills needed and are young enough to still be around after you’ve died. If there are no executors or guardians If none of your nominated executors or guardians (or their substitutes) are able to take on the responsibilities at the time, then an application will need to be made to the court to appoint suitable alternatives. Back to the knowledge...

What will be covered in my will?

A will is an important legal document which describes your wishes for what you would like to happen to your estate (everything you own) after your death. Being absolutely clear about who you want to benefit when you die will not only remove any doubt and help avoid family disputes, but also help your loved ones sort out your affairs at what will be a difficult time for them. First things first A good starting point for what and who you might want to include in your will is to consider the following questions: What do you own? Properties, vehicles, savings and investments, jewellery, antiques, furniture, clothes, personal belongings, pets…the list goes on. What do you owe? Mortgage, credit cards, loans, equity release, etc. Do you have children under 18? If so, you may want to think about appointing guardians for them. Who do you want to benefit from your will? Your partner, children, special friends or neighbours, charities, etc. Do you have any other special requests? Organ donation or funeral arrangements are things many choose to include. Who do you want to appoint as your executors? The types of gifts you can leave in your will Guardians and Executors If your children are under 18 you will need to choose someone to appoint as their legal guardian. You will also need to appoint executors. These are the people who will be responsible for making sure the instructions in your will are carried out properly and you appoint them in the legal document. It’s true, knowing what to include in your will can seem daunting, but it’s not. We’ve...