Writing a will and not have a clear person in mind to leave it all to

With a view to mortality - I recently got Life Insurance so that my mortage if any remains - would be paid off - and funeral expesnses would be covered (I'm all for being shipped off to the crematorium and skip the pointless theatrics). The insurance company offered a will writing service. This  left me with a conundrum - I've not got children and would never want to. Family wise it would leave a sister and a nephew - history as  it is I would not be inclined to leave it to the sister, there has been much history. The nephew is shall we say - not inspiring in his behaviour and the money would probably be upon a proverbial bonfire. Given I've no significant other in my life, I'm pondering if leave the majority of the estate - it wont exactly be Balmoral - toa charity. I'd leave a token amount to family members so they can't exactly say they were left out and start citing "their rights". Whats  the technicalities of this?

Whats folks experience of writing wills? Thought processes about events that will occur after stepping off this mortal coil. How much can  a will be challenged if family feel short changed? I would be naming one or two friends as beneficiaries - very least to get them a weekend away and they can raise a drink for me :)
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  • Annisele
    Annisele Posts: 4,826
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    Where are you? I know that sounds super nosy, but I'm not after your address - it's just that Scottish and English law have some reasonably significant differences in respect of inheritance.
  • DietIrnBru
    DietIrnBru Posts: 183
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    Annisele said:
    Where are you? I know that sounds super nosy, but I'm not after your address - it's just that Scottish and English law have some reasonably significant differences in respect of inheritance.

    Based in Scotland.

  • Longwalker
    Longwalker Posts: 903
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    If you are intent on remaining single and not having kids, why squirrel away anything? Spend it all and live live to the full :)

    However if you think theres going to be something left after you pass, do you have a charity you support?

    I dont have children, if my husband pops off before me, if any is left its going to charity. I dont care what he does with it once Im gone, I too am going for direct cremation 
  • Annisele
    Annisele Posts: 4,826
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    Annisele said:
    Where are you? I know that sounds super nosy, but I'm not after your address - it's just that Scottish and English law have some reasonably significant differences in respect of inheritance.

    Based in Scotland.

    I suppose I should have guessed that from your username, but that didn't occur to me! Scottish law makes it near impossible to completely disinherit children, but I'm afraid I don't know what happens with more distant family members. South of the border they could go whistle (absent special circumstances), but it would be wise to make clear that you hadn't just entirely forgotten them - perhaps by making a token bequest of £1.
  • CalJo99
    CalJo99 Posts: 66
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    So many charities would love to be a recipient. Why not choose some of the smaller ones and share it out? Pick those that tug your heart strings most.

    If you want more of a personal legacy, why not leave money for a park bench or some such. I always like to read the inscriptions on benches, especially those with a good view, and it's nice to think that once the person who paid for the bench was there, enjoying what I am now enjoying. 

    The other good thing about leaving to charity is that none of your relatives can then !!!!!! or whine about it - hard to make a case for saying they are more deserving than sick children, abandoned pets, ill treated animals, hungry folk in Africa etc etc.
  • henry24
    henry24 Posts: 318
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    I have this same problem a lot of assets and no family to leave things to. I have a neighbour who has a child who I'm very close to and a friend who has a child with downs and is deaf but working out how to leave them things is difficult as the neighbours child can wait until I'm dead but the other one will need help sooner and the longer I live the less money I leave 
  • Keep_pedalling
    Keep_pedalling Posts: 16,098
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    Annisele said:
    Annisele said:
    Where are you? I know that sounds super nosy, but I'm not after your address - it's just that Scottish and English law have some reasonably significant differences in respect of inheritance.

    Based in Scotland.

    I suppose I should have guessed that from your username, but that didn't occur to me! Scottish law makes it near impossible to completely disinherit children, but I'm afraid I don't know what happens with more distant family members. South of the border they could go whistle (absent special circumstances), but it would be wise to make clear that you hadn't just entirely forgotten them - perhaps by making a token bequest of £1.
    Legal rights do not extend to relatives who are not direct descendants. 
  • TBagpuss
    TBagpuss Posts: 11,198
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    As others have said, you don't really need life insurance if you don't have anyone you want to leave your property to - if you die, then the house would be sold and the proceeds used to clear the mortgage, then any surplus would go according to your will. You may however want to consider critical illness cover which would pay out if you become seriously ill, so that you could pay off your mortgage or have money to live off if you became ill and unable to work .

    In terms of a will, you can name one of the charities as executor - they can then administer the estate . Larger charities will often have specific people who can give you information about leaving them a gift in a will, but even with a smaller charity it's likely that you could appoint them (take advice from your solicitor - in England, it's possible to appoint someone by reference to their job / office e.g. 'two of the trustees / officers for the time being of the Sunshine Dragon Sanctuary'  charity number xxxx', but a lawyer will be able to advise you about the correct wording. OR if you prefer, you could appoint lawyers as executors.

    Normally, you don't need to include token amounts - you can write a 'side letter' to keep with your will where you can set out why you chose not to leave anything to family - the letter isn't public like a will but could be produced if there was any dispute or claim. 

    on a practical level, think about where to store important documents so they are easy to find in the event of your death. And of course you can think about whether you have any friends you'd like to remember, as well as your favorite charities. 
    All posts are my personal opinion, not formal advice Always get proper, professional advice (particularly about anything legal!)
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