Home > Who Do I Name In My Will > Leaving Assets to Family and Non-Family

Leaving Assets to Family and Non-Family

By: J.A.J Aaronson - Updated: 23 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Leaving Assets Family Non-family Estate

Your decisions as regards to the disbursement of your estate (that is the way in which your assets will be distributed after your death) may well be something to which you have not given much thought. If you are married then it is natural to assume that your entire estate will pass directly to your spouse. Indeed this may well be the case, but this choice is not the obvious one for everyone. Indeed, if you are not married or simply wish to give parts of your estate to non-family members, then the wording of your will may be slightly convoluted.

Family

Leaving assets to family may well prove to be easier than leaving assets to non-family members. Many people who wish to leave their entire estate to their spouse presume that this means that there is no necessity to write a will. This is not the case, however; although the laws of intestacy state that your estate would pass directly to your spouse if you died without having left such a document, if your assets are valued over a certain amount then your beneficiary is likely to be liable to pay considerable sums of Inheritance Tax. If you write a will, however, you may be able to avoid this. For more information on this you may wish to read articles on trusts elsewhere on this site.

If you choose this course of action, then a simple line in your will stating that you wish for all of your assets to pass to your spouse will be sufficient, unless you do set up one or more trusts. In the latter case the wording will be more complex, as is explained in the articles mentioned above. You should remember, however, that if you divorce (or have your civil partnership annulled), then this part of your will may be invalid. In this case, you should always seek professional advice as you may be required to have the document rewritten.

Non-Family

If you wish to leave assets to individuals who are not members of your family, the process can in fact be simpler - there is no risk, for example, of the definition of ‘spouse’ becoming confused if you divorce. In the same way as you would stipulate which family members you wish to leave assets to, you should precisely name the individuals to whom you are leaving items.

Similarly, if the assets you are leaving are physical items such as jewellery (as opposed to financial assets or monetary instruments) then you should make sure that you stipulate very clearly which item is in question. Go into as much details as is reasonably possible in order to avoid confusion. If you are giving a large number of different gifts then you may also wish to create a separate list, which you can then reference from your will. You should ensure that this list is kept with the will itself if you choose this course of action.

Organisations

Finally, you may also wish to bequeath part of your estate to an organization - a charity, for example. If you are doing this you should again ensure that you go into as much detail as possible about the asset that you are bequeathing, and you should also make sure that you provide comprehensive information about the organization. As well as the name of the group, you should also provide an address and, where possible, a contact name and banking details if you are leaving financial assets.

As with most other aspects of your will, precision and the inclusion of as much information as possible should help to avoid any potential misunderstandings.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
My solicitor has drawn up wills for me and my wife he is down as one of my executors staing he has fullpowers of retention realisation investment appropriation transfer of property without reailsation if my wife and I die we want to leave property to my son andproperty to my step son is that what he will do it is not in the will we have from him.
dinky - 24-Aug-12 @ 10:41 AM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • Butler
    Re: Life Estates
    My father has just died and I always thought he owned his property as I found deeds etc but now have found paperwork indicating it is owned by a…
    13 November 2018
  • Sheri
    Re: Life Estates
    My daughter's father has a lifetime tenancy on his late mother's property. The property is a three bed bungalow on 1.8 acres in Copthirne, Sussex. On…
    8 November 2018
  • Sue
    Re: Life Estates
    In my mums will she expressed the wish for her partner to be a life tenant. It also states that we must allow him to move house as often as he wishes.…
    5 October 2018
  • giblet
    Re: How Legally Binding is a Will?
    My wife has just passed away and we have found a will we didn't know existed. It leaves various bits and bobs but also leaves…
    30 September 2018
  • Solly
    Re: Why Make a Will?
    I just read what I said and I meant to say if you are the witness to the signing of the will. If a person is living as if they are the…
    5 September 2018
  • Solly
    Re: Why Make a Will?
    I have read that if you are the spouse or civil partner of a beneficiary of a will, the beneficiary may not receive anything from the estate. What…
    5 September 2018
  • TheWillExpert
    Re: How Legally Binding is a Will?
    John - Your Question:Is the validity of a will only governed by the signatures of witnesses, or has it to be registered…
    8 August 2018
  • John
    Re: How Legally Binding is a Will?
    Is the validity of a will only governed by the signatures of witnesses, or has it to be registered somewhere ie Solicitors ???…
    7 August 2018
  • TheWillExpert
    Re: Life Estates
    AB - Your Question:My husband and I married later in life- he sold his house at a very generous price to his daughter to enable her to get on the prope
    24 July 2018
  • Tanya
    Re: Life Estates
    My parents have a lifetime tenancy and thereafter their inheritors. They are getting older and the property has quite a lot of stairs. Is there a way…
    21 July 2018