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09 Nov 2021

Wills & Probate

TALKMONEY Week 2021 – Talking to your family about your Will

November 8th - 12th 2021 is Talk Money Week, an initiative run by the Money and Pensions Service annually, designed to increase people’s sense of financial wellbeing by encouraging them to have more open conversations about personal finance.

Laura Selby, Partner and Head of our Wills and Probate Team, looks at the importance of talking to your family about your Will and the plans for your money after you’ve gone.

Have you spoken to your family about the contents of your Will?

Talking about plans for after you’ve gone is never an easy topic of conversation, but throw money into the mix and it can make for a very uncomfortable discussion. However, it’s something that at some stage, all of us need to talk about. Many families will avoid discussing it altogether, leaving those left behind to try and work out what their loved ones intentions were, which can only add to the upset and distress at a time of immense grief.

If you can, having a conversation with your relatives in advance of putting a Will in place can help prevent any arguments, which may occur after a Will has been made.

It’s good to talk

Conversations about the type of legacy you wish to leave don’t have to be uncomfortable and should be approached in a way that works best for you and your family. Every family is different and there are no set rules for when and how you should approach it. Whether you speak to each family member individually, or gather them together to discuss depends on your own individual circumstances. It’s worth giving your family advance notice that you’d like to discuss your Will, so they have the opportunity to think things over.

Listen to your family and ask what their life plans are, as this may give you some ideas on how best to carve-up your estate. For example, one of your children may wish to purchase a home of their own, whilst another may want the money for their children’s education or to start their own business. Ideally you want to move away from thinking about this as solely a financial conversation as there may be other aspects that are important to your family, such as possessions that have sentimental value.


What to talk about:

Personal Finances

Discussing personal finances can be difficult, but there are no rules to say that you must talk about figures. Think about the different areas of your estate that could have a financial value attached to it and how this could be distributed amongst family.

Also, think about the future. Do you have minor children whose future security needs to be considered, or do you want to leave money to future grandchildren? Also worth considering is whether you wish to leave money to a charity that you support or hold dear to your heart.

These are all questions to consider and should form the basis of discussions with your family.


It is also worth discussing who will be the Executors of your Will. This will be a specific person or persons, usually two, who are named in your Will and will take on legal responsibility for carrying out your instructions once you’ve gone. Let them know you wish them to take on this role and make sure they are comfortable with that, before adding their names to the Will.

It’s a good idea to let your chosen Executors know where keep your important papers. Think about documenting the details of your financial information including bank accounts, investments and insurance policies to make the process as easy as possible for them after you’ve gone.

It’s wise to keep them secure but to ensure that your Executors would know how to find/access them in the event of your death. You should only appoint Executors you trust to deal with your affairs after you have passed away.

Guardians for Minor Children

If you have children under 18, you’ll want think about who will look after them. Specifying who you want as Guardians is vital to ensure that they are cared for based on your wishes, if the worst should happen.

It’s also a good idea to plan for funds so that they can care for your children and who would be the Trustees who would manage those funds. Discuss with those whom you would like take on responsibility for your children and get their agreement before adding it to your Will.

Possessions and Non-Financial Assets

Whilst thinking about how you carve up the financial side of your estate, it’s also worth discussing possessions.

Think about making a list of potential items and ask family members and/or close friends if there is anything they feel particularly attached too or that holds sentimental value to them.

Do they have fond memories of a particular item, or have they previously bought you a gift which they would be happy to receive back?

Funeral Plans

Talk openly with your loved ones about your funeral plans and make your wishes known. Let them know if you wish to be buried or cremated and what you want from any service or celebration of life. Are there set readings or music that you would like? Or do you want your ashes to be scattered somewhere specific?

Let your loved ones know how you wish to pay for your funeral. Do you want it to come out of your estate or do you have a funeral policy in place which will cover the costs. A basic funeral costs around £4,184 and can cause considerable stress to grieving families if it hasn’t previously been discussed or the cost planned for.


Hopefully, after having a discussion with your family you’ll feel happy and confident with your plans. If you’re yet to make a Will, why not use this Talk Money Week to open a conversation with your family and start to put a plan in place?

If you are ready to create a Will or want a conversation about your next steps then contact our friendly and expert Wills and Probate Team today. Visit our website at www.hardingevans.com, email hello@hevans.com or call 01633 244233 or 029 2267 6818.

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