Many people believe making a will is something that can be done with ease, and although most estate plans do not need to be complicated, most situations will call for something more than just a simple will.
We have set out the legal requirements for making a will in one of our previous blog, which you can read up on here: “Anatomy of a Will”.
“Simple Wills” refer to a document where someone leaves all their assets to their spouse, that’s it, nothing else, nothing fancy. It’s like a “here you go” transaction. If however, this is not what you want, and you would prefer to leave things to specific people or have plans for specific assets, the type of gift will matter. Under the law we have four types of gifts that deserve some extra attention, as each type of gift will fall under a specific class of gift, and will have different legal consequences. So let’s look at each one of them:
1) Specific gifts.
This is when you give a specific property to someone via your will. This type of gift is easy identifiable, and there is no mistake possible to it’s identity.
E.g. That large grandfather clock you inherited from your grand parents, which everyone has seen standing in your hallway. An other example can be the content of a safe deposit box, and although the content might be unknown, the safe deposit box is easily found, as it has a specific location and box number.
2) Demonstrative gifts.
This is a type of gift where we know the source, but not the specific “item” that was left.
E.g. You might have an art or jewelry collection, of which you would like a piece to each of your children or grandchildren. With a demonstrative gift you identify the specific source (your collection), but each item is left to the choice of the individual receiving it.
3) General gifts.
The most common general gift is money.
E.g. You leave someone “x” amount, or a specific value, you don’t care where it come from, as long as they receive it from the items in your estate.
4) Residuary gifts.
This is the last, and least specified gift of the bunch. It’s pretty much anything that is left of your estate after all gifts are accounted for, and all expenses and obligations of the estate have been settled. Residuary gifts are the most generic gifts of the bunch.
If you have more questions, or would like to start your plan, we would love to talk to you! You can book an appointment here, or contact our office. You can also schedule your consultation TODAY by using our online scheduling portal.