18th MARCH 2020
Other than allocating our estate, many of us will have more sentimental instructions that we will want carried out, like the giving of gifts and any other funeral wishes. Gifts can be a great way of showing your appreciation to those who might otherwise not stand to inherit from your estate, and some of us may have a certain way they wish their funeral to be arranged. Both can be catered for in your will.
Many different assets of your estate can be given as gifts, but certain rules apply on what can and can’t be given.
Money can be given as a gift, whether that be to a single beneficiary or institution, like a charity. Items, like a car or piece of jewellery, etc. can also be given. But financial assets, like properties, businesses, stocks, shares or bank accounts cannot be given as gifts.
If the gift is valid, then you can name the person or institution you want to give it to you in your will. If you name an individual who is still under 18, then you can leave the intended gift with the executor, another parent, or with a guardian or trustee for safekeeping until they reach adulthood.
There is also a strict limit on the worth of an intended gift. Above this limit, inheritance tax will be applied and will be paid out of the estate. But there is an initial allowance that can be used to avoid some of these incurred liabilities.
Once all your nominated estate and gifts have been allocated, and all debts have been met, the remainder of your estate, your residue, can be disposed of in any way you see fit. Some people choose to split this amount equally amongst their beneficiaries, dividing it into specific percentages per person. Others like to give a percentage of their residuary estate to a charity of their choosing.
Your will allows you to have a great deal of say in how you want your funeral to be arranged. Otherwise these decisions will be up to your executor or family. This way you also save your loved ones some anguished deliberating over how you would have wanted to be remembered.
While any funeral wishes mentioned in the will are not legally binding on the executor, they are usually followed out of respect to the deceased and are a nice way of honouring their final memory. This includes small gestures that can mean a lot, like what music you want played, what food you would like served, how you want to be buried, whether you want to be cremated, etc.
With these specific requests, it is best to set aside some of your estate to cover the costs. This ensures that your executor, family or friends don’t have to pick up the bill. Ensuring any funeral wishes you may have, and any gifts you want allocated, are honoured just takes a few seconds with Kwil.