- Executor and Trustees
- Grant of probate
- Inheritance Tax (IHT)
- Intellectual Property
- Joint property
- Letters of administration
- Mirror will
- Power of Attorney (POA)
- Wills in expectation of marriage / civil partnership
- Worldwide will
- there is no will
- the will does not appoint an executor
- the named executor is unable or unwilling to act.
There are court rules which govern who may apply to act as administrator
Domicile is a complex legal concept that for UK purposes determines the legal system under which your will is to be interpreted and administered. For most people their residence and domicile are the same as the country in which they live. However if you or your parents were born outside England and Wales, or you intend to live permanently outside England and Wales you should consider taking legal advice. Wills prepared through the Barclays Will Writing Service are on the basis that you are domiciled in England and Wales.
The assets that you own which can be left under your will. There are items which may not be left under your will (see joint property). Most pension provisions are not assets which can be left under the terms of a will or intestacy.
Executor and Trustees
A person, persons or company named in a will to be responsible for carrying out the terms of the will and settling taxes and debts. If you want to put money or assets in trust for children the executors / trustees will be responsible for managing this sum. You should consider appointing more than one executor and trustee in these circumstances, especially if a professional executor / trustee is not acting. Executors must be 18 or over and should be capable of dealing with complex issues and acting independently.
These are people who will look after your children (if under 18 years of age) at the time of your death. A surviving parent from a marriage has certain parental rights over the guardianship of his/her children, so you do not need to name them. If you are not married to the parent of your child you are advised to state your wishes with regard to guardianship, but no advice can be given by us as to the effectiveness of your wishes. Guardians must be 18 or over.
A civil partner who has parental responsibility for a child may appoint another individual to be the child's guardian. If the person appointed is a civil partner, the appointment is automatically cancelled if the civil partnership is dissolved or revoked.
However, in most cases such an appointment will not take effect until the death of the surviving parent. The guardian is responsible for the welfare and upbringing of the child. Liaison between the trustee and the guardian is required to plan for the child's financial future.
Inheritance Tax (IHT)
A tax payable, generally on death (sometimes known as "Death Duty"). It is calculated on the value of your assets when you die, and subject to certain exemptions and reliefs is charged at 40% above a certain limit (£325,000 for the 2010/2011 tax year).
the ownership of an intangible asset(s) such as music, literature, artistic works, discoveries and inventions. Patents, copyrights, trademarks, industrial designs, domain names and trade secrets are also included in this description.
An estate where there is no will and the law therefore directs who inherits. Please see Intestacy section.
- Under a beneficial joint tenancy the entire property passes to the survivor(s) on a death.
- Under a tenancy-in-common a person's share of the property can pass under the terms of his will (or on his intestacy).
If you and your spouse or partner have together decided to include in your wills any specific gifts of houses or land or other property that you own jointly with each other, as beneficial joint tenants and these gifts in the wills are not to your co-owner, you will need to change the way in which you own the property jointly. If you are using the Barclays Will Writing Service for the preparation of your will, Irwin Mitchell will be able to help you with this.
- a money legacy e.g. £1000 to a named person.
- a specific legacy e.g. my gold wedding ring to my daughter - It is important to describe the item(s) accurately to avoid confusion.
Many spouses/partners have mirror wills in which they leave their estate to the same beneficiaries named in both wills to benefit on the death of the surviving spouse/partner. The survivor can change the terms of their own will after the death of their spouse/partner.
Power of Attorney (POA)
Powers of Attorney allow you to appoint somebody to look after your affairs should you no longer be willing to deal with them yourself. Some types of power also allow the attorney to continue to deal with your affairs should you become incapable of dealing with them yourself.
In this connection, property means all assets (not merely land). See estate.
A written document which when properly executed instructs how a person's assets are to be dealt with after their death. If improperly executed (i.e. incorrectly signed and witnessed) the document may not constitute a valid will.
Wills in expectation of marriage / civil partnership
If you and your partner intend getting married soon your will(s) can be made 'in expectation of your marriage' which means it/they will be valid before and after the marriage takes place. Marriage would otherwise cancel a will. The same principle applies for partners intending to form a civil partnership.