Writing a Will means you can look after everyone and everything that’s important to you. Family and friends should always come first, but once they are looked after a gift in your Will for your University will provide tremendous benefit for society and future generations. It will mean your legacy lives on.
Writing a Will is not complicated but it is essential that it is done correctly, or your wishes may not be observed. When making or updating your Will you should always seek professional advice – it’s not expensive and it could save a lot of heartache after your death.
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As making a Will is so important, and as it is critically important that it is done correctly, many people choose to engage directly with a professional right from the start.
We advise that this is essential if your Will might, in any way, be contentious. This is because, as the value of all of our estates is increasing and, as many of us live slightly complicated lives (divorce, stepchildren, unmarried partners, etc), the incidence of contested Wills and contentious probate is increasing year on year.
Not considering all of the issues could mean your bequests are challenged in Court which is an extremely costly process, even if found to be invalid. You want your legacy to go to it’s intended recipients… not to lawyers fighting for the disparate parties.
Remember Your Uni has a panel of hundreds of highly qualified, experienced solicitors and Will writers across the UK who will provide Wills for free or at a highly discounted rate.
Contact us to find out how to access out Free Wills service.
It is important that you make the most of your time with your advisor and to do this it is best to prepare for the meeting beforehand. Here are a few pointers:
These are the people who will deal with your estate in the event of your death.
If you have children under 18 you should also consider who you would like to be their guardians as well – and talk to them about it; it could be a bit of a shock if your children turn up at their door and they weren’t aware of it!
Executors can be business-minded family or friends, institutions such as banks or could be professional advisors such as lawyers. BEWARE! Check carefully what the advisors will charge for acting as executors: for some, it’s a percentage of the estate which could net them tens of thousands of pounds of your money for doing very little work…..
It may surprise you! House price inflation, pension pot values and other items it can easily add up. It is important that you work it out correctly which means calculating the value of everything you own, including your property, car, personal possessions and money etc. You then take away any debts that you may have which includes mortgages, loans, overdrafts and credit or extended purchase agreements.
Your advisor will help and also provide advice about inheritance tax and how to mitigate for it….. another reason that charitable donations to universities are so attractive!
You can leave anything you own and can be as specific or general as you want. Gifts can be cash amounts, a percentage of your estate, specific items and you can specify how it is used (a world tour?). You can also decide at what age beneficiaries receive their gift or share of your estate, as well as providing for beneficiaries with health or care needs. You can also specify particualr family and friends who you wish to pass on personal items to, often there are items of immense sentimental value which will mean more to someone than any amount of money
Very few of us are going to be Bit Coin millionaires, but don’t forget things like: Facebook accounts, passwords for all of your online accounts, eBay, National Lottery, Amazon to digital music and photos. Try and think of all of them.
Aunty Mary may be delighted with your online Thrash Metal collection!
After you’ve looked after your family and friends, it is becoming more and more common to leave what is left over to your old university. Universities are critical to shaping the lives we have lived and the people we have become. Alumni all over the world are helping their universities carry on being the wonderful institutions they are and opening them up to a new generation of students by remembering their university in their Wills. A donation, big or small, goes a long way in helping your legacy live on.
Make a note of the specific university name (Birmingham City University is NOT the same as the University of Birmingham so leaving a legacy to “Birmingham University” would be problematic), address and registered charity number to give to your professional advisor.
Once written, most professional advisors will offer to store your Will for you so that the Will is not lost. Most solicitors will do this free of charge, many Will writing companies will charge. If you have a Will written via Remember Your Uni our partners will store your will fro free.
It may also be worth considering storing your Will with Her Majesty’s Court Service. When your Will is complete, you can also register it with a number of commercial organisations that operate Will registration schemes.