If you do not make a Will your intended beneficiaries may not get what you wanted them to have. The vast majority of people put off making a Will for a variety of reasons, either believing that people they would wish to inherit will do so or they don’t think that it is relevant to then at this particular time

There is a common misconception that if you die everything would go to a husband/wife/civil partner/parents/children etc. automatically. Dependant on the size of the estate, there are set rules which will be applied to determine who inherits and how much if you do not make a Will.

With this in mind it is important to make a will because:

  • if you die without a will, there are certain rules which dictate how the money, property or possessions should be allocated. This may not be the way that you would have wished your money and possessions to be distributed.
  • if your circumstances have changed, it is important that you make a will to ensure that your money and possessions are distributed according to your wishes. For example, if you have separated and your ex-partner now lives with someone else, you may want to change your will. If you are married or enter into a registered civil partnership, this will make any previous will you have made invalid.
  • unmarried partners and partners who have not registered a civil partnership cannot inherit from each other unless there is a will, so the death of one partner may create serious financial problems for the remaining partner.
  • if you have children, you will need to make a will so that arrangements for the children can be made if either one or both parents die.
  • it may be possible to reduce the amount of tax payable on the inheritance if advice is taken in advance and a will is made.
  • When a person dies someone has to deal with their estate. This may be property, money or both. Having a Will allows the deceased chosen Executors to manage the deceased estate until it can be distributed to the beneficiaries entitled to it under the terms of the Will.
  • if you do not have a Will and die then this is called having died intestate. There are specific rules which sets out who will inherit and by how much if you do not leave a valid Will.
  • if you do not have a valid Will then the “Intestacy Rule” will apply. This governs the distribution of a deceased’s estate when the deceased has died.

Who is entitled to the estate? See rules of intestacy.

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