How to Make Your Own Will: Make Life Simpler for Those You Leave Behind, Ensure That Your Estate Goes to the People Who Want to Benefit, Minimise the Tax on Your Estate, Third Edition

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It will alert you to the many and broad ranging matters you should consider, and covers factual and legal requirements and technicalities. Gordon Bowley draws on his thirty years of experience as a family solicitor to suggest the best and most effective ways 'to have your last say'. Because this informative book is aimed at lay-people, it is written in plain English rather than using legal terms. The few terms used are all explained in a glossary. Specimen forms, sample wills and sample clauses make it even ...

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How To Make Your Own Will: Make life simpler for those you leave behind. Ensure that your estate goes to the people who you want to benefit. Minimise the tax in your estate.

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Overview

It will alert you to the many and broad ranging matters you should consider, and covers factual and legal requirements and technicalities. Gordon Bowley draws on his thirty years of experience as a family solicitor to suggest the best and most effective ways 'to have your last say'. Because this informative book is aimed at lay-people, it is written in plain English rather than using legal terms. The few terms used are all explained in a glossary. Specimen forms, sample wills and sample clauses make it even easier to set up your own will and save money.

This thoroughly updated third edition now includes: The Mental Capacity Act 2005 which gives statutory backing to the concept of Living Wills and made major changes to the law relating to Powers of Attorney, The Civil Partnership Act 2004 and the resulting changes in the law of inheritance, A new separate chapter on Inheritance Tax and Tax Saving in your Will.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781845282189
  • Publisher: Parkwest Publications
  • Publication date: 5/1/2008
  • Edition description: Third
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents


