THE SIGNIFICANCE OF WILLS AND SOME KEY FACTORS TO CONSIDER WHILE CREATING A WILL
Updated: Jan 2
Creating a will is one of the most important steps to securing your family's financial future – yet, it is often something people put off or avoid completely. A will ensures that all of your assets are passed on to the right people and helps reduce any hard decisions or disagreements between family members over property and possessions when you’re gone. Making a will doesn't have to be long and complicated, but there are some key factors that you should consider before creating one. This blog post will discuss the significance of wills and what essential items to include while creating yours. With information ranging from different types of trusts, taxations associated with death, state-specific laws regarding estate planning, and how properties might pass after we die - let’s dive into why making a validly executed legal document like a will is so important for protecting our families and ourselves!
Key factors to consider when creating a will:
Here are some key factors to consider when creating a will because they can impact how assets are distributed upon death.
Choosing An Executor
Choosing Your Beneficiaries
Care For Your Pets
Items Of Sentimental Value
A Testamentary Trust
CHOOSING AN EXECUTOR
The executor is in charge of carrying out your final wishes as stated in your will. It's important to choose someone you trust with this responsibility because they will be responsible for distributing your assets in accordance with your wishes. An excellent option for an executor is a licensed family lawyer or accountant. Consult with the attorney helping you create your will for suggestions on who might make a good executor.
CHOOSING YOUR BENEFICIARIES
When creating your will, you should designate primary and secondary beneficiaries for each section of your estate. Make sure to consider how the assets will be split, such as evenly among family members or more concentrated toward certain people. This should be done to avoid family disputes or disagreements after death.
To what extent is the existence of a beneficiary really necessary to the validity of a trust?A trust will be seen as invalid unless there is a beneficiary, except in some types of purpose/charitable trusts. The rationale behind this is that there must be a beneficiary in whose favour the trust can be implemented by the court, there must be beneficiaries with proprietary rights in the trust fund. It is accepted wisdom that the absence of a beneficiary would have the effect of leaving the trustees entirely at liberty to use the trust fund in relation to the purpose of the trust entirely as they saw fit, without the checks and balances of the beneficiary ensuring that the trustees carried out their fiduciary duties properly. Moreover, if there is no beneficiary then there will be no means by which it may be brought before the court, and this will bring the law into disrepute. The root of this principle is found in the old case of Morice v Bishop of Durham:
Morice v Bishop of Durham (1804) 9 Ves 399
For a trust to exist (not including charitable trusts) there must be someone who will have locus standi to bring the trustees to court to enforce the trust obligations against the legal owner. Therefore the court must find definite objects (beneficiaries) that can bring the trustees to court, in the words of Lord Grant MR:
“There can be no trust, over the exercise of which this court will not assume control ... If there be a clear trust, but for uncertain objects, the property ... is indisposed of ... Every ... [non¬-charitable trust must have a definite object. There must be somebody in whose favour the court can decree performance.”
Therefore, you should not have a trust where the trustee’s duties is not owed to a particular beneficiary, who are in a position to enforce it and so you should not have purpose trusts. However this is subject to a qualification because there is an important category of purpose trusts that are valid and these are charitable trusts. This rule does not apply to charitable trusts in general. Charities undertake activities, which are considered by the law to be commonly in the public interest, thus, statute creates an exceptional category for them. If certain conditions are satisfied then a trust can be valid as a charitable trust even though it’s a trust for a purpose. The purpose has to be within the range purposes that are recognised as charitable.
CARE FOR YOUR PETS
People sometimes forget to put in their wills information on who will take care of their pets when they pass away. You can designate a person or people, a cause, or another organization that you know will take good care of your dogs while you're away.
Animals stay at our sides through thick and thin and still need care when we die away, according to animal healthcare specialist Keith Maitland. He claims that our furry pets might get neglected. A skilled family law specialist can guarantee that your pets receive the care they require in the event of your passing. consider the following gift:
I leave £15,000 so that my horse, Arthur, will be well looked after
There are some so called anomalous cases, they are called trusts of imperfect obligation and these are anomalous case where the courts have permitted a trust for a purpose contrary to the beneficiary principle. There are limited types of exceptions to the beneficiary principle, aside from the case of charities, which is really a general exception to the beneficiary principle. One example is that it is possible to leave money for the care of the testator’s animals and pets. An illustration of this was found in Re Dean. This involved a man who left money for the care of his horses and hounds after his death. The trustees had a duty to carry out but there was no legal entity to enforce that duty. In such a case, should the trustees misuse their power, there will be a beneficiary in default who can appeal the situation. This is called a trust of imperfect obligation. It was hel by the court: that the £750 annuity was not given to the trustees beneficially, but that a trust was created for the maintenance of the animals, and that such a trust was valid, although it was not a charity, and its execution could not be enforced by any one.
ITEMS OF SENTIMENTAL VALUE
It can be difficult to put a monetary value on items of sentimental value like jewelry, artwork, and heirlooms. To ensure that the right people receive these prized possessions when you die, you should designate them in your will. Often people choose their favorite relative or the person that can take care of these items properly.
Donating to charitable organizations is a great way to give back and share your wealth with those in need. Consider leaving a portion of your estate to charity and make sure that it is included in your will. It is very helpful to orphans or disabled people.
When writing a will, you should make sure to include provisions for any children or dependents. You can designate guardians for any minor children, list who will be in charge of their financial affairs and provide for the type of care they should receive. Always choose the right person for your dependents and children so that no misbehavior happened to them.
If you have any dependent relatives who are disabled, it is important to ensure that they will be provided for even after you are gone. Consider setting up a trust fund to ensure that their needs will be taken care of in the event of your death.
A TESTAMENTARY TRUST
A testamentary trust is a legal document specifying how assets should be managed after the settler's death. Consider setting up a trust that will provide for your beneficiaries in the event of your death, such as providing financial security, regulating how assets are distributed, and protecting against any potential tax liabilities. This is an excellent way to ensure that your wishes are carried out after you are gone.
Making a will is one of the most important documents that you can create to ensure your financial security, provide for your loved ones, and protect your wishes. Consider the key factors mentioned in this article and speak to a licensed family lawyer or accountant for more information. With proper planning, you can ensure that your wishes are fulfilled after you pass away.