Making a Will

Making a Will

Anyone over 18 can make a will.

You can write a will yourself, but it is best to have someone else look at it, such as a solicitor or someone at Citizen’s Advice Bureau.
For your will to be valid, you must be 18 years or over.

A will must be in writing, signed by the person whose will it is, and 2 witnesses must sign it while the will writer is there.
The will should not be signed by someone who is a beneficiary or spouse/civil partner of a beneficiary.
For a will to be valid, the person writing it must do so voluntarily, without hindrance or pressure. The person must be aware of what s/he is doing.

Your will should include:
how much money and what property and possessions you have – this can include insurance policies, savings, shares, premium bonds, houses, even things like your garden tools or cd collection if you wish.

who you want to benefit from your will  (the Beneficiaries) – list the people (or charities) and what you want to leave them.

who should look after any surviving children under 18 years of age

who is going to sort out your estate and carry out your wishes after your death (The Executor).

Signatures of you and 2 witnesses who are not beneficiaries.

If you want a relative or friend to act as your Executor, you should ask them, as it carries responsibilities like meeting the requirements of your will, doing paperwork, paying off and debts you have etc.

You can change a will by adding a codicil. The codicil should be signed by you and 2 witnesses. The witnesses don’t have to be the same as in the main will, but the same rule about beneficiaries applies.

If you are making some complicated changes to your will, it is better to write a new one.

You can download a free copy of our wills information sheet and layout, here>

Inheritance Tax

Inheritance Tax

Inheritance Tax must be paid on assets and gifts, if the assets or gifts are valued at over £325,000.
The tax is payable at 40 per cent on the amount over this threshold.

You do not usually have to pay inheritance tax if you give things away to your spouse or civil partner (if you both live in the UK), charities, political parties, and some national institutions like National Portrait Gallery, universities etc.
These rules apply whether you give this gift in your lifetime or via a Will.

Maintenance payments to someone who is “old or infirm” are also exempt.

If at least 7 years before your death, you set up a trust fund for someone who is disabled, this counts as a ‘potentially exempt transfer’. Inheritance Tax will not be paid.

Bereavement Support Service

Bereavement Support Service

Wolverhampton City Council with partners such as the Hospitals Trust runs an excellent accessible Bereavement Centre from the ground floor of the Civic Centre, next to the Registrar for Births, Deaths and Marriages.

The centre is open on weekdays from 09.00am-4.00pm

The centre can help you with registering a death, burials and cremations, benefits and tax issues, and housing and other council services.

The aim is to allow you to sort out all the things relating to a person’s death in one place, including helping you to send back things like the driving license of the person who died.

Bereavement Centre, Wolverhampton City Council, Civic Centre,
St. Peter’s Square, Wolverhampton, WV1 1RU
Telephone: 01902 554992

Fax: 01902 554987
Textphone: 01902 555770
Email: bereavement.centre@wolverhampton.gov.uk

Funerals

Funerals

Accessible undertakers

Co-op undertakers have premises that are wheelchair accessible at the following locations:

59a High Street, Bilston,  Wolverhampton, WV14 0EZ
Telephone: 01902 408208
Fax: 01902 492587

St Marks Road, Chapel Ash, Wolverhampton, WV3 0TT
Telephone: 01902 712 686

Help with funeral Costs

If you cannot afford to pay for the funeral of someone close to you, you may be able to get help from the Social Fund with a Funeral Payment.

You can only get the payment if you are on the right benefits, and it also depends on whether there is other money available for the funeral and your relationship to the person who died.

If you or your civil partner/spouse get Income Support,  Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income based Employment and Support Allowance,Pension Credit, Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit,Child Tax Credit at a higher rate, Working Tax Credit with a disability or severe disability element, you may be eligible for help with funeral costs.

To get the funeral benefit you must be either:

The partner/civil partner of the person who died, the parent of a deceased child, a close relative or friend of the person who died.

In the case of being a close relative or friend, you must be able to  costs.

You will also be asked about any other money available for paying for the funeral –:

  • the dead person’s estate,
  • insurance policies,
  • pre-paid funeral plans etc.

You apply on form SF200 which you can get from your local JobCentrePlus:
Chapel Court Job Centre Plus, Queen Street, Wolverhampton, WV1 3AF
Telephone: 0800 055 6688

Buses number 1 and 713 stop in Market Street (stop AV)

Molineux House Job Centre Plus, Temple Street, Wolverhampton, WV2 4AU
Telephone: 0800 055 6688

Textphone:0800 023 4888

Busses 1,713 and 126 stop in Snow Hill.

 

Or you can download the form:
http://www.dwp.gov.uk/advisers/claimforms/sf200_print.pdf

You can apply for the payment up to 3 months after the person has died, even if you have already paid for the funeral.

The funeral payment is paid by cheque and is usually written out to the funeral director.

Bereavement Benefits

Bereavement Benefits

Bereavement Payment
If your civil partner, partner or spouse has died, and had been paying National insurance contributions, you may be eligible for a Bereavement payment – this is a one-off untaxed payment of £2,000.

You may also be eligible if you spouse/partner/civil partner’s death was caused by their job.

To be eligible, you must be under state retirement age, or your dead spouse must not have been entitled to class A state retirement benefit at the time of death, you may be entitled to a Bereavement payment.

You must have been living with your partner/civil partner/spouse at the time of death.

The payment is made directly to you.

You apply on form BB1 which you can get from Jobcentre Plus or online at:

www.dwp.gov.uk/advisers/claimforms/bb1_print.pdf

You must claim within 12 months of the bereavement.

Bereavement allowance

Bereavement allowance is for bereaved spouses or civil partners and may be paid for up to 52 weeks after the death of the husband/wife/civil partner.

You may be able to claim Bereavement Allowance if all of the following apply:
you are a widow/er or civil partner aged 45 or over when your spouse or civil partner died, but under pension age
you are not bringing up children
your late spouse or civil partner paid National Insurance contributions, or they died as a result of an industrial accident or disease

You apply on form BB1 which you can get from Jobcentre Plus or online at:

www.dwp.gov.uk/advisers/claimforms/bb1_print.pdf

You must apply within 3 months of the bereavement.

The amount you get depends on your age and the NI credits paid by the deceased, ranging from £31.79 per week (aged 45) to £105.95 (aged 55 up to pension age).

The amount you get may have an impact on other benefits if you are in receipt of Income Support, Incapacity Benefit, Jobseeker’s, or Carer’s Allowance.

If you remarry or live with someone else you are no longer eligible.

Terminal Illness Benefits

Terminal Illness Benefits

The rules for claiming Disability Living Allowance (DLA), Attendance Allowance (AA),  PIP, and Employment and Support Allowance(ESA) are be different if you have a terminal illness.

The ‘Special Rules’ apply if you have a terminal illness and, according to your doctor, you are not expected to live for more than 6 months.

For PIP, DLA and AA you do not have to meet a qualifying period, and you are assumed to meet the requirements of the care component, and your application will be prioritised.

If you are claiming ESA you do not have to have a medical examination. The doctor will complete a form DS1500 to declare your status. This is available from your doctor’s surgery.
If you have a terminal illness you do not have to go through the Assessment phase of ESA and will be paid the support component from the beginning of your ESA award.