The 5 most popular questions asked when writing a Will

We've shared the most popular questions our Free Wills team get asked - answers revealed below!

1. Why do I even need a Will?

A Will isn’t for you- you’ll never use it, it’s for the people you leave behind. Having a Will makes things easier for them, and your executor, to do things as you wish and to sort your estate when you’ve passed. It can be an important way to protect your family and loved ones: saving on inheritance tax, and hopefully heading off family disputes about how your possessions should be divided.

2. What are ‘intestacy’ rules?

Many people die each year without having left a Will. This is known as dying ‘intestate’. This means what happens to your estate will be determined by strict intestacy rules – something that could make things complex for loved ones left behind, and even disadvantage people you want to protect. Crucially, if you have a partner but are not married or in a civil partnership, dying without a Will means they will not have the right to inherit anything (regardless of how long you’ve been together or whether you’ve got children). Intestacy rules vary depending on factors such as your marital status, whether you have children and where you live in the UK.

3. Do I have to leave a gift to charity?

Obviously, this is your decision and you don’t have to leave a gift. Gifts in Wills are a vital source of income for charities like Leukaemia Care, and they have become the largest source of voluntary donations, funding crucial services and core operations for charities across the country. A gift of just 1% will make a real difference to supporting our charitable work here at Leukaemia Care. Quite simply, we cannot do what we do without your help. It’s the kindness, compassion and selflessness of people who have left money in their Wills which allows us to support anybody affected by a blood cancer year after year. Your legacy is our future.

For example, in 2017, legacies represented approximately 20% of all of our funding.

4. Are gifts to charities free of inheritance tax?

Yes, Gifts to charities are exempt from Inheritance Tax (‘IHT’), whether they are made during a person’s lifetime or on death by their Will. ‘IHT’ is charged at 40% on any estate worth more than £325,000. But if you leave 10% or more of your net estate to charity, you will benefit from a lower inheritance tax rate of 36%.

5. Do my debts die with me?

It’s a commonly held myth that debts die with you. While true to an extent, it can be more complicated.

If you have debts including credit card, loan or mortgage balances, they will come out of your estate before your beneficiaries will get the money. If you don’t have any assets at all, the debts will be written off. Here are three examples to help explain it…

  • £100,000 debts, no assets.

This is simple: you’ve nothing to leave, so nobody has to take on the debts.

  • £40,000 debts, you own a £200,000 home.

Here the debt will need paying or sorting from the estate before the person you left the home to can take it.

  • £120,000 debts, you own a £100,000 home.

Again, for someone to get your home, the debts will need clearing. Your beneficiary could choose to pay this to keep hold of the house, but of course this would mean they’d take on the extra debt. Alternatively, they could choose not to take the home.

Register for a free Will today

Leukaemia Care offer a free Will writing service and work with trusted Will writing experts to assist you in creating a Will that suits your needs and preferences. Our team will also provide guidance throughout the entire process, ensuring you understand each step involved. Click the button below to receive your informational pack on our Free Will Service.

Support services

If you or a loved one needs advice or support regarding your diagnosis, please get in touch. You can call our free helpline on 08088 010 444 and speak to one of our nurses. Alternatively, you can send a message to our team via WhatsApp on 07500 068 065 (services available Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm).

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