22  Download (0)

Full text



Table of Contents


The importance of creating a Will... 3

What happens if I don’t have a Will ... 4

The importance of keeping a Will up to date ... 5


How to Write a Will whilst still living ... 6

The importance of having a Will professionally written ... 7

Taking care of your Will ... 8

Where to keep your Will ... 9

Storage Facility ... 10


The importance of creating Personal Information ... 11





Life Insurances ... 19

Pre-Paid Funeral Plan ... 20



Death can cause financial disasters as well as grief.

Yet planning for the end isn't about being morbid. It's about being smart by making important financial preparations to lessen the impact when it happens and to relieve your surviving relatives of the burden and stress that can fall upon them at an already stressful time.

This factsheet will go through the various points to consider and will allow you to list them all down at the latter part of the document.

The importance of creating a Will

How can a Will help? Making a Will is essential if you want to be sure of leaving your property and possessions to your loved ones (known as Beneficiaries).

 A Will allows you to provide clarity on a whole range of practical matters.

 If you have children, it can say who should look after them if you died unexpectedly

 You can name trusted individuals to handle the administrative side of dealing with your property and


 You can protect your assets for your family and future generations



What happens if I don’t have a Will

If you die without a Will, the Rules of Intestacy decide who will receive your property and possessions. In some cases, these rules were created many years ago, so they don’t properly reflect today’s families and modern living arrangements.

On the positive side, the Rules of Intestacy aim to take care of spouses, civil partners and biological children. However, they don’t make provisions for unmarried partners, step-children, friends, pets and charities.

The Rules of Intestacy may result in your property and possessions being inherited by those you want to inherit them but you will be leaving your family’s future undecided.

Without a Will, you’ll be unable to put plans in place for your children. Furthermore, you won’t be able to provide for vulnerable beneficiaries or have the opportunity to protect the value of your estate for loved ones in the future.



The importance of keeping a Will up to date

You may have already written a Will; perhaps when you married, bought your first house or when your children were young.

However, as a lot may have changed since this Will was written, it may not properly reflect your wishes now.

For example, you may now have grandchildren or some of the people mentioned in it may have since passed away or you may now have many more assets.

It’s advisable to review your Will after every significant life change, so it still reflects your wishes.

Life events such as marriage or divorce mean that parts of your existing Will (or even all of it) will automatically become invalid making a re-write necessary.



How to Write a Will whilst still living

There are many ways to go about making a Will.

You can make a Will online and there are numerous legal sites that offer this service.

This service is usually cheaper than going to see a solicitor but if you would like the reassurance and more personable service that a solicitor is able to offer then you should seek legal advice about making a Will.

Firstly, it is essential to come to a conclusion about what you would like to include in your Will. It is important to consider what it is that you own and how you would like to leave it.

You must also consider who you want to carry out the terms of your Will, whether this be a family member of a friend, it is crucial that you can trust them to follow your wishes.

This person is called the executor of your Will.

You also need to take into consideration any guardians or children you are leaving behind, what they are entitled to and whether you want to donate any charitable gifts.



The importance of having a Will professionally written

Wills are important legal documents and a badly written or

incorrectly worded Will can create even more problems than not having one at all.

So it’s important to seek the help and advice of professionals.

People continue to use DIY Packs and self-help books to write their Wills but fail to take into consideration how a small mistake made now could be far more costly for their family in the long run.

Although it is not essential to meet personally with a solicitor to discuss in detail the terms of your Will, this will help you in the often complicated process of allocating parts of your estate to family members and friends.

There are benefits of using a solicitor, for example, they are trained in law and can advise you on a range of issues about making a Will.

Most solicitors set a standard fee for Wills and there are usually no extra fees if you want to make a standard Will.



If your estate is of a considerable size and worth a great deal, it is advisable that you meet with a solicitor to discuss the details.

If you do chose to use a solicitor to aid you in the process of making a Will, they can advise you on how to phrase your wishes and whether it is worth seeking further advice about tax planning.

You should seek advice on tax planning if your estate is worth a large amount or you have business in stock and shares

Taking care of your Will

It is advised that you never keep your original Will at home. If you were to be burgled or suffered a house fire for example, you would no longer have a Will.

