2010 - 2017
Making a Will is not about wealth it is about making sure that what you want to happen to your estate does happen. It gives you the opportunity to specify such things as who will administer your estate, who will care for your children and who will receive specific items of your property.
If you own your house in your sole name then you can leave it as a specific gift to someone. If you still have a mortgage on it, then it is vital to specify that you intend the mortgage to be paid off out of the rest of your estate.
If you intend the beneficiary to sell it to redeem the mortgage or to go on paying it from his own funds, you must state the gift to be 'subject to any mortgage thereon'.
Avoid stating the address of the property in case you move during your lifetime. However, it is in order to say, 'My house no. 3 Acacia Gardens or such house as I have purchased in substitution therefore during my lifetime.
If you also own a holiday home, take care to specify which of the two properties you intend to gift. In addition you need to bear in mind that overseas property may be subject to different rules.
If you own a holiday home in France or Spain, you will almost certainly need a separate will and you will need to take specialist advice.
Timeshare properties are another difficult area. These will often be owned by a company based somewhere like the Isle of Man and the timeshare owners then have shares in the company. The mechanism of succession will usually have been discussed at the time of purchase but forgotten by the time the will is made.
If you own the right to stay in a villa in Spain for two weeks each year, a gift of 'my villa in Spain' will almost certainly not work.