Your Residuary Estate means everything you own. All your money, property, pets, creative output, other assets and investments and so on.
Residuary gifts are where you give some or all of everything you own to an individual (or individuals). If you choose more than one Residuary Beneficiary they can inherit either in equal shares or you can set different percentages.
A common arrangement for couples is for each person to leave everything to the other. It is then possible to specify what should happen if your partner dies before you. These arrangements are often set out in a pair of mirror wills.
If you have any specific gifts (e.g. heirlooms or sums of money) you can give these as specific gifts or Legacies. Anything gifted like this will be taken out of the Residuary Estate and given to the intended beneficiary.
An increasing number of people are choosing to leave a gift to their favourite charity or charities in their will. Many charities point out that if you leave just 1% to the cause then 99% will go to others closest to you.
You can leave a gift of a percentage of your estate or a “wipeout” gift – if everyone else you want to remember in your will dies before you. Either of these will ensure that your estate goes to your favourite charity instead of following the Rules of Intestacy.