In England and Wales you can distribute your estate at the time of your death to whoever you wish by making a Will. The usual structure for a Will is to give specific gifts to people and charities, and the remainder – called the ‘residue’ – to a single person (e.g. a surviving spouse) or equally between a class of beneficiary (e.g. the testator’s children).
In more complex Wills a trust may be included. This will give specific assets to the trustees to hold on trust for specified beneficiaries. The inclusion of a trust in your Will opens up a plethora of estate planning opportunities - please follow the links at the top of page to read more.
When making your Will you should consider the consequences of one or more of your beneficiaries predeceasing you, and include substitution clauses where appropriate.
When including a gift to a specific person it is important that the gift is clearly identified, and so too is the beneficiary.