Specific gifts in Wills

Making sure your assets go to the right people.

One of the most common reasons a person makes a Will is to ensure that the people who inherit their estate are those that they want to inherit their estate. If a person dies without leaving a Will their estate is distributed strictly according to statute, irrespective of the wishes of the person who has died.

There are several types of gifts that you can make in your Will including gifts of money, gifts of specific items and gifts of the remainder of your estate after any debts have been paid.

There are particular issues that must be considered when making a gift of a specific item. The choice of words used in your Will is very important. For example, if you make a gift of ‘my Ford Focus’ then, if you do not own a Ford Focus when you die, the gift will fail. However, if the gift had been worded ‘a Ford Focus’ then your personal representatives would be obliged to purchase the car using money from your estate.

With a gift of land, an important consideration is whether your beneficiary should receive the land free of any mortgage that may be held on the land or whether the mortgage should be paid from the remainder of your estate. If the gift is made free of the mortgage then the people you name as the beneficiaries of the remainder of your estate will receive less as they will have to pay the mortgage.

If you would like to discuss making gifts to people in your Will then please do not hesitate to contact us.