Personal Law

It is not very often that the worlds of football and estate planning come together; however, the BBC recently reported on the will of the late Barrie Greaves. Barrie was a “football fanatic” and followed Norwich City Football Club.

Barrie died on 28 December 2019 and kindly left a bequest in his will of £100 to allow the players at Norwich City to have a drink on him. The Norwich City Football Club Twitter account tweeted the Club’s thanks to Barrie, posting a photograph of the players enjoying their drinks.

Barrie’s heart-warming story shows the importance of putting a will in place.

Why make a will?

As can be seen from Barrie’s story, putting a will in place allows you to decide who benefits from your estate. In Barrie’s case, the BBC reported that he wanted to show his thanks to the players at Norwich City for entertaining him over the years.

Importantly, making a will allows you to decide who benefits from your estate on your death. If you die without a will, the law will decide who inherits from your estate and this might not match your intentions.

Finally, it is important to review your will as your circumstances change to ensure that it remains up-to-date.

Selecting your executors and beneficiaries

Executors and beneficiaries are the key players in any will.

Executors are responsible for ingathering the estate and then distributing it to the beneficiaries. The role of the executor may continue for a number of years after the death. In light of their importance to the administration of the estate, it is essential to appoint executors who can be trusted to follow the instructions in the will. It is worthwhile to appoint more than one executor (a team approach) or to appoint a substitute executor who will act in the event that the original executor cannot carry out their role.

If you die without a will, there is often additional expense for your family members as they will have to apply to be appointed as your executor by the court.

As noted above, it is important to make a will to ensure that you decide who benefits from your estate. Your beneficiaries might be your family, friends, charities or other organisations. In Barrie’s case, this was the players at Norwich City Football Club.

Additionally, putting a will in place, allows you to decide when your beneficiaries will receive their inheritance. For example, this might involve the use of trusts to provide that a young beneficiary will receive their inheritance at a suitable age.

Other points

Various other issues can arise when putting a will in place. For example, it is always sensible to consider the inheritance tax position of your estate. Separately, a power of attorney is a highly recommendable and cost-effective way of managing your affairs in the event of an unexpected incapacity.

A will can also be used to provide funeral instructions. In Barrie’s case, he wanted to make sure that his funeral did not take place on a match day.

Conclusion

Barrie’s story highlights one of the main advantages of putting a will in place – being able to decide who benefits from your estate, how and when, and who is responsible for carrying out your wishes.

A will can also avoid additional costs, delays and unnecessary uncertainty associated with the administration of your estate after your death. Estate planning can also consider issues such as inheritance tax and the importance of powers of attorney.

For advice on wills and succession planning, please do not hesitate to contact any of the members of our Personal team.

 

Fraser Mackay

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