Preface to the third edition     xiii
Why should you make a will?     1
It is your money and you want to decide who shall have it     1
Do you really have nothing to leave but your debts?     3
Are you too young and not ready to die?     3
If you have to go, you should go your way (or try to)     4
They are your children and you should decide who should bring them up     4
Hasn't the government taken enough tax from you in your lifetime?     5
Sparing your next of kin extra pain     6
Some matters are really urgent     6
What happens if you die without a valid will (in greater detail!)     7
Who will administer your estate?     7
Who will inherit your estate?     8
What will happen to your business?     13
Can you make a will and how to do it     15
Can you make a will?     15
Complying with the formalities     17
Your will must be made in writing     18
Your will must be signed by you or by someone in your presence and at your request     19
Your signature on the will must be made or acknowledged by you in the presence of two or more witnesses who must be present at the same time     20
Each witness must sign the will and either sign oracknowledge his signature in your presence     20
It must be apparent that you intend to give effect to the will by signing it     21
A few general words on the subject of signing the will and witnesses     21
Conventions     23
Taking precautions against fraud     24
What you can leave by your will     26
General principles     26
Mutual wills     28
Jointly owned property i.e. property not in your sole name     30
Business partnerships     32
Property you do not own     33
Insurance policies taken out or held on trust for another     33
Other property you do not own over which you have a power of appointment     33
Other property you do not own over which you have no power of appointment     34
Nominated property     35
Property which by its nature has restricted alienability     35
Some existing rights in relation to land     35
Shares in some limited companies     35
Your body     36
Statutory restrictions of your right to leave your assets to whom you choose     37
Statutory tenancies     37
The Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 as amended     37
Intangible assets     40
Private pension scheme benefits     40
Matters to consider when contemplating making your will     41
Joint wills     41
The number of executors     41
Whom should you choose to be your executors?     42
Appointing guardians for your children by will     45
Your funeral and the disposal of your body after your death     50
Making provision for your pets     54
Factors to consider which might influence your choice of beneficiaries     55
Avoiding challenges to your will     55
Elderly beneficiaries     55
The family home     56
Gifts to the young and age-contingent gifts     58
Bequests to spendthrifts and bankrupts     61
Bequests to those incapable of managing their affairs or suffering from other disabilities     63
Inheritance tax and saving tax in your will     66
How inheritance tax works     66
Which of your assets are taxed?     66
How the tax is calculated     67
Which assets are exempt from the tax?     68
Gifts which are exempt from tax     69
How the tax on gifts is calculated     72
Benefiting from things you have given away      74
The reservation of a benefit rule     74
The rules relating to pre-owned assets     75
Reliefs against inheritance tax     78
Business property relief     78
How business property relief works     78
What property is entitled to business relief?     78
What kind of businesses are entitled to business relief?     80
Agricultural property relief     80
How and when agricultural property relief applies     81
The property to which agricultural property relief applies     82
Which rate of relief applies?     84
Agricultural relief and mortgaged property     84
Woodland relief     85
Relief for heritage assets     86
Double taxation relief     86
Who bears the inheritance tax?     86
Calculating the inheritance tax     88
Making gifts in your lifetime     89
Deciding what to give and to whom     89
Lifetime gifts by terminally ill spouses and civil partners     90
Reducing inheritance tax by making a will     91
Using exempt gifts in your will     91
Equalisation of estates between civil partners, the survivor exemption and the nil-rate band      91
Nil-rate band discretionary trusts     94
The Debt/Charge Discretionary Will Trust Scheme     97
The Loan Scheme     97
Warnings     98
Taxation of nil-rate band discretionary trusts     99
Using nil-rate band legacies without a discretionary trust     99
The advantages of using a nil-rate band discretionary will trust     100
The two-year discretionary will trust     100
The use of survivorship clauses and bequests to your spouse or civil partner     101
Special rules where exempt beneficiaries are concerned     104
'Grossing up' of legacies and gifts     104
'Related property' valuation rules     105
Cohabitees and the survivorship exemption     106
Skipping a generation     106
Clauses recommended to be included and clauses recommended to be excluded from your will     108
Your name and address     108
The date of the will     109
A revocation clause     109
The appointment of executors     109
Alternative provisions for bequests to beneficiaries who predecease you and for bequests that fail     109
Clauses relating to the remarriage of your spouse or the registration of your civil partner's new partnership after your death and providing for children of your previous marriage or registered partnership     112
Mirror/Mutual wills     115
Survivorship clauses     115
Who bears the debts, funeral expenses and expenses incurred in carrying out your will and inheritance tax?     115
Giving property which is mortgaged or subject to a financial charge     116
Giving lifetime interests in assets     116
Additional administrative powers in wills     117
Powers of maintenance and advancement in relation to contingent gifts and gifts to minors     118
Powers of investment and borrowing     118
Receipt clauses for bequests to minors and bequests to organisations     118
Beneficiaries who cannot be found     119
Limited interests and apportionment of income     119
Giving your executor power to carry on a business     120
Giving your executor power to buy things from your estate     120
Giving powers to appoint new or additional trustees     120
Excluding the beneficiaries' power to remove trustees     121
The duty of trustees of land to consult with beneficiaries     121
Limiting the extent of liability for acts done in the administration of your estate     122
Attestation clause     122
Settling old scores      122
Points on which you should take special care when drafting your will     123
Be precise and say what you mean     123
Describing beneficiaries     125
Describing bequests     128
Legacies to those who owe you money and to those to whom you owe money     129
The meaning of some words and phrases     130
Void provisions in wills     132
Gifts to those who witness your will     133
Gifts which are contrary to law or contrary to public policy     133
Gifts which infringe the rules against perpetuities and accumulations     135
Section 33 of the Wills Act 1837 (as amended)     135
The effect of Divorce or Annulment of your marriage or Dissolution of your Civil Partnership on your will     136
Effect on bequests to your spouse or civil partner     136
Effect on spouse's or partner's power of appointment, executorship and trusteeship     136
Effect on your spouse or partner as guardian     136
The international element of wills     138
Making a valid will if you are outside England and Wales     138
Wills relating to property which is situated out of England and Wales     140
Revoking or amending your will     141
Amending your will      141
Revoking your will     142
The privileged wills of those engaged in actual military service and sailors at sea     142
Revocation by marriage or registration of a civil partnership     142
Revoking your will by destroying the will with the intention to revoke it     143
Revoking your will by implication     144
Revoking your will by an express revocation     144
Dependent relative revocation     145
General advice concerning wills and associated matters     146
Keeping your will safe     146
Information for your executors     148
Living wills and advance decisions     150
The nature of living wills     150
Differentiating between treatment and nursing care     150
Your best interests     151
A right to die?     152
Making a living will under Common Law     152
Making an advance decision after the Mental Capacity Act 2005     153
Enduring and Lasting Powers of Attorney     156
Lasting Powers of Attorney     158
What you can do and what you cannot do by giving a Lasting Power of Attorney     158
The mental capacity you need to make a Lasting Power of Attorney     160
Choosing and appointing an attorney for your Lasting Power of Attorney     160
The form of your Lasting Power of Attorney     162
Registering your Lasting Power of Attorney     162
Revoking your Lasting Power of Attorney     163
The Statutory Code of Practice     164
Periodic reviews and deeds of family arrangement     164
Specimen forms and documents     167
Specimen form of notice of severance of joint tenancy     167
Specimen note as to reasons why a potential claimant under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 has been left no or only a limited inheritance     168
Basic skeleton form of a will with the residuary beneficiaries to benefit equally     169
Notes     171
Alternative provision to be used in the skeleton form of a will if you wish to leave the estate to your spouse for life or until she remarries and afterwards to other beneficiaries     172
Notes     173
Alternative provision to be used in the skeleton form of a will if you wish the residuary beneficiaries to benefit unequally     174
Notes     175
Will leaving the entire estate to your spouse and appointing her as the sole executrix with alternative provisions should she die before you     176
Notes to the above will     179
Additional clauses to be inserted in a will      180
In a will made with a marriage in mind     180
In a will containing gifts to under age beneficiaries     181
Appointment of guardians     181
Advancement clause     181
Receipt clause for a bequest     181
Power to invest and borrow     181
Exclusion of statutory powers relating to trustees 'duty to consult with beneficiaries and beneficiaries' power to appoint and remove trustees     181
In a will which contains a bequest to an organisation     181
Receipt clause     181
Bequest and receipt clause for a bequest to a charity     182
In a will which contains a gift for life or time contingent interest     182
Power of investment     182
Exclusion of the rules of apportionment     182
Advancement clause     182
Personal benefit by trustees     182
Exclusion of statutory provisions relating to trustees' duty to consult with beneficiaries and beneficiaries power to appoint and remove trustees     182
In the will of a testator who is involved in a business     183
In several wills which contain reciprocal bequests     183
Specimen form of codicil     183
Specimen attestation clauses for use in wills and codicils in special situations      184
Attestation clause for use in the will or codicil of a testator who cannot write but makes his mark     184
Note     184
Attestation clause for use in the will or codicil of a testator who cannot make a mark or write     185
Note     185
Attestation clause for use in the will or codicil of a testator who is blind     186
Note     186
Specimen form of advance decision or living will     187
Note     188
Checklist for use after you have prepared your will but before you sign it     189
Glossary     195
Index     199
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