A Gift in Your Will
How to leave a gift
We always recommend that you use a professional adviser to have your will drafted or updated. The cost is relatively modest and properly drafted will means that your wishes will be honoured, thereby minimising the potential for disputes and potential drain on the value of your estate. We also recommend that you talk with your family or friends about your wish for The Courtauld (or any other charity or good cause) to benefit from your will. Again, this can minimise the potential for disputes.
Making (or updating) a Will isn’t complicated and needn’t be expensive:
- First, appoint a professional adviser - usually a solicitor or bank;
Using a solicitor
Although it is possible to write a will without a solicitor's help, this is generally not advisable as there are various legal formalities you need to follow to make sure that your will is valid. Without the help of an expert, there's a real risk you could make a mistake, which could cause problems for your family and friends after your death.
You can find a solicitor in your area through The Law Society website. The Law Society provides independent advice on topics such as choosing a solicitor and probate as well as making a will.
The cost of using a solicitor varies depending on how complicated your will is and where in the country you live. The solicitor should make it clear from the start how much they will charge.
- Next, work out how much you have to leave, including the total sum of your property, money and possessions, less any outstanding mortgages or loans;
- Decide who you want to benefit from your will. For example, your family, friends and favourite charities or good causes;
- Choose Executors to make sure your wishes are carried out. These can be professional advisers, friends or family members – or one of each;
- Finally, keep your will safe and make sure your Executors know where to find it. Give one copy to your solicitor or bank.
The Courtauld Institute of Art can’t recommend a particular professional adviser, but if you need any general advice on choosing a professional then you can contact us for advice.
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