Things to consider before you write your will
APPOINTING EXECUTORS AND TRUSTEES
An Executor is the person or persons who will administer your estate on your death and will ensure your wishes are carried out. We suggest you elect no more than two members of your family, or close friends, to act for you. Ideally they should be younger than you (remember that a Beneficiary can be an Executor).
Should you want to put money in trust, for children under 18 for example, the Executor will normally also act as your Trustee and will be responsible for managing the sum. Therefore they will need to be able to deal with fairly complex financial matters.
In most cases the appointment of Guardian(s) for children under 18 will not take place until the death of the surviving parent. Unlike the Trustees, who will be keeper of the “purse”, the Guardians are responsible for the welfare and upbringing of your child or children. Although a Guardian can also be a Trustee, we would normally suggest it prudent that there should be at least one Trustee who is solely responsible for financial aspects.
GIFTS AND LEGACIES
You may wish to leave a sum of money or a specific item to an individual person or charity. Any cash sum given to a minor will be put into trust until age 18 (or older) with all interest for the investment accruing to the named beneficiary. It is important that any items you wish to bequeath are described accurately to avoid confusion.
COMMUNITY CARE ACT
Should the need ever arise for you to go into residential care when you are old and frail your assets,
under current legislation, may go towards the cost of your care. A properly written Will may go a long way to help retain your assets within your family.
TERMS MADE SIMPLE
Executors administer your estate, distributing gifts and money.
Trustees look after money or property for those unable to look after it themselves. They also act for Inheritance Tax trusts.
Guardians are those nominated to look after your children should something happen to you.