On Friday (14th January 2011), the BBC aired the first of an interesting series called “Can’t take it with you”. The series looks at a variety of issues surrounding writing a will; the first episode debated leaving money to charity and focussed on the importance of considering the whole family to ensure the solution is right.
Some of the people featured in the programme wished to leave large amounts of their estate to charity as opposed to their relatives and posed questions about how to ensure the surviving husband or wife has enough to live on while still passing the majority of the estate to the chosen charity.
Heather Varley, a Legal Executive in our Private Client Team with vast will writing experience, watched the programme. She says “The show highlighted some uncommon scenarios, but it did discuss some interesting situations which people in a second marriage should consider, particularly where there are children and step children. If you want to leave a large part of your estate to charity, but you are worried about not leaving enough for your spouse, setting up a trust in your will can be a good solution. This means that if you die first, your spouse can continue to have use of your estate (for example, continue to live in the family home) … but after they die, your nominated charity will get the money.”
If you missed it, the programme is available on iplayer: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00xk05j It looks to be a very thought provoking series and will hopefully make everyone realise the importance of making a will and how useful it can be to take advice from an experienced solicitor, as there are many options available to you which may not become clear if you set up a DIY will.
Contact a member of our Private Client Team on 01202 499255 to arrange a free initial appointment at either our Christchurch or New Forest office, where you will be able to meet a member of our team to discuss your situation with no obligation or charge.