It may also get damaged and if there are any doubts as to the contents of it the court would deem it invalid.

Another factor to consider is that not only is it safe but is it in an easily accessible place so that it can be quickly located when it is needed.



Where to keep your Will

It should be safe and off your own premises. The most suitable places to store your will include: with your bank, with a solicitor, at a storage facility dedicated for Wills or at the Principal Probate Registry.

Don't forget, though, to tell someone where it is!


Your bank should offer you a secure storage facility.

As secure as it may be it can be fairly time-consuming for someone to access it.

If you own more than one account you should also inform the executor exactly where it is formed to avoid confusion.

There is a fee for storing your Will at the bank, however it is usually quite reasonable, so you may wish to consider this.


This is most appropriate if you choose your solicitor to be the executor. They will offer storage that can even be fireproof.

One downside to this option is that a solicitor can move offices or even stop trading, which can make it difficult to locate. Solicitors also charge a fee which will vary depending on the solicitor but should remain a small sum. However, if a solicitor drafts your Will, they will usually store it for free.



Storage Facility

There are numerous private companies devoted to storing Wills which offer you insured secure facilities. These facilities are often regarded as very reliable and secure. The fees will depend on the subscription you choose and are most often charged annually. This also allows your Will to be updated at no extra charge.

NOTE DOWN WHERE YOUR WILL IS STORED, so when the time comes, your



The importance of creating Personal Information

We at SwonSong believe just as important as making a Will, it is of near equal importance to create your Personal Information. The two documents should go hand-in-hand as they both deal with different important aspects.

The Will legally sorts where the money, shares, property is to be left and who will look after dependants such as children or pets.

The Personal Information is a record of what bank accounts you have, account numbers, Your current Gas, Electric and Water utility suppliers, (complete with account numbers) your motoring insurances, details of your Life Insurance and Pre-Paid Funeral Plans, (if you have one) Pensions and so much more that your relatives will probably not know about, but will need to know.

To pass all this information on will relieve a huge burden from your family particularly at a time when they will already be stressed.


your relatives will be able to easily locate it.

Ideally the Personal Information will be stored together with your Will, as when the time comes they both will be required as they cover different aspects of your estate.



Are you the only person who knows the details of your:

 Bank accounts

 Share Certificates

 Property Holding

 Outstanding mortgages

 Cars, boats, valuable items etc.

 Loans

 Pensions

 Life insurance

 Your motoring insurances

 Pre-Paid Funeral Insurance Plan

 Gas provider

 Electricity provider

 Drinking water provider

 Waste water provider or more?

When someone passes away, often merely the process of finding out these facts can be painful.

Putting all the crucial info somewhere secure so it can be taken over by someone else can be very helpful. If not, some of your hard-earned savings may be lost.



The safest thing to do is simply to list the providers with a rough indication of the product, but don't list your passwords.

The fact you're reading this means it's likely you make a good share of your household's financial decisions. Yet if you died, would your loved ones know which date the rent's due, when your car insurance runs out and where the stopcock is? Whether you usually keep the car maintained, sort the savings or pay the milkman, make sure those who rely on you know how to do it for themselves too.

When a loved one dies, having to make funeral decisions with no guidance - which music, did they want flowers, where to scatter ashes - can be harrowing at an already painful time.

Yet making a few quick decisions on your own funeral now can be a real help to your relatives after your death, and it needn't be drawn out.

Bank Accounts

Note down all of your bank accounts, together with the account numbers and sort code details so a relative can easily identify the bank and contact them when the time comes.




You can’t take cash with you

Far too many people scrimp and sacrifice towards the end of their lives, trying to retain some money for their children's inheritance. Yet don't make yourself suffer because of it - after all, you can't take assets with you when you're gone. Thinking through how to balance this early is certainly worthwhile, but ensure you've enough to be comfortable.



Share Certificates

Note down the broker name and contact details.

Note down the name of the company or fund the shares are invested with.

Don’t worry about the amounts invested as the broker will provide this advice to your relatives. Note down whether you hold the shares singly (in your name alone) or jointly with another person.

