Small bequests - how annoying for executor?

Spouse and I (late 40s, no kids) are redoing our wills. Almost everything to spouse on first death, then split between our siblings on second death. 

On each death, we would like to make small gifts (maybe £2k each) to our nieces, nephews and godchildren. But there are 14 of them! Currently aged from 6 to 15. We're in Scotland so inheritance is at 16. 

My question is, how burdensome will this be for the executor (remaining spouse or a sibling)? Neither of us has been an executor. 

Would it be less or more burdensome if we left the small gifts out of the will and instead listed them in a letter of wishes? I can see this being easier on the first death (remaining spouse just makes gifts, little paperwork required) but trickier if we both went together (whose share do they come out of).
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Comments

  • Why is it burdensome? Executors simply send cheques or balance transfers from estate to beneficiaries.
  • Emmia
    Emmia Posts: 2,943
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    It's not that much of a faff to be honest, the work leading to the point where the estate can be distributed is potentially more onerous/paperwork heavy.
  • Sea_Shell
    Sea_Shell Posts: 9,191
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    Also bear in mind how evenly the split is on both sides of the family in respect of number of Niblings.  Is one side "top heavy"?   

    Also a surviving spouse could rewrite a will (or simply destroy it) and leave everything to their blood relatives, or new partner (in time, eventually, maybe)

    Plus what if your estate(s) has been ravaged by costs and isn't worth £28k (as per your £2k x 14 example)

    Whatever you do now, isn't set in stone for life, you can always do new ones as your life (and theirs) evolve.
    How's it going, AKA, Nutwatch? - 12 month spends to date = 2.57% of current retirement "pot" (as at end January 2024)
  • Emmia
    Emmia Posts: 2,943
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    I would consider whether a %age of the estate might be better than a specific sum - if your end estate was worth £50k your nieces and nephews at £2k each would swallow a fair chunk before any other bequests - and it avoids the need to re-do the will if inflation erodes the 'value' of £2k
  • Thanks everyone!

    I don't know why I thought it was so bad,  I think I thought you had to ID everyone?

    The 2k would be a fair proportion of our savings (current about 50k each) but there's also a fully paid off house and some DC pensions. I guess we'll want to think about what we'd do if we'd just spent all our savings on an extension if whatever. In that case I'd anticipate the survivor using pension money to make up any shortfall in the gifts, or if we both go there would be money from the house sale. I'd rather not do percentages just now in case it ended up with bigger gifts than we wanted through possible inheritances, death in service from first death, and so on. 

    And yes I fully anticipate that if I die now there's a good chance that my money will go to a new partner and some step kids, in an ideal world my spouse did want kids but it wasn't to be, so they're very welcome to spend my money that way.

  • msb1234
    msb1234 Posts: 505
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    What might be simpler to do now if you could afford it would be to check if each child has an isa, and put money in each one regularly from now on, stopping when each one has received £2k. That way, they can benefit from your generosity hopefully whilst you’re still alive, and it means your wills are less tricky. If they don’t have one, their parents could easily start ones for them. 
  • msb1234 said:
    What might be simpler to do now if you could afford it would be to check if each child has an isa, and put money in each one regularly from now on, stopping when each one has received £2k. That way, they can benefit from your generosity hopefully whilst you’re still alive, and it means your wills are less tricky. If they don’t have one, their parents could easily start ones for them. 
    Thanks,  that's a helpful idea. It also reminded me that we've already been contributing to savings for a few of them - we routinely offer but the parents don't always take us up on it. 
  • OK, I had a good chat with spouse and we think we might pay into children's savings as suggested and/or put money aside for a gift to each, probably at 17 to make sure it's before uni.

    Spouse has already paid into savings for the oldest two, so don't intend to do anything else there - in fact want to check those contributions to see that we're being fair to others. 

    Without the kids, it's just mirror wills with a 4 way split on second death (we each have 2 siblings) so very simple. Will still get a solicitor though! 
  • Hoenir
    Hoenir Posts: 1,178
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    Who are thinking of appointing as executors? My late mother had a considerable number of specific wishes and bequests in her will. She left the named executors (who were also named beneficiaries) a specific small lump sum each as a thank you for dealing with them. 
  • Hoenir said:
    Who are thinking of appointing as executors? My late mother had a considerable number of specific wishes and bequests in her will. She left the named executors (who were also named beneficiaries) a specific small lump sum each as a thank you for dealing with them. 
    Good point - executors will be the main beneficiaries but if they weren't I would definitely want to leave them a thank you.
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