Your Guide to Leaving a Gift in Your Will

If you’re writing a Will, you might have thought about leaving a gift to a loved one or a certain charity. But what is the process for leaving a gift in your Will?

In this guide, we’ve explained how to leave a gift in your Will, as well as looking at the different types of gifts and who you can leave them to.

To find out more, keep reading or get in touch with our friendly advisors for advice that’s tailored to you.

How to leave a gift in your Will

Leaving a gift in your Will doesn’t need to be difficult. We’ve broken the process down into three key stages:

  1. Consider the gifts you’d like to leave
    Before doing anything else, you should think about the gifts you’d like to leave behind in your Will. This could be a family heirloom, a car, or a monetary gift. We’ve explored more of the different types of gifts you can include in the next section of this guide.
  2. Think about who you’d like to receive a gift
    This could be a charity, someone in your family or a close friend. But it should be someone you trust to use the gift responsibly and in line with your wishes.
  3. Detail who you’d like to leave a gift to in your Will
    To make sure the gifts you leave behind are properly handled, you’ll need to include specific wording in your Will that sets out who you would like each gift to go to. If you’re leaving a gift to a charity, make sure their details are correct – we’d suggest using their registration number and address as well as the charity name.

It’s also important to consider that your Will may need to be updated over time. For instance, if an individual you’ve chosen to receive a gift passes away, you will need to amend your Will to reflect this.

Our Wills, estates and probate solicitors can help you navigate the process of leaving a gift in your Will. So you can feel confident that your wishes will be followed when the time comes.

Different types of gift

There are three main types of gift you can leave in your Will. These are:

  • Specific gifts
    This will usually refer to one specific item or a group of items – such as a collection of valuables. If you decide to leave a specific gift to a charity, it could be sold for the purpose of raising funds.
  • Pecuniary gifts
    This may sound like an unusual or complicated term. But it simply means the gift of money in any amount.
  • Residuary gifts
    When you leave a residuary gift, you’re agreeing to give away a share of your estate. You can specify the percentage of the estate that’s gifted, and this will be distributed after any taxes or debts have been paid off.

Who you can gift to

You can leave gifts in your Will to whoever you wish. But typically this will include family members, friends and any charities you hold close to your heart. These individuals or organisations will be known as your beneficiaries.

It’s worth noting, though, that children under 18 cannot legally receive gifts from your Will. Instead, you may need to make the gift out to the child’s parents or guardians, on the condition that the child receives it when they turn 18.

If you decide to leave a gift to a charity, this will not be taxed – as long as the charity is registered in the UK. You can also create what’s called a letter of wishes if you have specific requests for how the gift should be used. This is not legally binding, but it will provide guidance for your executors.

How can a solicitor help me leave a gift in my Will?

To make sure the gifts you leave behind are distributed as you’d like, your wishes will need to be made clear in your Will. An experienced solicitor will be able to help you draft up your Will in a way that leaves no room for confusion or speculation.

It’s easy to overlook certain things when drafting a Will. And even if something seems obvious to you, it may not be as clear to your loved ones. For example, if you decide to leave £5,000 to your siblings, you’ll need to specify whether this should be shared or if they should each receive £5,000.

In the worst cases, uncertainty surrounding gifts left in a Will can result in probate disputes. These conflicts can be costly and emotionally draining, so it’s best to prevent them wherever possible. This is where our solicitors could help you.

To find out about the services we offer, give us a call on the number at the top of the screen or start your enquiry online.

Note: First4Lawyers offers this information as guidance, not advice. Before taking any action, you should seek professional assistance tailored to your personal circumstances.

Get in touch today to discuss your requirements 08005677866

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