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.
Mary asks Fred to be her executor.
He is her favourite nephew and she is sure his experience of working in an office will enable him to do the task well. Fred agrees willingly. Mary draws up her will and leaves him a legacy of �10,000 if he takes up his duties as executor.
Fred duly proves the will and handles the estate. In doing so he has to pay for death certificates from the Registrar of Births, Marriages and Deaths and incurs travelling costs arranging the funeral and clearing Mary's house. He is allowed to claim for the expenses on top of his legacy.
It may be that Mary would also wish her nephew to share in her residuary estate.
If so she would leave him the �10,000 if he took up his duties as specified. She would then divide her estate between her nephew and such other beneficiaries she had in mind.
If Fred were one of six nieces and nephews, for instance, he could receive one sixth of the residuary estate.
Leaving him the legacy of �10,000 simply ensures he is compensated for the time and trouble he is involved in when carrying out his duties as executor.
Ideally you should appoint more than one executor to cover situations where one dies before you or is too infirm to act. The age of the executors is a factor to bear in mind.
It is possible to appoint a substitute within the will.