Property Holding

List any properties you may own and if there are any outstanding mortgages for these properties. If so, note down for each property:

 Property full postal address

 Mortgage lender for the property

 Mortgage account number for the property

 Any other details relating to each property e.g. is the property let? If so give details of tenants and a

property letting agent if applicable.

 Letting security deposit – if the property is let and a security deposit has been taken, note down

details of where the security deposit is retained with contact details of the company holding the deposit.




Social Media Accounts

It may seem like a good idea to write down the passwords to your online accounts for after you've gone. But it's worth considering that even if your next of kin has your login details, it's likely they'd be in breach of the website's terms by using them, which could get them into trouble legally as they could be

committing a criminal offence under the Computer Misuse Act 1990.

For others to legitimately use your online accounts after your death, they'd need to notify the website via the proper channels, and get permission to gain access.

Recently, the Law Society warned people to leave clear instructions about what should happen to their social media, computer games and other online accounts after their death.

It is not only sentimental material that can be lost, digital assets can also include things with a real

monetary value such as music, films, email accounts, computer game characters, domain names, air miles, reward points, website credits, PayPal and Bitcoin accounts.

It's still worth listing the names of any online storage accounts (e.g. if your photos are stored on a website, for example) and any other sites you've membership with on your financial factsheet to help your next of kin know who to contact after you're gone. If you have a Twitter account, your family may want it



Plan Your Funeral

Things to consider include whether you'd rather be buried, cremated, or even have a 'green' funeral, as well as any music, flowers, religious rites and readings.

Considering this in haste at death's door adds extra distress, so make your wishes known while you're well if you can.

Choose a Funeral Director

You may have a preference to use a particular Funeral Director, if so, make a note of the company and address so when the time comes your family will be able to uphold your personal choice.

It can be very expensive

While you may love the idea of a no-expense-spared film star funeral, going for simple, cheaper options (e.g. cremation rather than burial, flower-free ceremony, eco-friendly funeral etc.) will help keep costs down.

Ask for flowers to be donated. If you do have bunches of flowers at your funeral, you may want to ask for them to be donated afterwards to a nearby organisation, such as a local hospice, for others to enjoy.



Plan ahead in case you lose your faculties

Thinking and talking about what would happen if our faculties deserted us is uncomfortable.

Yet you need to consider how much worse the situation would be if you became incapacitated through a stroke, accident, dementia (e.g. Alzheimer's) without sorting it first.

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document where someone (while they still have mental capacity) nominates a trusted friend or relative to look after their affairs if they lose mental capacity. It's best to do this whilst you're in good health, as the financial and legal complications can be huge if you want to do this after your health has deteriorated.

Funeral Costs

It is important to consider taking out some sort of insurance protection to cover the cost of your funeral, otherwise relatives may need to borrow money until your financial details and property are sorted out. Some funeral directors will allow payment to be delayed until this has happened.



Life Insurances

List any life insurance policies you have taken out that are still in force.

Note down the life insurance company name and the name of the plan you have taken out.

Note down a contact name and telephone number so your next-of-kin can contact the company.

For others to legitimately make a claim on insurance policies after your death, they'd need to notify the insurance company via the proper channels, and inform the company that the policy holder has passed-away and will be making no further regular contributions.

It is possible to have an insurance policy that will also cover funeral costs, or maybe you could consider a specially dedicated Pre-Paid Funeral Plan as detailed below.



Pre-Paid Funeral Plan

You may consider taking out a pre-paid funeral plan, paying for your funeral in advance. This cover should be arranged to cover the whole cost of the funeral.

If there is no funeral plan, the cost of the funeral will normally be met out of any money left by you and, where money has been left, the funeral bill should be paid before any other bills or debts.

Following your death, it is normal for your bank accounts to be frozen, however your relatives may find it possible to have funds released from a building society or national savings account on showing the death certificate so the funeral costs can be covered.



Motoring Insurances

Note down any motoring policies you currently have in force, if you’re no longer around then you certainly

won’t be needing these and a partial refund on the policy may be possible.

If there are any additional named drivers listed on your policy, it is most likely they won’t be insured to drive and must make a new arrangement with the insurer naming them as the policy holder.