With the right advice, making a will can be simple and is one of the most important things you’ll ever sign, for both you and your family.
If you haven’t got around to making a will, you’re not alone – staggeringly, over half of British adults don’t have one. But having a valid will is the only way you can make sure everything you’ve worked hard for - your home, possessions and money – gets passed on to the people you care about.
Without one, it’s left to the government to decide who gets what. Chances are that means at least some of it ending up in the hands of those you would never have chosen. Also, without a will, relations such as unmarried partners/not in a civil relationship, or friends close to your heart may miss out on what you would wish for them to remember you by.
In short, it can be a major headache for your loved ones, plus having one can reduce inheritance tax. So - get writing!
Fear not – it’s a lot easier and more affordable than you might think. Plus, we’ve partnered with Guardian Angel to offer our members a free will service. Here is a quick five step guide to everything you need to know about making a will:
Step one – Value your estate
Before you speak to Guardian Angel, they’ll expect you to have a rough idea of what you own and its worth. A basic evaluation is fine at this stage. Think about:
- Personal possessions
Also think about any existing debts. Remember – don’t be put off. You only need a rough idea, not exact figures.
Step two – Decide how to distribute
Think about who you want to benefit from your will and details of any gifts. Gifts can be anything:
- Pecuniary – a cash gift sum
- Specific – a specific item e.g. a car, a piece of jewellery
- Residual – a percentage of your estate
You can make provisions for when beneficiaries receive the gift or share of estate as well as naming specific family or friends to receive the item.
Step three – Consider remembering a charity
You can leave a gift to more than one charity in your will. After you’ve looked after your family and friends, you may wish to leave a gift to The British Horse Society, a cause close to your heart who will be there for the next generation of riders and those who care for horses. A donation can be whatever size you like. Most gifts tend to be residual.
Step four — Name executors and guardians in your will
Another important decision is choosing an executor – the person who deals with your estate. Choose someone you trust like a business-minded relative, friend or a professional advisor. The executor makes an inventory of all the estate’s assets which is used to pay off outstanding debts, so the executor must contact any creditors. Afterwards, the remaining assets can be distributed according to the terms set out in the will (see Step two).
Step five - Contact Guardian Angel to write your will
You can create a simple will free of charge on Guardian Angel’s website (RRP £90) or, if you would prefer to speak to one of their solicitors, this can also be arranged. All we ask is that you consider leaving a Gift to The British Horse Society, so we can carry on supporting the next generation of riders. N.B: If in Scotland you leave a Will through speaking to one of their advisors but unfortunately unable to use their website service.
Info you may need:
- Charity Address: Abbey Park, Kenilworth, Warwickshire, CV8 2XZ
- Registered charity number: 210504 and SC038516