What happens if a gift in my Will fails?

Part of the process of writing a will is planning to ensure that if a gift fails it is clear what you want to happen instead. Not only will we help you identify your gifts, assets and beneficiaries clearly, but we’ll also give you the option of stating what should happen to any gifts which may fail. For example, where someone has died, you could choose for the gift to go to or their children instead, or someone else you specify, or have it returned to the residue of your estate. It’s entirely up to you. If a gift fails and you have not specified what you want to happen to the item or money instead then it will become part of the residue of your estate and is distributed according to your instructions. Related Articles: Why might a gift in my will fail? Back to the Knowledge...

What can I say about my funeral?

As part of your will you can suggest what you would like to happen at your funeral. These suggestions are expressed in a letter of wishes attached to your will. Your funeral wishes are not legally binding. They do not force your executors to do as you wish but they do at least allow you to express your preferences and these should be respected by your executors. The sort of things you may wish to consider including are: Which religion, if any, you would like your funeral to be conducted under Where you would like the funeral to take place and who you would like to conduct it Whether you would like to be cremated or buried and any thoughts you have about a memorial plaque or gravestone Any readings or music you would like at your funeral You may choose not to say anything at all about your funeral and leave it at the discretion of your family or friends. Back to the knowledge...

What should I consider in my Will if I am part of an unmarried couple?

You like many people, might not realise that there is no such thing as a common law spouse. The laws around inheritance can seem outdated in many areas and don’t recognise modern family structures and living arrangements. If you’re in a long-term relationship, but not married or in a civil partnership, making a will is particularly important. If you don’t write a will your partner could end up inheriting nothing when you die. Instead your estate would be distributed according to the rules of intestacy which in some circumstances could see a long lost relative inheriting your home and finances, not the person you’ve been sharing your life with. Things to consider The only way you can be certain your partner will be able to inherit from your estate when you die is to include them in your will. Once you’ve included them, the only way you remove them is to re-write or change your will. Unlike married partners, they will not automatically be disinherited if you decide to break up in the future. Find out more in our ‘Changing and updating your will’ article. It is also worth bearing in mind that unlike married couples, anything you leave to your partner will use up your inheritance tax (IHT) allowance of £325,000. Estates left to spouses or civil partners are free from IHT liability (without limit) and can even inherit any unused IHT allowance. Find out more in our ‘inheritance tax rules’ article. As you make your Affio will, we’ll help you identify who the key people are in your life and give you all the information you need...

Getting remarried and your will

If you get remarried any will you have made previously is revoked by the marriage. This will mean you no longer have a will and if you were to die your estate would be distributed according to the rules of intestacy. Find out more in our ‘Rules of intestacy’ article. However, the will won’t be revoked if it states you are about to marry a particular person and you don’t want the the will to be revoked when that happens. If you want to make a will before your remarriage and want it to continue afterwards, there is a clause we can include to ensure this happens. We can also deal with any other bequests you want to make at that time. Find out more in our ‘Making a will if you’re getting married’ article. Your children’s rights Your children’s rights will be completely unaffected provided that you make a will before the remarriage making clear that it isn’t revoked by that marriage. Alternatively you could make a new will after the remarriage. If you don’t make a new will, any existing will you have will be revoked upon your marriage, meaning the rules of intestacy would then apply if you were to die. This would mean your new spouse would get the first £250,000 of your estate and all your possessions, no matter what their value is. The remainder will then get split equally between your spouse and your children. Providing for your children and new spouse in your will Who you choose to leave your estate to (or you choose to include or leave out) is entirely...

What should I consider changing in my Will if I get divorced?

If you’ve already got a will and you’re planning to get divorced, now could be a good time to review it and if needed write a new one. Will your will still be valid? When you get divorced your will is still valid. However, any provisions you’d made in your will to leave your estate to your spouse or for them to be an executor will be ineffective from the day your marriage ends, unless the will says otherwise. It’s also worth bearing in mind that until your divorce is finalised, your spouse will still be entitled to inherit as per the instructions in your existing will – unless you change them. The same is true of civil partnerships. Things you may want to consider reviewing in your will if you get divorced: Who your beneficiaries are. If a large amount of your estate was previously going to be left to your ex-spouse, they’re no longer being included in your will could mean you want to re-jig things a little. Who your executors are. It is always a good idea to have more than one executor, so if your former spouse was previously appointed in this role, you may want to consider someone else as a replacement for them. Find out more in our ‘Who to appoint as your executors’ article. Your inheritance tax liability. By previously being able to leave all or part of your estate to your spouse or civil partner, anything you left them would have been free of inheritance liability (IHT), with no limit. Your estate will now use your IHT allowance of £325,000 (unless...