Leaving Gifts In Your Will Info 2020 Alex Truesdale Wills In Cobham Surrey

Leaving Gifts in your Will

Leaving gifts in your Will. The heart of any Will: what to gift, when to gift and the types of gifts it is possible to make.

Alex Truesdale Wills Limited: A professional Will writing service based in Cobham and serving clients throughout Guildford, Kent, Hampshire and the South West region. 

Call: 07887 946557 with any questions you may have on leaving gifts in your Will or to discuss your wider estate planning needs.

Gifting in your Will

Leaving gifts in your Will. The heart of any Will: what to gift, when to gift and the types of gifts it is possible to make.

Alex Truesdale Wills Limited: A professional Will writing service based in Cobham and serving clients throughout Guildford, Kent, Hampshire and the South West region. 

Call: 07887 946557 with any questions you may have on leaving gifts in your Will or to discuss your wider estate planning needs.

Making a Will, at its simplest, involves deciding “who gets what”. There are a number of different issues to consider depending on the type of gift, the recipient, and the conditions triggering such a gift:

What To Gift In Your Will

In your Will, you can gift “chattels” (your personal effects), real property (bricks and mortar) and money. Each type of gift carries with it a number of issues:-

Chattels Gifts

  • Keepsake gifts can be extraordinarily emotive and contentious; consider sounding out any particular emotional attachments to specific items amongst your beneficiaries.
  • If beneficiaries are going to disagree, try to set ground rules by, for example, giving rights of selection according to an explicit “pecking order”, or by leaving the final say to your trustees.
  • Collections or matched sets may be far more valuable if kept together.


  • Beware “demonstrative legacies” – leaving a beneficiary the funds you have invested in “Account XYZ” may be an empty gift if those funds have been moved to “Account ABC” by the time of your death.
  • Consider index-linking legacies to preserve their value in real terms.

Residue: what is left after debts, tax and other gifts have been paid.

  • Ensure that gifts of percentages of your residuary estate add up to 100!
  • Ensure that a partial intestacy cannot arise by specifying what happens if your first choice/s of residuary beneficiary fails to survive you.

Digital Assets: personal information that is stored electronically either on a computer or a cloud server account that belongs to an individual.

  • Some digital assets have monetary value (cryptocurrencies, online accounts, music downloads), while others have sentimental value (social media accounts, photographs, emails, text or WhatsApp conversations).
  • Consider which assets you wish to be preserved, in what capacity, who should be left in charge of them and when they can be destroyed or deleted.

Writing a Will

Lasting Powers of Attorney

Need help getting started on thinking about the future?

Send an online enquiry or email info@alextruesdalewills.com for expert advice and guidance on your Will writing and estate planning needs.

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When To Gift In Your Will

When should beneficiaries receive a gift?

  • Minors (children under 18) cannot hold property in their own right, although in some circumstances their parents or guardians can accept gifts on their behalf.
  • For significant gifts, it might be advisable to add an “age contingency” meaning that the beneficiary has to attain a certain age before inheriting.
  • Avoid trying to attach binding conditions as to the use of gifts. Your wishes could generate unintended disputes and may not be practical when the time comes. If you are concerned as to the misuse of significant sums, a discretionary trust may be the better solution.

First and second death gifts

If you are in a relationship and have created a pair of “mirror Wills” in the same terms, leaving everything to each other and then to children or other beneficiaries, then you can decide whether to leave gifts to others if you are the first, or the second, to die.

  • First death gifts will be taxable and will count towards your £325,000 nil rate band, leaving less to carry over to any spouse or civil partner’s estate.
  • Making a first death gift ensures that the gift reaches its intended recipient – many Wills leave everything to the surviving spouse, registered civil partner or cohabitee and there is no guarantee that they will then respect your ultimate wishes in their own Will, which can be revoked or amended after your death.
  • First death gifts might “double-up” if you and your spouse or partner both make them to the same individual – check this is your intention.
  • “Second death gifts” may never come to pass if you fail to survive your partner or spouse.
Intestacy Rules 2020, Alex Truesdale, Solicitor based in Cobham Surrey

Alex Truesdale Wills Limited offers a professional Will drafting and estate planning service covering the Surrey, Kent, Greater London areas, the South Coast of England and Wales.

