According to research around 70% of us have not made a Will.
With no direction from you, do you know who will inherit your money and assets if you die without making a Will? The legal jargon is dying intestate.
Consider Frank (a random name chosen for no special reason) , 75 years old and deeply into avoidance when it comes to considering his estate.
Lets now speculate that he died recently, and his estate was subject to the rules and regulations that apply in England. He is married, and his estate is worth more than £1m (not unheard of now due to the uplift in property prices over the last 20 years). He has two children, Kate and Ian, each with two children (Frank’s grandchildren). But Frank has no time for his son and has no intention of leaving him a bean.
But Frank has no Will.
The remainder of his estate after costs and taxes (let’s say this is £1m) will be divided under the intestacy rules as follows:
His wife will keep assets (including property) up to £250,000.
His wife gets an absolute interest in half of what’s left, £375,000, and
The other half is divided up between the two children, Kate and Ian.
Accordingly, and against his unwritten wishes, the errant son, Ian, received £187,500.
Frank’s family is a fairly typical structure, but there are numerous variations that can create all sorts of complications if there is no Will that expresses the deceased person’s wishes.
Perhaps the most alarming example is where a couple have lived together for some time but never married or created a civil partnership. The surviving partner in these circumstances would have no right to inherit if their partner did not leave a Will.
The remedy, obviously, is make a Will.
If your affairs are straight-forward the cost should be affordable and your chosen beneficiaries can properly benefit from your estate based on your intentions, instead of the automatic rules of intestacy.
If you don't know where to turn, we can help by introducing you to one of the many local firms of solicitors who we regularly deal with.