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What can I leave in my Will?

View profile for Chloe Hayter
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What can I leave in my Will?

Creating a Will is an important step in planning for the future, allowing you to ensure that your children and estate are in good hands after your death.

But what can and can’t you leave in a Will? Can you leave property, pets, money for charity?

In this article, Wills & Tax Paralegal Chloe Hayter discusses what you should include in your Will.

What can I leave in my Will?

Your children’s wellbeing will likely be at the top of your priorities, and writing a Will allows you to designate who will care of them, and have parental responsibility, after your death.

If you have any step-children or foster kids, you can also set out provisions that provide funds and detail custody arrangements for them too.

When it comes to distributing your estate, you can leave property, possessions, money, family heirlooms, to whoever you desire. This might be your children, spouse, parents, extended family, friends, a combination, or someone else!

Some people also choose to include funeral instructions in their Will, such as details as to where they would like to be buried. Including this in your Will ensures that your family knows exactly what you want and can make it easier for them to arrange when the time comes.

Related: What is parental responsibility and who has it?

What happens if I don’t have a Will?

Without a Will in place, the care of your children and distribution of your estate is decided for you, through intestacy rules.

These rules may not reflect what you wish to happen. For example, your children may be left with the surviving parent – even if the kids don’t see that parent - and someone who you wish to inherit, may not.

For this reason, writing a Will is so important, as doing so avoids leaving the future up to chance.

You can use our flowchart to find out exactly what would happen to your estate if you were to die intestate here, and find out more about how intestacy rules decide your children’s future here.

Can you gift a pet in your Will?

Many families now have pets that are considered a part of the family. Don’t worry, pets can also be included in your Will.

Using a Will, you can confirm who will look after the pet, whether the new owner will receive a sum of money to look after the pet and pass on any equipment for the pet. If you are unsure on who can be trusted to look after your beloved pet, then charities could be included instead.

Can I leave money to charity in my Will?

Leaving money to charity is a lovely way of supporting a worthy cause, perhaps something that is close to your heart, and is something that many people choose to include in their Will.

Charitable donations are also exempt from Inheritance Tax, so doing so can also be a good way of reducing your overall Inheritance Tax liability (whilst helping out a charitable cause).

If you leave at least 10% of your estate to charity, you may qualify to pay a reduced rate of Inheritance Tax at 36% (this is reduced from the usual 40% rate).

How to leave money to charity in your Will

You can either name a specific charity that you wish to donate to or let the trustees of your Will decide which charity gets what.

And it’s not just cash that can be left to a charity, you can also donate a property/asset or your residuary estate (anything left after gifts, debts, expenses, fees, tax etc. are paid).

Find out more about leaving money to charity in your Will here.

How to leave digital assets in a will?

With digital technology playing a larger role in our lives than ever before, you may wish to, for example, pass on digital photos stored in the cloud, or access to social media accounts.

For tailored advice on this, please get in touch with our bright Wills Team on 01202 499255.

Specialist Will Writing Solicitors

Using a Solicitor to assist you in drafting a Will is best the way to give you peace of mind.

A dedicated specialist will ensure that all of boxes have been ticked and that any risk of a dispute arising from your testament is limited.

At Frettens, our bright team of Wills experts would be happy to assist you with your Will.

If you would like to speak to a member of our team, or ask any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch on 01202 499255. We offer a free initial chat for all new clients.

The content of this article, blog or video is not intended as specific legal advice. For tailored assistance, please contact a member of our team.