Call us on 07887 946557 or request a call back here.

ABOUT Alex Truesdale

Making Gifts in Letters of Wishes

Outside of a Will, a Letter of Wishes can provide confidential guidance on gifting for your executors and trustees to assist them in interpreting your personal wishes. A testator can change this guidance without the need to change the Will. For more information visit our Letters of Wishes page.

Estate Planning

Estate Administration

Writing a Will

Client Testimonials

“After many years putting off writing my Will I finally entrusted Alex Truesdale with the task of compiling it for me and my family. My main wish was to pass my estate on to my son, and have guardianship put in place, should the worst happen before he came of age. Alex guided us through the difficult and emotional process with the utmost professionalism and put us at ease from the outset. She was able to address all of the issues we put to her and brought up many we had not considered regarding our estate.

“As we were about to travel abroad, we were also on a very tight schedule for the wills to be drawn up and signed. Alex went above and beyond to make sure everything was in place for us in the allotted time, even to the point of being personally on hand to instruct ourselves and our witnesses during the signing procedure.

“In using Alex Truesdale Wills, we now feel totally secure if the worst should happen our affairs are in order. We will be continuing to draw on her knowledge as and when our wills need updating in the future and are delighted to recommend her first class service.”

BW, May 2018

“We would like to thank you for your professional help in getting us to a point of having signed Wills after many years of procrastination. Not only that your advice gave us the impetus to arrange a Civil Partnership and we now feel that we have got at least some of our affairs in order in these worrying times.”

KB, September 2020

“I have known Alex Truesdale for over 6 years, during which time she prepared Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney for my sisters and assisted us in the administration of my sister Elizabeth’s estate after her death in 2018.  I testify to her attention to detail, her knowledge and experience in her work and the warmth of her communications whether by letter, by telephone or in person.  She responds to us quickly and we have full confidence in what she does on our behalf and on her advice on various aspects. She has a good network of people when particular advice is needed beyond her field of expertise or training.  She became a friend to us as a family.  I gladly recommend her services to others.”  

KH, July 2020

“Very clear explanation of what the options and implications were for us. It was also good to have someone focused on the end result we had to get to, as it’s very easy on your own to leave to another day.”

EM, September 2018

“The support Alex gave me and my husband after our Wills and LPAs were finalised was second to none especially as he was diagnosed with a terminal illness a few months later. This ongoing support, advice and bringing in other specialists to assist was outstanding and I felt that we were in very good hands and would continue to be when the inevitable happened.

After my husband died, the comfort of knowing all was in order with the Wills was a great relief and her help in the immediate aftermath was much appreciated. It wasn’t just the professionalism but the genuine concern for my situation and that of the family. Alex then continued to guide me through the process and through some pretty complicated issues relating to the estate administration. She always responded to my copious emails and phone calls with clarity, efficiency and care.

The whole process was dealt with in a timely manner and to a very high standard and I felt that I was being looked after like one of her own family.

I can’t recommend Alex highly enough – a very talented professional dedicated to her work with a heart of gold.”

JD, July 2020

“Alex arranged an appointment for my husband and I to update our Wills in view of a change in family circumstances.  She was organised, efficient and extremely sensitive to our needs. We discussed advance directives and lasting powers of attorney in-depth – things we had only considered in vague terms previously but realised how intelligent it was to sort them out early.

“I cannot fault Alex’s professionalism and caring attitude, and will be recommending her service to my friends and colleagues.”

SM, September 2019

“Thank you again for helping me sort out all our Wills and the funeral plan for my godmother. I cannot believe how timely that was bearing in mind today’s situation. Only good news from her care home so far, but to know that resources are there to help the staff directly if the worst happens certainly gives me peace of mind.”

SC , May 2020

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Will Writing And Estate Planning From Alex Truesdale Wills

Alex Truesdale Wills Limited offers a professional and personal Will writing service, giving you flexibility and control for the present and your loved one’s peace of mind about the future.

Contact Alex Truesdale today to arrange a free, no-obligation initial consultation, virtual meetings or face to face.